Monday, June 10, 2013

general coffers

I was nominated to be the budget-keeper several months ago and did a decent job of it for a while. I quit for some reason, probably resting on my laurels of being such a good accountant, and haven't gotten back to it. So much of it was the same from month to month that I got bored, and I suppose that I also got pretty used to what "felt" like a good amount of spending. What tends to fluctuate is what we spend on food, and since we're trying to see how much local, organic, blah blah food we can swing, I decided to start keeping detailed records of food purchasing. The spreadsheet is so much more pleasant to glance over. I much prefer reading lists that say things like 2 mangoes, 2 lbs peanut butter, 1 thing greek yogurt, chai tea, etc. to lists which say things like gasoline, electricity, student loans, etc. The personal satisfaction of a balanced budget is not a big motivation for me. Looking over the kitchen budget, one can fondly reminisce about the pizzas and cookies and lemonade and parties, whereas $54/monthly to Geico does not give anyone the warm fuzzies.

Does anyone want to hire me as a personal financial advisor? I work sort of intuitively.


  1. I'll take food lessons from you! I'd like to figure out how much local, organic, blah blah food I can swing. I've been winging it.

    1. One trick for dry staples is shopping in bulk-- not a big box of food, but a loose bin which allows you to take only exactly as much as you can use! It's perfect for a single or two-person household. Then putting that food in clear containers helps you know exactly what you have on your shelves (a confusing pantry has been a big source of food waste/duplicate buying for me in the past!) I've never been to Good Earth up in your neck of the woods, but I've been thrilled with Georgetown Market's organic bulk bins.

      I rarely buy any processed or overly packaged foods. Tortillas, crackers, bagels and bread are the main compromises, because we just can't wait around for my baking skills to improve that much.

      As I've mentioned here before, we get goat milk, cheap cuts of grass-fed beef, and produce directly from friends at church. That's probably the most economical way to do it because our friends are all just trying to break even, but it's a bit of a rural-life luxury. I've actually never been to the farmers' markets here in the city-- have you? I'm curious about the prices there.

      I definitely don't have it all figured out, but I'm optimistic that simply keeping track of my spending on Good Food is half the battle! I've been enjoying the tips recently on this blog. Check out her category sidebar for posts specifically about a realistic, frugal, healthy diet.