The Finish Line

I made it to the end of the piety diet-y! I have spent less than $100 on food from August 4-31. I’ve had to adapt my shopping habits, put a cap on going out, and cook obsessively. It’s made me aware of how much food costs and what I buy on impulse versus what I really need. I barely threw out any food, except some mint and parley gone swampy. Thanks to the good will of my friends who supplemented my diet with lunches, dinners, and parties.

I never really suffered through my frugal dining. The first week was the hardest, coming up to a wall with so little to spend, craving foods beyond my reach. Variety hurts most on this budget, so in the presence of other people’s food, I got a little greedy, i.e. cheese meet mouth. I don’t think I gained weight either, surprising given my penchant for crunchy, salty snacks which can be had for cheap.

Did it make a difference? Yes, usually I get out $200 a week for spending money, about $800 a month, mostly for going out. During the piety diet-y, I got out $200 for the month. That is $600 savings which almost pays for the fridge, but not the freezer. Not bad.

Usually, I’m anxious for my paycheck, but this month I didn’t flinch, I almost forgot about it. Kind of a good feeling. I actually enjoyed the challenge of stretching my dollar. I think I’ll give myself a break next month, instead I’ll try $100 only a week, no credit credits. $100 cash for everything – food, going out, cat food, toilet paper, tchotchkes, dry cleaning, etc. A little less focused and less to be saved, it could end up being harder, but it will pay for the cooktop.

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