I lived for two weeks on a food budget of $40.00, but I don’t recommend it: all I ate was grilled cheese.
I will admit that thanks to that friend at work, my workday lunches have been taken care of. This time around, however, my food budget doubled.
This was partly to do with a few items that I have to buy once every few months I needed to buy, and partly because I bought better food.
Not great food, just better than grilled cheese sandwiches (that doesn’t set the bar too high, I know).
I have resorted to an old trick that many of us have tried, out I’m sure: stretching out macaroni dinner (aka: KD).
The way that I went with was to cook up a box of macaroni dinner, and throw in either a can of chilli or a can of beef stew. It will look like this (this was chilli):
This will give you a bit more nourishment than your standard macaroni dinner, yet not increase the cost all that much.
The other upside to this is that you do not need to refrigerate either the cans of stew/chilli or the boxes of macaroni dinner.
Superstore does sell macaroni dinner by the case for six bucks but the cans of stew or chilli was a buck and a quarter (I think) per can.
Yet one of these mixed up fed me for most of each day Saturday and Sunday. I made one up for last night’s dinner and ate about half of it.
The other half I have saved and took it to work today, not for lunch, but for dinner. My plan is to keep it cool by putting it next to my container of frozen/defrosting lunch.
Then near the end of the day, I will heat this up in the microwave at work and eat it before heading home. I will then make a grilled cheese sandwich for the rest of dinner.
I will let you know how this goes, but with this plan I should be able to stretch my food budget yet still have the nourishment that I need.
I am still operating without a fridge and so far making it work. All in all everything is coming together to keep this last stretch towards debt freedom on track.
I will do what I need to do, yet I must make budget, every payday from now till October 22nd. That is no small feat, since most of my paycheque I have no control over.
I can, however, control my expenses, and control them I will.
Yet frugalness needs to be balanced against necessity, in this case nutrition. (Yes, I know I could eat better, so no lectures.)
As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!