The $63 Challenge

by andy h on February 28, 2006

I recently saw a post at a law school discussion board where the poster was asking if his monthly expenditure of $630 on food was too much. Most of the responders indicated they didn’t think it was unreasonable. Although most of the people on that board evidently have much more money than me I can’t imagine spending that much money each month on food just for myself.

Currently I spend around $100-$125 a month on food, including frequent visits to fast-food restaurants. The post got me thinking that I could live on 10% of what that guy was spending. Therefore I am making a challenge to myself to live on a food budget of $63 for March. I will obviously have to cut back on my fast-food visits but I don’t think I’ll have a problem meeting this budget.

The challenge will be subject to the following rules, exceptions, and further explanations. I do have some food in my apartment now. I won’t be counting that food towards my expense because I will probably have a similar amount of food left over at the end of the month so that will be basically a wash. I do occassionally get free meals at my school. This will make it easier to meet my goal but I don’t get that many meals so it won’t make a substantial difference in my food expenditures. I also am doing a restaraunt mystery shop this month. I’m not counting that because I’m paid for that. It will only be for two meals so I don’t think it is cheating. Lastly I will not be counting the tax charged on my groceries. Since many states don’t charge tax on groceries I don’t feel this will invalidate my challenge. I think it is possible that I will be under the $63 figure even if I include tax.

I will post what groceries I buy and any outside meals I have. My diet probably won’t seem especially healthy but it will actually be healthier than what I normally eat. As a side benefit of this challenge I think cutting out fast-food meals and soda should help me lose some weight. I weigh 196 pounds now and will update my weight at the end of the month. I’ll post daily on the challenge starting tomorrow.

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