Sunday, August 10, 2008

My $8.70-A-Day Food Budget

Readers may notice that my budget doesn’t include typical items like groceries, gas and other discretionary items like entertainment, clothing and vacation.

Groceries (including non perishable items like toiletries and household items), gas and discretionary items are included in my $500 Amex budget since I purchase everything with that card.

I’ve estimated that I fill up my car twice a month and it costs about $65/tank, or $130/month. I try to limit my food/discretionary spending to $270/month so that I can put aside the excess $100 into my vacation fund.

That leaves me with $8.70/day for groceries and entertainment. I’ve pretty much had to give up my 3 biggest loves: fast food, potato chips and beer.

Forget about going to movies, since it is now a luxury I can't afford. I also don’t drive anywhere on the weekends unless necessary.

I’ve successfully stuck with this budget for the past few months but it’s been so hard.

I try to see this as a blessing in disguise since it is forcing me to eat healthier. But I still often go to sleep wanting to stuff my face with burritos and beer.