$30 A Week for 52 Weeks

Week 36

Week 36
9/23/12

Ground beef 3.63
Flour tortillas 2.29
Half and half 1.89
Milk 1.99
Radishes .89
Avocado 1.99
Cane sugar 3.11
Bread 1.99
Cantaloupe 2.02
Eggs 1.69
Cheese 7.99
Lindt chocolates (2) .78
Kale 1.49
Apples 2.20
Potatoes 1.06
Cottage cheese 1.35
Total 36.36

Yogurt .79
Tax .06
Total .85

Total 37.21

I see the mayor of Phoenix gave this budget a shot and lost 4 pounds. Interesting. He got by on ramen noodles, pasta and coffee. If someone is going to try this for a week, why not give it their all; do some research and find the best deals; go to the market with a list and look for a food co-op. Why not try and help out a little. Nope, a budget this tight is not particularly fun, but it is totally do-able and really, quite frankly, nothing to whine about.

I freely admit, I am flexible, but at the end of the year I will have stayed well with and below my budget – including my little indulgences at the bakery next door. Preparing most everything from scratch is a must, but a loaf of bread doesn’t hurt my budget when it’s too hot or I don’t have time to bake. (And, yes I am over-budget this week – but, watch when I post the spreadsheet).

I’m here to help. I am not about to say it’s impossible or a horrible experience. It is neither. It’s totally do-able and it has been a great learning experience. As far as buying food on this budget, it is actually, just fine. The things I’d buy more of to cook more of are items not particularly needed: spices, flavorings, cooking with alcohol, expensive nuts and oils. All of these things I am able make do with inexpensively or do without because I would rather have real food. But, quite honestly, I’m doing fine. And, I’m a real person, with a M-F, 8-5 job. Last year I had horrible ups and downs with jobs, and it was not the first time in my life. When I write on this blog, I truly write from my heart and honest to goodness experience. No joke. No experiment. Just one year of living within my means, and, I am sure it will be continued since this experience has been so valuable to me.

I’m here to simply say: Make it work. Learn. Use your kitchen to cook real whole foods, and keep that knowledge forever. This is real life, people, and, real life is not just a weekly experiment.

There’s a lot of people in this boat. We can learn, grow and move on taking valuable knowledge with us.

~Julie

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