Saturday, April 27, 2013

Living Below the Line - Here We Go

I started planning for the upcoming Living Below the Line challenge..and talked the Brick into joining me. That means $7.50 each for the five-day experiment, for $15.00 total. Here's how it pans out:

2 pounds rice                                                                1.58
1 small package tortillas                                                .99
1 pound grated mozzarella/parmesan cheese               2.00
1 1/2 pounds pinto beans                                              1.19
1 gallon milk                                                                 1.97
1 stick margarine                                                            .25
1/2 pound coffee                                                          3.50*
1 pound carrots                                                              .79
1 red pepper                                                                   .25
1 pound onions                                                              .59
1 dozen eggs                                                                1.50

*A recheck of coffee costs squeezed out enough to have a nightly cup of tea, as well. My PG tea bags work out to approx. 5-10 cents each. (The Brick finds all this haggling and figuring very amusing.)

Figure the extra covers tax (although food is not taxed here in Colorado), and we come out close to even. We'll probably use a little salsa, which will stretch the cost, too.

    I lucked out - found the cheese, red pepper, rice and beans and noticed the eggs at my favorite grocery salvage place: The Friday/Saturday store in Arvada. This place is only open two days a week, but has an amazing array of mispriced/didn't sell/overstocked items, including fresh and frozen. We've often found upscale and unusual things there, as well. Starbucks coffee (12 oz.) was advertised at $4.99 the last time I was there, and Greek sheep's 'grilling' cheese was $2.00 for an 8 oz. package. If you're near a bigger city, a grocery salvage store should be within reach. I only wish we had access to some of the discount grocery stores around here, like Aldi's. (We do have a Grocery Warehouse, but it's far away, and quality is uneven.)
    The milk was on sale at King Soopers. We use it for coffee, and I drink a fair amount daily. (A good calcium source for keeping your bones strong, and helps temper your appetite, as well.)
     Speaking of coffee, that's a big bite out of this week's budget -- but the Brick and I do love a cup of morning java, especially Boyer's Rocky Mountain Thunder. I think the extra price will be worth it.
     One note: I won't be buying eggs. The girls are starting to rev up production, thanks to the increasing sun and warmth. Frankly, although the eggs at the store were organic for that price (an excellent one, for the Denver area), our home-clucked eggs are much better.

It's tight, all right -- no room for desserts or meat. I do think, though, that if I had this amount for a month, I could manage to squeeze in more. I actually lived on close to this amount when a college student. You have to look for sales, and watch your money like a hawk -- but it can be done. (More on this in future posts.)
     Here we go --

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