Tuesday, March 3, 2009


So I abandoned Mint.com and switched to Quicken Online

for the simple reason that Mint wouldn't upload my bank account. So... I'm using Quicken, and absolutely shocked at where our money is being wasted spent. If you don't have a finance managing website, or software, or something, you should get one. It will make you realize just how lazy and/or reckless you just may be in your spending habits.

I had been reading a blog by a guy on CNN who was living a month on "food stamps". (AKA assigning himself the maximum monetary allowance for one person). So, basically he was living on $176 a month for one person. At first I thought, "wow, that's crazy, he's making REAL sacrifices to show how less priviledged people live." And then, today I saw just how much my husband and I spend in a month on groceries. I'm too embarrassed to tell you the actual number, but it was high. Way high. And I've been thinking to myself, Hey-- you can probably do better. A whole lot better. So I've been looking up cheaper recipes and searching for way to improve our food budget without hurting-- and hopefully helping-- the health quotient of what we've been buying. As a result, I've decided to analyze the things we cook for dinner at night to see what it cost and how we could improve-- both health-wise and budget-wise.

So, here goes. I apologize in advance because I threw away my receipts from the store this week. So I'm just estimating from what I can remember.

Tuesday March 3: One-half pound extra-lean ground beef: $4.08 for a one-pound package, so $2.02 for a half-pound; one box of Kraft Macaroni thick 'n creamy: $1.75ish? (Here, I probably could have bought store brand but I couldnt' find the thick 'n creamy style and I like that better.); one-half cup of milk: maybe $.15? I don't know how much milk is a gallon, but we buy it in quarts or half-gallons which are more expensive by volume. If we don't, though, the milk goes bad before we drink it; Two tablespoons of margarine-- Again, a quarter? maybe? No clue, honestly; half of a cantaloupe at 2/$3.00, so $.75.
Today's Dinner Total: $4.92. I don't think that's so bad, really, for two people. We didn't have any vegetables, though, so in theory I could have thrown in another buck or two for broccoli or salad.

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