What you really wanted to know about living on a budget…our FAQs from the week

Posted on July 1, 2011 by



So after a bloated Hump day – we were back living on a budget with a vengeance…. spending a total of $3.28 each. I think we have officially found our groove.. living on a budget becomes easier as the week goes by as you become more mindful of how much things actually cost and wastage. Wastage is a problematic sunk cost in our household my owners typically throw out food weekly – but this week they have been using everything (a combination of buying just what you need and using ingredients throughout the week).

Since it is the end of the work week, I would like to take this opportunity to answer some FAQ questions from this week:

Are we hungry? No we are not starving or suffering from malnutrition. We typically have more than enough to eat and leftovers we use for the next day’s meal.

Have you noticed much of a change in your eating habits? No we typically eat healthy – the biggest thing we have noticed is a change in breakfast – no yogurt or lattes here.

Are you lacking in any nutrients or food groups? Yes dairy – we really should have brought a gallon of milk at the start of the week and had multiple glasses a day. We usually get our dairy requirement from yogurt and lattes.

What do you miss the most? For me yogurt and snacks – I eat yogurt daily and I am a grazer (constantly eating). This week we have typically needed to make substantial meals because the ingredients we have purchased aren’t really snack foods.

How much fun has this week been? I don’t think we are not having fun – however we have realized just how much food and coffee is engrained in our social lives. In addition, if you work at home, going out for food is a great break from the office. We have definitely missed our midday outing .

What have you learnt? Buy just what you need and use it all. In addition, shop around – going to multiple location and scouring the weekly circulars ensure you can pick up some real bargains and avoid buying overpriced items.  Also I would add – if you find a hot bargain such as 1 pound of asparagus for $1.27 – change your weekly menu to work around the ingredients.

What has surprised you? Fast food is expensive. We have to drive past McDonald’s, KFC and LongJohn Silvers daily to get to the grocery store and we have discovered that we cannot afford to eat any of them. A $5 lunch meal is more than our whole budget – conclusion – people just got there because it is quick and convenient.

If you have any other questions please let us know and we are more than happy to discuss them…

As per usual here is our daily spend break down….


  • Oatmeal: $.20 each
  • Coffee: $.25 each


  • Salad: $.35 each
  • Pita: $.60 each
  • Hummus: $.50 each
  • Cucumber: $.17 each


  • Popcorn: .2
  • Free ice-cream and juice **See below


  • Homemade gnocchi (tomato, flour + egg): $.34each
  • Tomato Sauce: tomato, sage(garden), asparagus, onion, garlic: $.63each
  • watermelon: $.24each

Highlights of the day:

  • Homemade gnocchi – we made 1/2 this recipe (enough to feed 4 adults) for only $1.40.. amazing considering we can not buy fresh gnocchi at the supermarket for less than $6 http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-chiarello/potato-gnocchi-recipe/index.html
  • For $2.40 we got a whole watermelon (a 14 pounder): what makes this more amazing is that had we brough the equivalent item at Safeway it would have cost us $4.99 (and it was half the size).
  • Lisa did her good deed for the week and donated blood – that resulted in Free ice-cream and juice… a great reward for helping out

Have a great 4th of July weekend… and don’t chase too many balls!