The first week of my food blog I had a panic attack after seeing how much a vegetarian lifestyle could cost me. In the end, the extra shopping evened out with the cheaper meals out, but it still made me think more about expenses. If it’s one thing I can always justify it’s a good meal, which usually means I go over my food budget by $100-200 in a bad (or delicious) month.

So September, I’m trying something new: to stay under budget. For me, that’s would be $400. I usually divide this up between groceries and eating out—but this month I’m going to do something different. The idea is to spent no more than $10 a day—that’s $300 for the month–and then have an additional $25 each week that work as a buffer.

$10 seems really low—I spend that much for lunch—so to be successful I’ve already started working out some ground rules:
1. Bringing lunch to work, and including homemade items like hummus, sandwiches, and cheap items like yogurt, granola bars, and fruit.
2. Hearty Family style dinners that will last for 2-3 leftover meals. (I’m thinking pastas, rice dishes, etc. instead of meat and sides).
3. Less Alcohol/Soda. I have a separate ‘Amusement’ budget for going out—but when you’re strapped for a cash even a $2 coke will cost you dearly.

…plus anything else I can come up with by September 1. Do you have any tips for me? Any good cheap-and-delicious recipe sites I should check out? Let me know in the comments…

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