At the beginning of January, I switched to an envelope system for my food spending. I had planned to do this in the fall, but never got around to it. I had given myself a $200/month budget for groceries and the farmer's market, and I figured I was probably in the ballpark. At any rate, after my once-a-month grocery trip was complete I parceled out the remainder of the $200 for January into an envelope and tacked it to the wall.
And by halfway through January, I was below $20. Oops.
can say that I basically made it through that month without spending
much more, but that's because I went on a ski trip with some other
graduate students and paid for food there, not out of my 'grocery'
budget. I did commandeer all of the leftovers because no one else
wanted to haul them home, but that's a small blessing.
cut back in February and March, with ~$70-80 left over at the end of
each month. I only went to 4th St Food CoOp in February, and only to
Trader Joe's in March. Usually I go to 4th St and either TJ's or Whole
Foods at the beginning of every month. I also started out saying that I
would be more careful at the market, and avoid some of the inherently
expensive foods like baby spinach.
It worked, but
almost too well. The leftover budget from February and March will last
me until May. This despite buying greens frequently. My overall market
spending has gotten cut way back, which is promising from a budgetary
standpoint and less-so from a health standpoint. I really haven't been
getting enough fruits and veggies. It's getting better now as spring
greens are coming in and there's a new, less-expensive greens stand at
the market, but I wasn't able to motivate myself to spend a lot of time
cooking winter dishes from the market.
I got lazy
about eating out, which I need to rein in for reasons both monetary and
sustainable. I also skipped meals a couple of times. Unintentionally,
but I'm still not really happy with that. Hopefully as spring (slowly)
gets in gear, I can get out of this food funk and back on the right