$30 Challenge – Week One

We’ve had our highs and our lows this week, but above all it has been interesting. I would say by far the biggest hurdle has been the personal spending/entertainment portion of the budget. However, let’s start with something simple: the grocery budget.

Our $30 was spent on a selection of fresh veggies, as well as two bags of frozen fruit for desserts. The breakdown looks like this: Read More


Small things making big differences

I keep thinking about calories. Mostly, I think about how little we seem to know (or understand) about usefully quantifying the food energy we consume. But I also think about how the general public is taught (or not taught) about caloric measurement, individual needs, and calorie ‘burning’. That education is laughably lacking, which is sad given how important it is to understand such things.

We’re often told about a 2000 calorie diet. The assumption by many is that this is the number of calories one ought to eat in a day, somewhat regardless of mitigating factors like age, body composition and sex. As I’ve pointed out before, this number is entirely arbitrary. It was based on averaging self-reported calorie counts from a wide variety of people with widely varying needs, which is not exactly the most accurate method of data collection. Then, the value was rounded up by the powers that be in order to make calculating daily nutrient values easier.

Sure sounds scientific to me. Read More

Taking on the challenge – $30 food budget

I wrote the previous post about eating well on $25 per week ($30 Canadian), but was left dissatisfied. It’s all well and good to say a thing can be done – I can put about all sorts of twaddle about living well on less – but it’s another to practise what one preaches.

To that end, our household will be the lab for the following month, starting today. We’ll be limiting ourselves to a cash budget of $30 per week for all our food, for four weeks. Our current budget allots more than twice that much. So, at the end of four weeks (barring any emergencies or misfortune), we’ll see if we’ve succeeded at saving a bundle. Whatever money we’ve not spent will go to some type of splurge, with any remainder going into the savings account. Depending on how things go, this might become our routine.

I’ll be posting a kind of summary journal at the end of each week, keeping track of what we’ve spent, what we’ve eaten and how we’re feeling. I’m as interested as anyone to see how this turns out.

One small caveat: I have food in my house that I will be using. It would be impractical to ignore it for the purposes of a self-imposed challenge. However, what I can do is tell you what I’m using, when I’m using it and how much it ‘costs’. I’m not as fully stocked as I might otherwise be, so it’s not as though I’m a week’s-worth of shopping ahead. It’s mostly seasonings, cooking oil, some flour and maybe some yellow split peas.

Also, this may seem a bit late in the month to start, but this has been a holiday weekend, and as we all know the holidays fall outside the budget. Maybe we’ll go to the end of the first week in October to make up for it – we’ll see how we feel.

Under $25 grocery budget?

Yet again, I’ve been inspired by a YouTube video. Just this morning, I was watching a how-to by a young woman who was endeavouring to prepare a week’s worth of meals for under $25 USD. These were vegan meals, and although they were intended for one person, I think I could pull off something similar.

I don’t usually go into exchange rates, but I feel like being forgiving. At the moment, $25 USD comes to just over $30 CAD, so we’ll use that as our benchmark. Not only am I shopping for two people, but I am shopping in Canada where many things are more expensive. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.  Read More

Deciding to decide

My goal in life (at least for the foreseeable future) is to acquire as few physical possessions as possible. That includes things like books and kitchen equipment, as well as shelves, bins and boxes for storing the things. It’s a noble goal that’s more difficult to achieve than it might seem. Read More

Trusting in me

Anxiety. For most of my life, I didn’t think it had anything to do with me. I’d occasionally read a list of symptoms to see if anxiety was at the root of my psychic distress, but it never seemed to fit. The list would say things like, “Do you worry?”, or “Are you plagued by thoughts of doom?” And I would think, “No, not really.” Read More