April 02, 2008


Last summer Jenny at All Things Edible spent a couple of weeks on a cash-only budget. Intrigued, I've been contemplating a similar experiment ever since.

It's probably a combination of tax season and the Kitchn Cure, but I've decided April's the month. I can relate to Jenny's experience; it's far too easy easy for me to mindlessly toss unplanned items into my grocery cart, quickly converting a quick $20.00 shopping trip into almost twice that. And it's easy to dismiss the financial impact when sliding a piece of plastic through a machine and punching in a four digit code, rather than forking over cold hard cash. So I'm curious how my little experiment's going to change how I approach the shopping experience.

Again in response to the Kitchn Cure this week I'm eating primarily out of my well overstocked pantry, refrigerator and freezer, so my first trip to the grocery store was mercifully easy:

Beckmann's Whole Wheat Sour Dough Bread (16 slices): $4.29
Clover Organic Lowfat Milk (1/2 gallon): $3.59
Bananas (3 whole, 1 pound): $0.99
Top Blade Steak (1.33 pounds @ $2.99/lb): $3.98 - I'm going to go Jaden with this.

Add to that this week's CSA bounty: 12 oz mixed salad greens, 1 bunch red chard, 1 bunch pea greens, 4 whole ruby grapefruit, 2 pounds green D'anjou pears, 2 pounds golden delicious apples and 1 bunch Nantes carrots for $21.50 and the grand total for the week is $34.38, well under my average of $50 - $60 using the plastic.

Edited 4/3/08 to add a quick trip to Target to pick up a quick read thermometer for next week's Dorie challenge ($12.99) and a container for storing kosher salt ($3.49). With tax, total purchase: $17.84.

Stay tuned to see how next week goes, when I can't live as well out of the freezer.

From the archives...
In 2006 we discovered Amador County is the new Napa/Sonoma/Livermore.
In 2007 I announced the supporting cast of DMBLGIT winners.

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glamah16 said...

I just started with the Veggie box this week. I am trying to use what I have and the box.No detours on the the way home to pick up that extra item that will turn into gazillion. I think this will save me some $$$$ over time and sticking with my shopping list.

Jenny said...

Good for you!
I actually am still essentially doing the cash only, though if I don't take out my cash in advance, I limit my spending through my bankcard to what I would have taken out. And I've managed to reduce the amount I spend over time as well.
One thing I did do was to keep aside, in a mason jar actually, any money I had left over. I used it all at Christmas for all the extras that are bought then, and keep accumulating each week. Helps in a crunch, when things go over budget, to go back to that extra instead of spending into the next weeks budget!
Good luck!

CRS said...

What a great idea! You visited my blog, so I'm visiting yours--it looks fantastic!!

I love the idea, and hope to give it a try!

Half Baked said...

Great idea! I admire you for giving it a shot. It's so easy to spend without thinking. Keep us posted;)

Gumbeaux Gal said...

This is a great idea! I'd like to give it a try.