Well, it's been a long time. A very long time. Almost a year since I last posted. I'm not going to put you all to sleep with a detailed account of all that has happened in the past year - there are only a couple of you who read this blather, so I may as well keep you awake.

Sufficed to say things are good. I turned 50 with nary a scratch or hangover. I'm busy and happy.

So why start blogging again? It's not like I ran out of things to say - Lord no. I'm always rambling on about something. Life just got hectic and I got out of the habit. Life is still hectic but I've fallen off the wagon so to speak and my blog seems to be a great motivator for me to get back on the wagon and stay strong. There is something about telling the world ... even if my world consists of two people ... that I'm going to do something. It doesn't always work, but for the most telling you all keeps me on the straight and narrow.

So here's my dilemma. Food prices are outrageous! Have you noticed? I remember on the news they said that food prices were to increase about 5% in the new year. 5%? I don't think so. My food budget is out of control! It got me to thinking about the summer of 2010 when I did a four week challenge of spending $150 per week on groceries. It was a tough go, but I enjoyed the challenge. Eating healthy, good meals within a certain financial budget. I had to get creative with my thinking, my shopping and my cooking. I did it and I learned a lot along the way. A lot of the habits that I started on that journey I have kept 'til now. I'm still a savvy shopper. I still keep all my veggie peels to make soup broth with. I still bathe in my compost bin ... (look it up to the right if you don't know what I mean). But I've gotten lazy, and a little less thrifty with my purchases. When I went to the store recently with $200 in an envelope thinking that it would cover us for the week and was through that envelope before half of the groceries had gone through the scanner, I knew I had to do something.

Things have changed since the last challenge. My daughter is in University and is no longer a hungry mouth waiting for mama to cook her a meal. The once in a while hungry boyfriend doesn't come over either - why doesn't he want to visit me? I'm a much better cook. So it's just me, my hubby and little Beagle Stew ... and too many cats. Even though prices have increased significantly in the last year and a half, I'm going to lower the budget to $125 per week. I'm not sure if it is possible to do and stay sane - I will let you know if I go particularly looney. Still I'm going to give it a try.

Once incentive for me is I haven't been away on a vacation in a very long time. A very long time. My daughter was in diapers to be exact and she turns 22 in a couple of months. I really want to get away this year with my girlfriend. I have visions of a beach, a cabana boy bringing drinks with little umbrellas and a very cheesy novel to read. Bliss, I tell you total bliss. Oh the blog I would write. The stories I could tell. So I need to trim the fat - in more ways than one, but that's yet another blog. I need to save me some cash and my food budget could definitely use some trimming.

Why repeat? I'm really not that original. But I figure if there's a Rocky V, Jaws III, Raiders IV, Speed 2 and Karate Kid 2, there is certainly room for Grocery Budget Challenge Part Deux.

So here are the rules. Weekly Budget $125

Criteria - Food only. Does not include Beagle Stew's food. Cleaning products or toiletries.
Meals - Must be preservative free and healthy. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Sunday dinners and dessert once a week.

I'll post my weekly menu, and how much I spent. I go shopping on Tuesday. I guess I'd better start planning.


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