A blog about spending wisely in your twenties, with advice on everything from cooking to saving money on gas; how to teach yourself to save money instead of spending it, traveling without breaking the bank, and much more.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Lost in the Supermarket

While I tend to shop for groceries at the stores with the lowest prices and to prepare my food at home rather than eating out, I've yet to develop a system for grocery shopping. Some months I spend as little as $25, and others I'll spend upwards of $200. Over the past few months, I've managed to put away a hibernation-worthy stash of ingredients, all of which could be used to feed me over the next month. I've got lentils, chick peas, pasta, a billion cans of tomato in various forms, vegetable boullion cubes, carrots galore, a full spice rack, pretty much everything I need for baking, even a box of soy milk and a box of chai concentrate, plus much more.

After reconciling my accounts for the month (I LOVE the last day of the month, but more on that tomorrow), I began to despair at just how much I've spent on groceries in the last month. ($203.64, including dinners out). I was able to bring in a lot of extra income last month, but this month between going back to school and choosing to see my significant other rather than working until 2am three or four nights a week, my income is going to be significantly lower. So rather than bust my ass trying to sell EVERYTHING I own on ebay I'm going to try to hang onto as much of my money as possible. More on exactly how I'm going to do that tomorrow, but the main avenue for savings in April is going to be Not Spending on Groceries.

Luckily, I get one small meal a day at my job when I'm working. It's not the healthiest meal (I work at a much-beloved by the natives California drive-thru burger place), but it is pretty much the only meat I ever eat. I'm a quasi vegetarian. My boyfriend is vegetarian, by the time I'm home from work I do not want to look at meat no matter what it is, and eating semi-vegetarian is cheaper for me.

On Thursday I'm heading to the Farmer's Market to pick up some fresh veggies, but other than that I'll be eating from my current food supply. I'll be keeping track of my meals and the ingredients I'm using (and of course I'll post my recipes, or link to the equivalent online if I've used one from a book). At the end of the month I'll take stock of how well I ate- hopefully it will give me a framework to develop a streamlined mealplan upon.

Not to mention, I'll know what to keep in stock at home in case zombies ever attack and I can't leave the house for several months.

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