Monday, December 6, 2010

Friday Night Round-Up: Week 25

This is what Memory Lane looks like when I am walking down it hand in hand with my Excel spreadsheet.

We are one-third of the way through our "Gluten Free on a Budget" project. It is time for a retrospective. Tonight I took a walk down Memory Lane with my weekly food budget. Hand in hand, ol' Excel and me.

As is plainly evidenced by this delayed writing of my Friday Night Round-Up from two weeks ago, it has taken me quite some work gathering all of the numbers for my comparison.

Now with the cold hard numbers in my hand I am astounded at how far we've come.

Allow me to reminisce for a moment as we stroll Memory Lane together. Feel free to draw up the image above as we walk.

This project has been in effect for three months - September, October and November of 2010. It began when I realized that we could not afford to continue spending money on food the way we had been for so many years. Read how it began here.

As with anything in this world, there are limits to what is reasonable and what is out of reach. We had reached our limit.

Back in August when I started out with a desire to reduce our food spending, I challenged myself to reduce it by half. Take what we had been spending on all food items, including every grocery store trip and all restaurants, and spend 50% less. Overnight. Cold Turkey. No grace periods. No easing in.

It was a harsh reality. See for yourself here.

As time wore on, I figured out a few tricks that made all of this quite a bit easier. Namely, prepare hearty healthy meals in large quantities every night and we will all be happy. Check out one of my favorite meals to date on this adventure here. This dish is so easy, so yummy and so cheap. Talk about a feeling of success!

Let's turn to the facts I mentioned earlier. I calculated a year over year comparison for September, October and November from 2009 to 2010 to establish the percentage by which we have actually reduced our grocery spending.

The overall average by which we've reduced our food spending is 47%. Honestly, I couldn't be more proud to have come that close to my goal in the initial phase of this project.

With the first trimester behind us, let's raise our glasses to even greater success in the second trimester. Thanks for journeying along with me, friends. Now drink up!

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