I broke a toe and can't afford a gym, so I'm not racing right now and need to focus on other areas of wellness, like finances and food.
We just bought a car, and we have to cut back a bit on our expenses. We found that we spend about $400 a month on groceries - this is consistent over the 18 months that we have lived in our current apartment (BTW - thanks to Mint.com for helping me figure that out so easily!)
$400 a month translates to $13 a day per person. At first glance that's not too bad. Once I look deeper I can see a major problem. Jeff and I both eat small breakfasts - half a bagel, eggs, cereal, or yogurt. The bagels sell at $2.99 for 6, which we always split in half, so we get 12 breakfast out of $2.99 - or 25 cents. Eggs are $1.49 for 6 breakfasts, also 25 cents. Cream cheese is about 8 cents, and condiments are pennies. Yogurt is 70 cents at the most.
Aside from Saturday and Sunday, we always eat lunch at work. I am provided with lunch as part of my salary, and Jeff works downtown in a very social environment and uses lunches to decompress and catch up with friends. Although he does sometimes prepare lunch at work, for the purpose of this budget, the money he spends on lunches don't count.
Alotting $2 per day for breakfast for both people (generous!), that leaves us with $11 a day we are spending essentially on dinner and snacks only.
We have a favorite greasy spoon around the corner called Mangi's, and there anyone can get a hot dog or burger, fries, and a drink for $4.95. In my mind, that fact shows that my husband and I are wasting serious money on groceries. If we could eat out every single night for cheaper than we are eating at home, something is wrong!
To challenge myself to be a better cook and a more frugal woman, I am going to try to spend only $5 a night total on the meals that I make for me and Jeff.
New monthly budget =
5 x 30 = $150 + $50-60 for breakfasts and $40-50 for snacks/drinks = $250 a month on groceries instead of $400.