Sunday, July 26, 2009

Food For Thought

An anonymous commenter asked me how I live on $80 per month for food. Well, I don't live on $80 per month, that is the minimum that I allocate towards food in my minimum budget. That $80 would cover the staple foods like beans, rice, frozen vegetables, chicken, cheese, milk and juice. Any other food extras would come out of my paycheck when I get a minimum wage part time job.

My budget right now has $100 in my food category. Looking back over the last 3 months I have spent $154 in May, $99 in June, and $85 in July so far. May was a stock up month and the extra money came out of other budget categories like electricity. I have $85 for electricity per month but my bills aren't that high. Last month the electric bill was only $65 so that gives me a little fun money. The first part of July was spent with relatives and they fed me (thanks relatives!). I don't plan on going to the grocery store again until August.

I could buy healthier food with my money but I must admit that this month I bought candy, cookies and soda. I eat them slowly so I don't buy them every month. Last week I ate chicken alfredo with rice that I made for lunch for 3 days and pizza that someone gave me 2 days. Free food is good! For breakfast I usually eat dry cereal at my desk or peanut butter toast.

My typical diet consists of spaghetti, bread, frozen vegetables, cheese (I love cheese), raw nuts, chocolate (is that a staple?), apples, oranges, chicken, tortillas, milk and juice. I keep Mountain Dew around when I need to wake up because I don't drink coffee. I was drinking Arizona iced green tea but I am waiting for another sale to stock up. I buy the gallon jugs and bring it to work in a small bottle. I haven't gotten the hang of making this myself.

So, $80 per month is what I estimate for my food bill if I took out the soda, candy, cookies and prepared snack food. That will give me some motivation to get another job. I must have more money for my chocolate habit!


Over the Cubicle Wall said...

I've never gone as low as $80. $100 is pretty doable even with a few splurge items here and there. Free food is always appreciated!

Daizy said...

I hope to grow more vegetables if I am home with extra time to create the perfect environment. That might be too optimistic since I have failed every year so far. More shade, more water, more critter protection!

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

Yep. I have no excuse for not growing more here. Maybe next year...

judilyn said...

Daizy - RE: Chocolate - Are you acquainted with the wonders awaiting you at Trader Joe's? I get their big 17-oz. bar of Extra dark chocolate ($4.) and melt it down a few squares at a time in the microwave.

Then I pour it out thinly onto a piece of foil stabilized on a meat tray, and put it into the refrigerator. When it has hardened, break into small pieces and put in a dish in the refrigerator.

If you want a flavor, put in some flavor oil when it is melted. I have used orange and raspberry - and coffee!

Just a small piece of this will satisfy you - cheap and delicious.

Ask Paul S. about the orange-flavor! ;-> I would always have it for him when he came to visit (back in California).

Virtual hugs,


Daizy said...

Wow judilyn, and I thought I was a chocoholic! :) That is quite the system you have. My boss brought me Trader Joe's chocolate once but I don't go because it is on the other side of town. I love Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips on sale but they are still expensive. I like your idea better. btw, the Paul S. house has very good brownies. :)

judilyn said...

Actually it is my husband who eats the chocolate. I nibble at it occasionally, but it is a MUST for him! My favorite flavor is BUTTER.

There are four Trader Joe's locations in town. Maybe 4766 East Grant Road is close enough to you? We have to drive 160 miles round trip to visit the store.

Daizy said...

I think that is the one my boss goes too. If I give him money he'll buy whatever I want. He already takes orders around the office for Sunflower market and Costco. He likes to do a good deed by saving people gas.