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Thursday, April 2, 2009

A post for boasting

So, I'm really proud of myself lately. I know I said I'd keep couponing stuff off this blog, but this isn't really couponing. More, it's me setting goals and accomplishing them. It's also learning new things. And being really proud of myself for all of it.

Since we're buying the condo and trying to save every last penny, I've been pondering ways to cut our current budget even further. (It's amazing. Every time I think I've taken every spare penny out of our budget, then need to cut it further, I find a way.) After a month or so couponing, I realized that I really could do better about how much money I spend on groceries. I could plan better, I could cook more, and I could spend time learning what a good price for things really is.

For March I made a goal to only spend $100 on groceries. This was partway into the month and I had already spent $72 on groceries. That meant I had 20 days land only $28 to spend. I'm pleased to report that I spent a grand total of $100.56 on groceries in March.

For April I decided I could do even better if I planned from the very beginning of the month. Also, our grocery budget was limited in March, but our eating out budget was not. So for April we've set a goal of $150 for all food—groceries and eating out. This is fun because it means BJ has to participate as well. It also means I'm a lot better about planning a weekly menu, finding yummy meals to cook that use cheap ingredients and make lots of leftovers. For example, I was talking to my friend, Tyler, who is an amazing chef, also in school and living on a starving student budget. In fact, it was his wife, Meagan, that got me started on couponing. He started giving me ideas on food to make that is delicious, inexpensive, and can stretch. This week I made 40 Cloves and a Chicken from a whole chicken that cost me less than $5. (Actually, it was free, but that was because I got $5 off a chicken for buying 10 Lipton Pasta Sides that I like to keep stocked up on anyway.) It seriously cost me the price of a chicken and a couple bulbs of garlic. It fed BJ and I for 2-3 meals. Then the next day, I used the carcass from the chicken to make a chicken vegetable soup. That cost me the price of vegetables that I wanted to put in it. That cost me about $3. (With vegetables leftover for a future meal.) That'll feed us for around 3 meals. So, for less than $10 (a tiny bit over if you count the french bread we split between the two meals), I fed BJ and I for 5-6 meals. (That's 10-12 servings, folks.) Sure, it cost me a bit more in time, but I like cooking, and it really didn't take that much time.

I really am ridiculously proud of myself. Perhaps I should go read some humility scriptures now.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

Good for you! For a while I was feeding my family for $150/month -- with NYC food prices. It was tough, but we did it. As food prices went up, though, with the stinky economy, my budget had to, as well. I give myself $50/week (so typically about $200/month) to feed our growing family, and so far so good. The other day I heard about this lady who spent only $1/day on food (for just herself, I believe), and made it through the whole month spending only $30. And she ate incredibly well, too! I was impressed -- enough to tempt me to try something similar one of these days. We'll see, though...that might take more energy than I can muster these days.