$30 A Week for 52 Weeks

Week 15

Week 15
4/19/12

Lettuce, red leaf 1.19
Apples, golden 1.91
Potatoes 1.95
Walnuts, bulk 1.80
Ground beef 3.07
Oats, quick, bulk 1.42
Milk 1.99
Bananas 1.36
Sweetened Cond Milk 1.99
Cottage Cheese 1.49
Raisin bran, store brand 3.59
Angel hair pasta .98
Half and half 1.29
Sugar 1lb 1.39
Peanut butter 2.89
Tomatoes 1.21
Tomatoes, canned .79
Pearl barley 1.19
Total 31.50

Wow, week 15 already! This budget has become second nature to me. It’s not a big deal, although, I have tried to get more creative(see previous post). When my son was young and I had issues with money and had to budget, I remember doing the shopping by myself, so he wouldn’t ask me for something or see some character promoting a cereal that he just had to have. Those times in particular, when he was little, I made it a point of not taking him with me. It worked; he ate what I fixed and he was not much of a complainer, and he was a good eater. As opposed to his mother – I would take forever to eat and was very finicky as a young child.
If you have to shop with young children it can be stressful, more time consuming and somewhat cumbersome taking little ones into the market with you, especially if you’re trying to budget and calculate costs. Being able to focus helps get it done and not cave in on something you know you shouldn’t be buying. And moms do cave-in once in a while, we almost have to to keep our sanity.

I have been thinking about a realistic budget for a single person; for myself. What would a sound budget be for me with my income level? If a financial crisis happens and you are forced to live on a very strict food budget, the first items to go should be things like soda, frozen premade foods, processed snacks. You want to focus on real foods to make real meals. And if you stock your pantry with real foods, and have on hand flour, oatmeal, sugar – with those ingredients you can make cookies or a sweetbread – and oatmeal can be for breakfast, flour can be for bread. Pantry items become a priority. Pantry items are also versatile. It’s not like buying one frozen dinner – and that’s all it is. You have the power to make whatever you want with basic ingredients. It’s totally your call.

Being on this budget, I look for the solid food items and try to keep my pantry stocked. The things I do miss are flavors and spices and specialty items. I have quite a bit; I was stocked to begin with. There are just certain things I use a lot of , say curry. I am looking to fit that into my budget soon, I use it a lot. I have secret passion for Lyle’s golden syrup, I like this on my oatmeal, although, I love molasses and have been using that – pretty soon I want to be able to fit that in. What I’m thinking is that during the summer months when I’m able to stock up on produce (hopefully), I can get some of these items and it won’t crush my budget. These things that I normally would use without thinking about, I have to keep my eye on myself and not use as liberally as I would. I am really interested to see how the year turns out, as I honestly don’t think I would up the weekly amount by very much.

It’s unfortunate that great learning experiences come from adversity – things that make us angry and worry us – but at the end of the day, we’re only human and these challenges are life lessons to take with us.

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