Thursday, January 24, 2013

Money Talk and A Recipe

I recently read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. It was such a great book! I highly recommend it for anyone interested in their personal finances.

One of the things that occurred to me as I was filling out a few spreadsheets (provided in the book) is that we (my family) spend a lot of money on food, both groceries and eating out! What a waste!

So I set out to do better...starting with a pretty severe cut to my food allowance. Because why go small when you can make a big difference, fast! :)

I allocated myself $200 for groceries for the entire month of January! And a big, fat nada for eating out! Painful! Especially when I'm used to spending five times that amount, and when restaurants appear to be one of my love languages.

I'm so excited though, because God has blessed my extremism and our efforts and made our budget stretch beyond what I was hoping for. On top of that, miracle of all miracles, we haven't eaten out once this month, and I don't feel like bashing my head against a wall.

So today, I thought it'd be fun to share one of my super-cheap-and-easy-to-make-as-well-as-being-kid-friendly dinners. I made this last night and it was a huge hit. Everyone loved it! (Except my three year old, but she doesn't count cause I can't get that child to eat anything other than Gogurt!)

Cheeseburger Macaroni

1  pound ground beef
1  chopped onion (although I only used half and it was plenty)
2  8 ounce cans of tomato sauce
8 ounces of macaroni noodles
1  4 ounce can of sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the meat. Drain fat. Add onion and cook over medium-high heat for about 6 minutes or until your meat is cooked through and onions are tender. Stir in tomato sauce, 1 and 1/4 cups water, and the noodles. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 8 minutes, or until the macaroni is tender. Stir in mushrooms and cheese. Serve immediately.

I paired this yummy dish with steamed veggies and thought the whole thing was filling and easy. Bonus: everyone asked me to make it again! (With a skeleton-sized grocery budget, you can bet that I will!)

Share with me: How much attention do you pay to your "food spending" each month? Is it even on your radar? Do you have any tricks for keeping the bill down? And for fun, what is your favorite restaurant?? :)


  1. Good for you! My husband and I stick to our budget pretty well, but it can definitely be a challenge to eat healthy AND cheap. Cutting eating out was the best thing we did (for both health and saving money, LOL). I stuck to our budget pretty well, but fruit and veggies can get expensive. Sigh.

    Maybe I'll read that book. Mike is very financially savvy, but I've got some stuff to learn, I'm sure. ;)

  2. I've heard wonderful things about Dave Ramsey!

    Yeah, like Lindsay said, it can be really hard to eat both healthy and cheap. I need to work on both! :)

  3. My husband and I took the 10 week Financial Peace University last year and it was A-MAZING! We love Dave Ramsey. :) As for food, I'm also budget conscious, but $200 for the month is impressive! Wow. I agree, the healthier we want to eat, the more expensive it gets. But this recipe looks yummy! Thanks for sharing. I'll pin it to my Pinterest board!

  4. $200???? food only right? otherwise if you smushed your TP, Kleenex, Laundry Detergent and light bulbs into that I'm impressed and coming to your house for a lesson in budgeting! :)

  5. LOL! Yes! Food only! But I should amend my total, because I ran out of bread and eggs and a few other things over the weekend. So my total is probably more like $300 for January! And I'm not the person to be teaching budgeting...that's for sure!!! LOL

  6. We have 3 boys at home, all athletes. One "kid" is 6'2'. He alone eats probably 300$ a month in food. I'm not kidding. Another wee baby is about 5'9'. He's 15. There's another 200$ right there. The baby? He's 10 and 4'9. Sooo, yeah, we don't actually calculate our food bills, because we do not want to know. We just keep feeding them...

  7. $200 for the whole month?! Sheesh. It's $200 whenever I simply walk through the grocery store's door. A palm stinging high-five to you!


I'd love to hear your thoughts too!