One of my old high school friends is an avid blogger, and now blogs about 1-2 every day. I asked her: “how do you come up with so many things to right about?” She is super insightful and always addressing different areas of her life and giving or asking for great advice. Recently she moved to DC and is now struggling to live here on budget. I have been doing this for the past three years (Yes, I have lived here for four, but the first year I lived off of AU’s meal plan and the accompanying eagle bucks… and the occasional 50 thrown to me by my parents or the parents of kids I babysat). IT IS HARD LIVING HERE ON A BUDGET! First of all, depending on where you live, it is likely you will be within three minutes of a starbucks which will lure you in with the following phrases: “you studied so hard today, it’s ok to spend four dollars on a tall skinny caramel macchiatto” OR “you have a job, one day this four dollar coffee won’t seem so bad” and of course, the favorite: “you can’t sit in here and study / steal free wifi if you don’t buy anything”.

The next big issue that I grapple with daily is the supermarket. No matter which direction you leave my apartment, the only supermarket within a mile is whole foods. Now, I love whole foods and I have committed to buying organic milk, organic yogurt and organic eggs, but you can’t afford a whole shopping experience there living on a babysitter’s salary. Certainly there are things I try to buy there like fruits, because the organic version is hundred times better for you with items with soft outer shell like strawberries (see dirty dozen). Really though, I can’t do it but Safeway is just so far and you have to take the bus there. Finally, the thing that gets you in the city is the food available everywhere ALL THE TIME. It’s eleven right now and I kind of want crepes or tabouleh or pizza or wings. I can get all four without having to move from the couch. Meh, it’s going on the credit card, it’s only ten dollars (before tax, tip and delivery fee).

You get my point. It’s hard. I have recently kicked most bagged/boxed items out of my daily snacks. Pretty much only wheat thins, popcorn, triscuits and goldfish remain. So I have turned to fruit for snacks and it’s expensive. I mean, it’s totally more worth it than the over priced coffee, but still. In thinking about my friend’s post, I tried to come up with some reccommendations. How do I keep my food budget under 50 a week (sometimes even thirty).

  1. Always take food from parents while you are home. I usually grab boxed rice, pasta, peanut butter and ground coffee. If I am feeling ambitious and driving I go to my grandmother’s and casually mention I am running low on paper goods and she opens a closet where they come pouring out of. (Why she finds the need to buy them every time they are on sale I am not sure…)
  2. When you go out with a large party also casually mention you love left overs and then put them in the freezer.
  3. Buy the cheap fruit – BANANAS. I will put bananas in cereal, smoothies, protein shakes, bread with peanut butter. This also leads to the name of this post. Watermelon seems really expensive (8 dollars for an organic one at WF) however if you properly cube a watermelon (see youtube) you can get 7 tupperware containers of cubes. This is a snack for me for a week.
  4. Cut coupons. I need to start doing this more.
  5. The ten for ten at Safeway does not require you to get ten items, but merely pay one dollar for an item as long as you have the card. AND WHY WOULDN’T YOU HAVE THE CARD!?!
  6. Decide what you won’t settle. (For me, this is mostly dairy items and the dirty dozen).
  7. Don’t forget that wine is an essential grocery but should not be included in the budget. It’s for sanity.


Image XO


~ by Meels on Wheels on June 14, 2012.

One Response to “Watermelon”

  1. ok that’s it, I just spent over an hour at work reading your blog not realizing you were and have been blogging. You are officially added to my google reader. bam!

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