The Monthly Food Budget

We have 15 days left in the month! Will we stay within our budget?

Currently, our monthly food budget is ~$800 for (4) people; Jay doesn’t live with us as he’s 20 years old. This includes grocery shopping, the occasional eating out, vitamins/supplements (basically anything we ingest goes in this budget category, except for beer and my work lunch money; we have separate budget category just for Jesse’s beer, it’s a very touchy/controversial subject in the DFC space along with how much our food budget is).

Truthfully, there have been months this year where we’ve spent almost double this budget in a month. Yeah, going over budget happens a lot in this category. We’ve pulled from other categories to account for overspending on food and that’s been ok for us. However, I really want to focus on staying “on track” or within the goal budgeted for this category in December and monthly going into 2020.

After we paid off $115k of debt last year, this was a budget we intentionally increased, but it’s gotten a little crazy. FYI: our food budget was $800 a month during the debt-payoff period. We aren’t the best at penny-pinching in the food budget. It’s a constant work in progress. Maybe time to permanently increase the budget to $900 or $1,000. I’m ready for the “hate” mail.

Ways we are going to reach our food budget goals (that have worked for us in the past): less eating out, more meal planning, eating all the left overs, packing lunches for work/school, freezer/pantry challenges & clean-outs, and potlucks for special occasions.

Keto Palmini Lasagna

Recipe from Palmini Pasta

Beef Mixture:

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tbsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 cups marinara sauce

Ricotta Mixture:

  • 1.5 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 eggs

Additional Ingredients:

  • 1 can Palmini Lasagna
  • Milk
  • Mozarrella cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  2. Open Palmini Lasagna can, drain in colander, rinse with water, soak in milk (for more pasta-like flavor) for 20 minutes.
  3. In a skillet, cook ground beef and onions.  Season with salt, pepper, garlic, parsley, basil, and oregano.  Stir in marinara sauce once beef is cooked.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, parsley, nutmeg, and eggs for ricotta mixture.
  5. Drain Palmini and rinse.
  6. Layer Palmini in 13×9 baking dish, layer meat mixture, layer ricotta mixture,  top with mozzarella and parmesan (repeat)
  7. Bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees.