Welcome to our August food expense report!
Summer is really coming to an end. I’m so glad I’m not in school anymore. When I go to work, September is just another month of sitting in an air-conditioned office.
When I was in school, however, September would mark the beginning of another semester of exams, deadlines, and homework. I think it’s a clear sign that I’m not going back to school anytime soon or ever. I think I enjoy doing my food expense reports more than studying for an exam.
If you missed my previous food expense reports, you can check them out below:
Food Expense Report – Apr 2017 – $80.39
Food Expenses – Aug 2017: $844.26
WEEK 1 – $224.55
GROCERIES – $213.24
Great Wall – $127
I think August 2017 will be our last month doing grocery shopping at Great Wall. Mr. FAF and my mother-in-law (MIL) often do price comparison, and they recently discovered that Great Wall is more expensive than another Vietnamese grocery store nearby.
I, on the other hand, was clueless about such price differences. When we do grocery shopping together, Mr. FAF and my MIL usually pick out the groceries while I drive (I need more practice) and watch Baby FAF.
String beans, cabbage, pumpkin, napa cabbage, mysterious Chinese roots used for soup, spiced tofu, cucumber, taro, chili, radish, eggplant, and dried noodles
Shrimp, pork stomach, a whole chicken, chicken hearts, liver, pork ribs, pork bones, and pork
Great Wall – $30.85
Mr. FAF and my MIL went to Great Wall when I was at work, and he didn’t take a picture of the food. They bought flower vegetable seeds, dried beans, spiced jumbo thick dry tofu, and pork belly.
Costco – $32.98
We ran out of pork, so Mr. FAF make a quick trip to Costco. He says the pork at Costco is fresher than at other grocery stores.
Bananas, oranges, pork chops, and butter croissant
Shoppers – $11.31
Mr. FAF went to Shoppers and bought Maruchan ramen, chicken gizzards & hearts, corn on the cob, leeks, and 2 packs of eggs.
Giant – $11
Bananas and watermelon
WHAT WE ATE AT HOME
I came home from work to find these delicious dishes already prepared by my MIL. I really liked the shrimp dish.
Shrimp stir-fried with chickpeas, braised taro and tofu, cabbage stir-fried with mushrooms
Braised fish, chives stir-fried with spiced tofu, egg & tomato soup, and black chicken soup
EATING OUT – $11.31
Picnic – $11.31
Our whole family went to a summer picnic in DC. We bought fried chicken and a strawberry cake. I didn’t get to take a picture of the fried chicken because one of the organizers took it somewhere, and I just couldn’t find it.
I honestly didn’t try our cake either because there was so much good food at the event. We didn’t technically eat out at a restaurant, but I still counted the expense of the fried chicken and cake as the cost of eating out since we didn’t make the food at home.
I have noticed this beauty at the grocery store for a long time. But I didn’t want to buy it given the amount of sugar that I would consume if I bought it.
Below was the delicious food we had at the picnic.
Lo mein noodles, pasta, enchilada, glutinous rice doughnut, pineapple cake, sticky rice with mango, seaweed, and fish cake
Barbecued beef, Korean noodles with pork, spring roll, ham wrap, seaweed and kimchi
WEEK 2 – $130.35
GROCERIES – $118.36
Vietnamese grocery store – $100.39
We started shopping more at a Vietnamese grocery store near where we live instead of Great Wall. I wish we could have found out about the price difference sooner.
Celery, carrots, napa cabbage, eggplant, radish, cabbage, tofu, broccoli, winter melon, bean sprouts, cilantro, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and cooking wine
Shrimp, pork bones, pork ribs, and pork
Wegmans – $6.32
We went for a walk at Wegmans after dinner and bought milk and a couple of apples.
Shoppers – $11.65
Bananas, apples, sweet potatoes, and eggs
WHAT WE ATE AT HOME
Home-made pickled radish, stir-fried egg and tomato, pork stir-fried with squash, pork bone soup, cucumber salad, and breaded pork
EATING OUT – $11.99
Asian food court – $11.99
Our whole family went to a Vietnamese grocery store on a Saturday morning. When we finished shopping, it was almost 11:30 AM.
We initially wanted to go home and cook. But it was getting late, and everyone was getting hungry, so we decided to get two take-out lunch boxes at $5.99 each.
We thought about getting three boxes, but we still had a little bit of leftovers from dinner the day before. It was a lazy, frugal, and happy meal for the FAF family.
Barbecued pork, roasted duck, fried chicken, pork ribs, fried pork, bell pepper, and seaweed soup
WEEK 3 – $353.4
GROCERIES – $322.5
Costco – $112.03
Milk, eggs, apples, water melons, bananas, bread, Lipton tea, Heineken beer, pork, and lamb ribs
Vietnamese grocery store – $168.76
Radish, leek, potatoes, bell peppers, spiced tofu, carrots, string beans, salted eggs, cauliflower, garlic, bok choy, enoki mushrooms, cilantro, frozen seaweed, hotpot soup base and seasoning, aloe vera juice, and plum wine
Vietnamese grocery store – $15.58
Mr. FAF went grocery shopping and bought 14 lbs of pork bones, red grapes, and a seedless watermelon.
Great Wall – $26.54
Dried orange peel, dried haw slices, Plado Gomtang instant noodles, Penang price fried noodle, meat, and duck wings
WHAT WE ATE AT HOME
We invited some friends over for a Chinese hotpot, and we had a blast. It lasted from 11:30 AM to 4 PM that day. By the time we were done cleaning up, Mr. FAF and I agreed we’d wait for a while before we have another get-together at our house.
Hotpot food: pork, beef, lamb, fish cake, cabbage, napa cabage, bok choy, enoki mushrooms, noodles, seaweed, tofu skin, taro, and potatoes. Side dishes: grilled pork, chicken gizzards, and pork belly.
Hotpot drinks: Chinese alcohol, alove vera juice, plum wine, and Coke
EATING OUT – $30.9
Food court – $27.4
Mr. FAF also bought some side dishes for the hotpot. It usually takes a bit of time for the food to cook at the beginning of a hotpot. We could enjoy these side dishes while waiting. I count take-out as eating out since we didn’t make it at home.
Barbecued pork and chicken
Bubble tea – $3.50
Mr. FAF was upset about something one day and decided to get a green tea bubble tea to cheer himself up.
WEEK 4 – $101.72
GROCERIES – $59.72
Vietnamese grocery store – $59.72
Mandarin, eggplant, radish, string beans, and pork
WHAT WE ATE AT HOME
Pork & noodles, spiced tofu & celery, stir-fried mixed veggies, steamed pumpkin & taro, and chicken soup
EATING OUT – $42
Hong Kong dimsum – $42
Mr. FAF took his friend out for Hong Kong dimsum for brunch on a Saturday. I wasn’t happy that I couldn’t enjoy the dimsum. But I understand he needs some alone time with his friend besides hanging out with the family all week.
What a dimsum looks like.
WEEK 5 – $73.22
GROCERIES – $73.22
Costco – $62.15
2 water melons (1 has been half consumed), crawfish tails, Gala apples, eggs, bread, and lettuce
Shoppers – $11.07
Cereal and bananas for Baby FAF’s snacks
WHAT WE ATE AT HOME
Pork stir-fried with string beans, mixed veggies, fried eggs, and shredded potatoes
EATING OUT – $0
We didn’t eat out this week.
Our food budget has officially exploded with a $332.33 increase from $511.93 in July. I was speechless for 5 seconds after I tallied up all the receipts. When I informed Mr. FAF about the total amount, he was in shock for another 5 seconds.
Then as usual, he calmed himself and me down by saying, “It’s normal. We have four people in our family.” It’s actually three and a half: 3 adults and 1 toddler. I was a bit embarrassed to even write this food expense report and started to look for excuses such as:
— DC is an expensive city, and the food is not cheap.
— We had a hotpot with our friends, and it added more than $100 to our food budget.
However, at the end of the day, there’s no escaping the fact that our August food expenses were just about $150 away from being $1,000. We spent less than $100 on eating out, so the huge jump came from the groceries.
I will give ourselves a break and say that we’re still trying to adjust our food expenses after years of living far away from each other.
I’m glad I started to keep track of how much we spent on food. Every month I have an accurate number which tells us where we are with our food expenses rather than estimating in our minds what it is, sometimes incorrectly.
How were your food expenses last month? Did you make any dishes that you really liked?