Sunday, October 5, 2008

cash cook challenge

Did you know I started this blog to try and blog my way out of debt in one year?

I quit blogging about money and had to give up that goal. I discovered that my goal was unrealistic and it became increasingly uncomfortable to blog about my finances on the internet. However, I did make progress and paid down one card by 30%...not 100% debt-free, but at least I didn't totally give up!

Motivated by the recent financial, um, DISASTER on Wall Street, I've been reading about finances and found a lot of interesting articles on ways to save money. None of them sound that appealing to me. Most of them require a dual income. Because I'm naturally competitive, I've decided to create my own challenge to pay off my debt. I'll post more about that later. But in the meantime, I need short-term challenges, and little perks along the way to keep me going.

My first mini-challenge will be a grocery store challenge. I looked at what I've spent each week at Publix for the past three weeks. It ranged from $30 to $50.

My goal is spend only $20 on groceries this week and try to subsist off what is in the fridge, pantry and freezer. The rules are:

1. Any food item must come from the $20 budget.
2. Meals must be healthy and balanced. This is not your roommate's ramen noodle diet.
3. Make it fun! Look for recipes and don't just rely on easy-to-cook frozen foods.

The first $4.03 of my $20 budget has been spent. Tonight, I went to Super-Target and purchased 2 Weight Watchers yogurts, 4 Dan-Active cottage cheese containers, and 1 can of Black Beans. After surveying the interior of my freezer and pantry, I've decided to make chili this week using a recipe from my WW "Pure Comfort" cookbook. Tomorrow I will make a shopping list and spend my $15.97 at Publix.

Tonight, I used 1 red bell pepper, leftover chopped onions, frozen peas, 1 can of tuna, mayo and mustard to make these stuffed peppers for my lunch tomorrow. All of which was in my fridge! Looks yummy, no? (Well, they taste good, even if they don't look super appetizing to you.)

Here's to putting my belly on a budget!


Anonymous said...

Don't be so hard on yourself! Even if you spent $40 a week at the grocery store, that would even out to a little over $5 a day for your meals! That is fantastic! -Hil

The Working Girl said...

Thanks! I had to make the $20/week because I've only got $40 for food over the next two weeks until I get paid again. I actually think I've done a great job this school year of eating most of my meals at home.

GatorGirlintheCity said...

Good for you! I got 3 chicken breasts for $3 at Publix today! That will be stretched over 2 meals for me and Jeff.

emilysuze said...

You are my idol. I don't think I could make it on $20 a week and not do ramen noodles and mac and cheese.

Chris and I are stressing about paying down our credit cards and car payments before I'm done with working for awhile. I'd like the option of staying home with baby Parker for longer than the requisite six weeks of maternity leave if we can afford it.

P.S. Chris saw the pic of your stuffed peppers and he said that they looked really yummy. A boy actually called them yummy. lol

The Working Girl said...

They were yummy! Thanks Chris!

I didn't see the chicken on sale at Publix! I would've gotten some, but I have plenty in the freezer.