Foodie-Ville: Budgeting Update

17 Jun

It feels like summer…sort of. And it makes me hunger for cold dishes like somen, potato salad, and spring rolls.

Lately, I’ve been watching too many episodes of “The Naked Chef” a.k.a. Jamie Oliver. He has such simple recipes but he always tells you why certain ingredients are used to get the most out of it. It makes me want to be better at cooking and to better understand flavor combinations and profiles.

I cook quite regularly but it’s difficult to come up with creative dishes when you’re making it for yourself. And to minimize food expenses, I try to stock up on ingredients instead of products. I’d rather buy fresh tomatoes instead of purchasing tomato sauce. To me, it’s cheaper, healthier, and tastier. Plus, when I have fresh tomatoes, there’s more flexibility than a can of sauce.

Though I do have a food budget, I haven’t been keeping track regularly and it shows. I finally sat down and worked out the numbers for the past three months and they haven’t been pretty. My food budget is divided into two sections: groceries and eating out. Ideally, I would want to spend $100 on groceries and $150 on eating out.

How did I fare?

March Total: $193.54

I had a small splurge on pork tenderloin, sausage, and cheese. Plus, I was starting a workout plan so I picked up multi-vitamins. Overall, I did good on eating out but I went a bit over on groceries.

  • Groceries: $119.33
  • Eating Out: $74.21

April Total: $493.13

My cousin was staying with me for a week so I paid for some of her meals to some L.A. food highlights. She also wanted to cook Mexican food, so I purchased a lot of ingredients and condiments for a full-fledged meal. I knew I was going over budget, but I didn’t know how much.

  • Groceries: $242.04
  • Eating Out: $251.09

May Total: $391.01

May was birthday month and there were a couple of parties to attend, but for groceries, I stocked up on seafood and Asian ingredients. Not too bad, but I need to pare down the expenses.

  • Groceries: $130.61
  • Eating Out: $260.4

So for June, I hope to stick to my budget while exploring the world of bento. I know, lunch bento is usually reserved for small children but I find that a pretty lunch makes me happier than a regular tupper set. I’ve enlisted a few people to help me as I never had a cute bento lunch when I was young. In fact, I vaguely remember packing my own lunch with junk food to swap with my friends for their healthy sandwiches and snacks.

I was a little troublemaker.


6 Responses to “Foodie-Ville: Budgeting Update”

  1. good girl gone blog June 17, 2010 at 9:14 AM #

    I totally want to do Bento. It’s so cute and you don’t end up using and throwing away zip-locks!

  2. PetiteAsianGirl June 17, 2010 at 9:15 AM #

    I’m trying to cut down on excessive eating out as well. Homemade food is not only cheaper but usually more nutritious. The meals you made look fantastic. THe bowl of udon has got me really hungry – there’s nothing more comforting than some simple noodles with fresh scallions and a soft egg. And how cheap is that?

  3. PetiteLittleGirl June 17, 2010 at 12:55 PM #

    I started to pack left over from dinner for lunch the next day. That way I don’t waste money on left over and spend more money on lunch. It’s hard to cook home-made meals with our busy schedules. That bowl of udon looks soooo good.
    Visit me @

  4. PetiteXXS June 17, 2010 at 1:22 PM #

    Your food looks delicious! We try to cook for ourselves too, but end up eating out probably a third to half the time. I honestly have no idea how much we spend on food, I really need to start keeping a budget!

  5. MizzJ June 20, 2010 at 2:34 PM #

    Hehe your grocery budget is very similar to mine! It’s hard to buy food for just one person b/c everything these days seems to come in jumbo “family sized” packs. I like that udon dish you showed, it’s something I make for myself all the time!

    • Stylepint June 20, 2010 at 7:27 PM #

      Seriously! It is harder to find “individual” sized packages and I hate having food spoil before I have chance to eat it! =P

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