Budgeting 100: Solving the Food Problem

Bottoms Up

I was going to title this Budgeting 101, but then I realized I don’t know enough yet to start at the beginning level. I need an additional course. So in my struggle to save money I’ve noticed that the biggest budgeting issue is food. You can’t go without food. Fall clothes maybe for a few weeks, but not food. So I started to pick up tricks to save on meals and thought I would share. You’re welcome.

  • Beans, Beans, they’re good for your heart – So I’ve realized that apparently not everyone eats a lot of beans. I don’t know why. They are delicious and non-meat eater friendly. More importantly, they’re cheap. And I’m talking about the ones in a can. and Not the ones in a can from a delicious secret recipe. I mean store brand, generic label canned beans. These are about the only thing you can and will find in New York for under a dollar. I’ve begun taking beans to work. We have a cafeteria so I can spends under $2 a day getting extras from the salad bar to mix into my beans. Delicious and cheap considering I used to spend $5 – $7 on lunch everyday it’s definitely an improvement. Of course once I move, and am able to cook I will think of better lunches where I can hopefully cut out that extra $2 a day. Man do I miss meal plans
  • The most important meal of the day – Okay. This is honestly the smartest thing I’ve ever thought of in my life. I have never been a breakfast every morning type of person. But when you get paid hourly and try to break up each day with a late lunch you have to eat something in the morning. And as delicious as New York bagels are, they aren’t budget friendly. Obviously oatmeal is quick and easy. Otherwise they wouldn’t make oatmeal packs in a bajillion different flavors. HOWEVER, you can do better than buying the prepackaged oatmeal. Instead, I’ve starting buying a canister of of quick oats, ziplocks, sugar and salt. This way you can make your own oatmeal packs and take them to work. The first week I also added in craisins but craisins cost money….so no. If you’re not a fan of oatmeal, you can also buy a big container of yogurt for the week and store it at work. Of course this is assuming you’re job is as awesome as mine and you have a little kitchen area. If you don’t I guess you can always wake up early and do this at home.
  • When snacks attack – I don’t know about you but I eat all of my snacks over the weekend. Seriously. If I buy them on Saturday, they’re gone by Monday morning. This is a problem. I honestly think if I stopped buying them I could save money for better, more filling foods. If only Birthday Cake Oreos weren’t so delicious.
  • The ultimate budget buster – And this is where I fail. Going out is expensive. Buying drinks is expensive. And tipping? Expensive. I really need to be better at this but I guess when I save so much money during the week I can justify my weekend splurges. Although I keep thinking about how many new clothes I could buy with each margarita 😦 

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