Posted by Tim Stobbs on July 9, 2010
It’s been another week into my $25 challenge of eating on the cheap and you can tell we are going to have to start facing the hard decisions next week because this is what our spending looks like to date:
- Margarine $4
- 8 L of Milk $8
- 1lb Coffee $1.98
- Fruit (5 nectarines, 4 plums, 3 apples, 5 peaches) $5.82
- TOTAL $19.80 (79% of budget)
If the fruit numbers look weird there is a story behind that. We had done our camping trip and have a lot of left over fruit which I was planning on buying anyways. So rather than cheat I just transferred what was left from the trip to the challenge budget. The coffee I will admit was a purely luxury item. I don’t need it, but I REALLY like having a cup in the morning and we had run out. I might regret this choice, but only time will tell.
Overall the diet has been very similar to how we normally eat, we have just been forced to consider how we organize our meals to avoid waste. For example, last night supper was roast chicken, potato salad and carrot sticks. The leftover chicken will now be used for supper tonight in some rice paper wraps and then in some sandwiches for lunch on the weekend. Also we have had our meals planned out a full week in advance to ensure we are only buying what we need.
The other odd thing I’ve noticed is we are very careful not to overeat on our ‘treats’ that we have in the house. Anything like chips, nuts, candy or ice cream we are taking care to string out over the challenge so we don’t run out of all of that. Of course the backup plan can be to do some baking (cookies or a cake) but I tend to avoid doing that when it is hot out. I absolutely hate heating up the house on hot days when I don’t have to.
That last five dollars will likely be spent early this next week on some veggies. I’ve noticed we are approaching a lack of choice on those in the house (we have run out of frozen). So I’ll have to carefully shop for some more choices next week which don’t break the $25 dollar mark which likely means sticking to fresh veggies.
I think the easy part of the challenge is rapidly coming to a close and I’m going to have to start getting a bit more creative on what we are eating based on what I have in the house. It’s not like eating is actually hard, but rather its adjusting my thinking to eating around what you have rather than what you feel like.
So any shopping advice on what vegetables I should buy? I’ve still have some garlic, onions, carrots, potatoes from the pantry and then green onion, radish and lettuce from my farmer.