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$21 Challenge Wrap-up August 17, 2010

Posted by tuimeltje in food.
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So I had a go at not spending more than €16 on food for a week.
Turned out to be fairly easy and I don’t think I even spent all I could even though I subtracted some for using spices I already had. I’m not sure, but I probably could’ve gotten away with subtracting the oil allowance as well.
I’ll still have to adjust my shopping list, at the very least for that stupid nata de coco purchase, so I should maybe do that before making such claims.
Anyway.
Not only did I (probably) spend less than I could, I actually have a fair bit of the foodstuffs left. Two tomatoes, about half the carrots, a good bit of the rice, a decent amount of yellow split peas, one bell pepper, the tomato paste and passata…
Part of this is due to my shoddy and not-very-varied cooking, no doubt, but still. €16 actually buys me a fair bit. If I ever learn to apply budgeting, trying to get by on €10/week might be an interesting challenge.

I’m honestly not sure how much I learned about living within a very restricted (food)budget.
Sure, I examined my privileges for a bit, but for the most part I was already aware of them and I’ve known just how much of a lucky bastard I am for a good while now.
The mild annoyance of having to watch what I bought, not giving in to those “want” was interesting and makes me realise how tricky it can be to stick with a budget, especially long-term, especially if it’s by necessity rather than choice, but I still have no clue what it’d be like to have to live like that for a good while rather than choose to for a week or so. Especially not if that life also involved feeding other people besides myself, while also raising those people all the while having a good go at some job or other.
Still, I’m very glad I participated. It’s good to know how little you can get away with, and having a little taste of how some people live and think on your own luck is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

This week I’m having a go at not buying groceries at all* and preparing meals only using foods I already have. This will hopefully balance out my tendency to buy foods that seem handy but end up not getting eaten for a good while.

*except perhaps a loaf of bread. I’ve not yet decided on that one. I might also buy some foods for the weekend as I’ll be spending it at some group acco with a bunch of people I don’t actually know and who may well be overwhelmingly omni and unsure on what to feed a vegan. Best to be prepared.

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