Sunday, October 3, 2010

Food Budgets

A couple days ago, after I whined on Twitter about my dwindling money supply, a friend of mine told me about Frutober, an initiative started by a blogger who decided to only spend 75$ on food and 25$ on fun for the month of October. I am intrigued by this idea, and want to try out a modified version of it, but probably not til November. So it'll be... Fruvember. It doesn't have quite the same ring to it, but it does have the added bonus of Thanksgiving leftovers, which I should be able to live off of for a few days, at least.

In general, we don't spend all that much on food. Our grocery bill probably totals a little over 200 dollars a month for 2 people, so we're not spending too far over 75 a month per person anyway. However, if we were more diligent in planning our meals and buying things in advance, we'd waste less and save some more money. Our refrigerator is small, but usually pretty packed full of produce, so it's not uncommon for a plate of leftovers or bag of grapes to disappear long enough that we have to pinch our noses and scurry to the garbage can with it when it resurfaces. It happened with some grapes this week. And with a container of Greek yogurt (mmm) this morning.

Another major budget buster for us are vegan alternatives for butter and cheese (and occasionally meat) for E. We bought 8 ounces of fake cheese made from tapioca rice today, and it was 5 bucks for the back! And we found a tub of fake butter for 3.50 and nearly shat ourselves because it was such a bargain. Also, since I have no trouble with dairy, we end up buying the alternatives for him and the regular stuff for me, so we double purchase a lot of items. It's cheaper overall, since the margarine I buy costs 89¢ instead of 3.50 (or, usually 5 bucks), but it is kind of lame.

The mind behind Frutober advocates for stockpiling necessities in September, but I found out about the initiative at about 10 pm on September 30th, at a real low point in our pantry supplies. We've been out of eggs, bread, grated cheese, vinegar, olive oil, and various other vital parts of our diet for a few days now, and if I had restocked the cabinets as part of my 75$ monthly budget, I would have only had enough money left over to eat ramen for the rest of the month. So, I'm not sticking to a 75$ budget this month, but I'm trying to stick to spending more than $6 on dinner every night (which will hopefully include leftovers). In general, this shouldn't be too hard -- tonight I plan to make a pot of lentil soup that will cost about 4 bucks total -- but it will require a bit more thought and frugality. No more wild mushroom agnolotti for us, I guess.

1 comment:

  1. glad you're trying your own version of Frutober! have fun, don't eat too much ramen ;)