Learning to Budget

When it comes to spending money…I’d rather just not. 

I’m one of those crazy people who enjoys making money more than spending it, finds tracking money and creating budgets to be one of my favorite hobbies, and would rather imagine owning something than actually getting it. But I’m trying to learn how to have a healthy balance when it comes to money and how I view it. Spending isn’t wrong, saving isn’t wrong. But having a healthy balance and the correct motivation is important. 

Last month I did the math with how many meals I made and how much money I spent on groceries and discovered each meal I made cost approximately $1.66. I like to eat fairly healthy with variety and fresh vegetables, so this didn’t seem unreasonable, but I knew I could do better. (This doesn’t take into account the pantry staples I used, just the food I actively bought in January.) 

I decided for February I’d challenge myself to spend just $1.00 per meal. My pantry was still fairly stocked with dried beans, rice, pasta, a few potatoes, onions, cans of food, and a bevy of snacks. My fridge though was nearly empty except for the condiments and salad dressings that plague the door of every refrigerator. There were a couple of meals worth of veggies, but not much. 

The first week of February I was visiting family so that doesn’t count and leaves me with about sixty meals – and sixty dollars – for the rest of the month. 

Some of the items I plan on buying are: 
-Eggs (an inexpensive way to get protein) 
-Baby carrots (a healthy, delicious snack) 
-Purple cabbage (such a vibrant color)
-Lettuce (raw veggies for the win)
-Frozen mixed veggies (for soups, stirfries, etc…)

When it comes to eating inexpensively, it’s harder to do while living on my own. Growing up in a big family we always bought in bulk and went for the big bags of everything. Nowadays, when I buy a big bag of fruit or veggies it’s a race to see if I can finish it before it goes bad. And most of the time I lose. 

But there are other ways to save money. Like buying discounted produce. And making soups. And eating things that are in season. Today I was planning on going to the grocery store, but then we got a snow storm so I stayed home and made soft pretzels instead. (Which cost about $1.95 for a dozen of them, rather than buying a single one for double that price.)

Join me this month as I shop and cook on a budget, and maybe we can learn some things together.

5 thoughts on “Learning to Budget

  1. Kumquat Absurdium says:

    This is a great idea! I lived on my own for ages and I found it worked well to cook for two, then freeze the second portion for another time or ear it for lunch the next day. It was a little more economical than trying to always cook single portions, and it meant on days I was tired, I had the option not to cook 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Yes! Agreed! Except I generally cook one or two dishes and then eat them in various ways throughout the week. (Turning a roast into a stew, adding an egg to make a stirfry a breakfast food, etc…)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Girl Who Doesn't Exist says:

    I’ve been living on my own! And have really enjoyed trying to shop wisely. I also would often rather imagine owning something than actually spending money on it. Finally I realized, money and time are both meant to be spent. Prudently, of course.

    Another cheap way to eat healthily! I routinely check our Co-op dumpster and always find amazing, FREE organic produce. ;D

    MB: keturahskorner.blogspot.com
    PB: thegirlwhodoesntexist.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Well, I must say, you’re probably a bit better at finding bargains than I am. 😉 I’ve yet to go dumpster diving to find food, and currently, I’m pretty fine with that status. But good job!

      And yes, money and time should both be spent, but wisely. Thanks for stopping by!


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