I remember thinking as I read through their stories that I could do that better, or easier, or longer.
Well, here I am. Broke, newly moved, and almost totally without food. Like those who came before me I've got some rules, but unlike those before me I'm not doing this to help anyone else. This is all about my grocery bill. If other people can afford to/ have budgeted/ want to donate because of this, great, but I'm just trying to eat. So onto the Rules.
- I get 365 dollars for the whole year (that's 1 a day)
- I start Valentine's Day 2010, and end (hopefully) 13 Feb. 2011
- Free food is free- This includes occasional lunch from dad and overwhelming zucchini bounty in August.
- Vitamins don't come out of this money.
- If I lose more than 15lbs I have to either increase the money per day or stop altogether. (I am @ 130 now, 115 gives me a BMI of 17)
- If I hit the Powerball jackpot, this ends. Right away. Same with any other large chunk of money.
- Just because some people don't have access to someplace is no good reason not to shop there. Costco is in, as are World Market, Whole Foods, the local veggie shop, Asian market, and Dollar store.
- I do not, will not, and never will again shop at Walmart.
- The money will be split into 6 month chunks- $182.50 every 26 weeks.
- $104 will be held back from the first 6 month's money to provide veggies, fruit, and random wants.
- weekly money will be portioned out one $20 bill, or 5 weeks, at a time.
- $1 each week will be used for larger monthly purchases- stuff like juice, onions, bagged fruit, spices, or carrots
- $0.50 a week will go into a fund for splurge items
- $2.50 is left each week for picking up fresh fruit and veggies. Any money left over at the end of the week carries forward, as does food.
- $78.50 will be available at the beginning for picking up staples- rice, flour, beans, that kinda stuff.
- Water is covered by my rent, as is electricity, so those costs don't come out of this.
- The food will be 100% plants, because that's what I eat.
- Veggies and fruits must be less than $0.50 a pound.
- Anything more than $0.50 a pound must come wholly from the splurge fund- ex. If lemons are 3lbs for $2, if I only have $1 in the fund, I can't get them.
- Monthly bulk stuff is exempt from this rule. If onions are $1.59 for 3lbs, I'm not going without for a month.
- I will eat at least 2 meals a day, everyday.
- I have to at least attempt to have 1 serving of fruit and 3 of veggies every day. (I hate fruit)
- Anything eatable I already have is fair game.- Right now this is 3/4th's of a tub of earth balance, two cans of chickpeas, and a can of pinto beans.
I'm sure I'll miss piles of nutrients, and that there are ways to do this even cheaper (grinding my own grain comes to mind) but I have to work with what I've got. And what I've got is not a lot of money, a crock pot, and a landlord that I doubt is going to let me put a garden in his nice muddy back yard. If he does, veggie swaps with people who can grow stuff I can't for stuff they can't will be sure to show up.
Again, I'm doing this for my budget, not to save the world. If I open my door and the money fairy hands me a huge pile of (legal, not stolen) money, this ends and I eat chocolate and take away forever. Until then, I might as well have fun being broke, right?