$100: A food experiment

I have a confession. I spent entirely too much on food. It's a common myth that vegetarians and vegans spend more on food than non-vegetarians and vegans. Unfortunately I am doing nothing to show that this myth is false.

I don't need the faux meats or the fancy flours or the newest "vegan" labeled cookies. I just choose to buy them and it's getting a tad out of hand. I also love to cook so when I make a menu for the week I don't usually pay attention to the fact that I need 15 ingredients for each dish and none of them use the same ingredients.

A new kind of brown rice pasta (my new fav, by the way)? I must have it! Cherries are only $2.50 a pound? Who cares that I'm buying 7 pounds. I only have enough bread to last a month. I must buy more lest I run out! A new sauce I've never seen! I'll get one in every flavor! You can see how this would result in a larger than necessary grocery bill.

While I was out of town last week I had to stop by Trader Joe's to stock up. We aren't awesome enough to have a TJ's yet so it was a requirement that I stock up. When I got home and was unpacking my haul I realized I had no place to put my purchases. My pantry is stuffed with food. I could fee a family of 4 for 2 months, I'm sure. This is when my experiment was born.

For the next 30 days I will see if I can get by on only spending $100 (or $25 a week) on groceries. I realize I'm cheating a bit because I have a lot of staples already; pastas, rice, cereals, canned beans and other things I can utilize. But I figure I had that stuff before and I was still going out and spending an ungodly amount on food. The $100 will only include food and not things like cleaners or diapers or dog food other items I sometimes buy at the grocery store, just food for of the people variety.

I'll keep my receipts and detail out what I spend and post here. I'll also keep track of our meals for the next month and post those also. If nothing else, I can prove that it's not expensive to eat well (I hope). Also, the extra money can go toward my impending vacations.

If you have any advice, I'd love to hear it.


She Likes Purple said...

I'm so eager to see how this goes!

One thing I'd really like to get better at is planning my meals around what I already have in my pantry/fridge/freezer. I too just select recipes regardless how many new ingredients I have to buy. I need to get better about being cost efficient with my menu.

More money for vacations, whoo!

Juanita said...

good luck let me know how it goes. Get a coupon book Ive heard you can cut your bill in half. my sister in law uses a coupon binder and uses the double and triple coupoon ads and says she has cut her shopping bill in half. Im getting a binder and I'm going to try it. I'll let you know if I cut some of my bill.

Kristabella said...

Good luck! I don't think I could do it and I'm just buying food for me! I swear, healthier food costs more money!

Although, I could probably do it if I shopped in more than one store, like Aldi or one of the produce stores here that have fruits and vegetables way cheaper. So if I wasn't so lazy!

Can't wait to hear how it goes!

Jess said...

We are the same way. We spend on food without really paying attention. We could cut way back, but so far we haven't tried to. At some point we probably should.

MommaMo said...

Sadly, I buy a good amount of food to prepare every meal at home every night of the week, then somehow we end up eating out three times a week for dinner. So not only am I spending money on food to cook, but triple that cost on food cooked for me while dining out. If I actually tracked my spending, I could have had a few vacations to Europe by now. Argh. Yet another thing to get better at. Let me know what works (and what didn't work) for you.

MommaMo said...

FYI - I have a new shopping technique that I am trying out. Check out the details here - inspiredvegans.blogspot.com.