Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Getting ready to not spend money in October

I know it's been a long time, but rather than talking about the fact that I don't deal well with change (a.k.a. moving, being home with the baby for the summer, going back to work, grad school, blah blah blah,) lets just  get right into what's going on right now. 

When I moved, I moved into an apartment with a pretty decent sized kitchen (considering it's just an apartment), but that doesn't have a pantry area. So, I now have two short cupboards that came from Home Depot that are in my dining room (though right outside my kitchen) that act as my pantry. However, this is currently what they look like: 

(Sorry it's fuzzy, I'm not on my computer that has Photoshop to fix it)

This is one of the two cupboards. I also have another actual kitchen cupboard full of baking staples. And my fridge looks about the same, though is better organized into already cooked single servings of leftovers. And my freezer has fallen victim to me discovering all the AWESOME Trader Joe's frozen rice/quinoa/multi-grain and veggie bags-o-awesomeness.

A well stocked pantry, right? The problem is that I only feed one and a half appetites every day. 

My tastes have changed at an exponential rate over the past year while I learned to be a vegetarian, learned to really cook, discovered the farmer's market (and Trader Joe's apparently), and basically stopped eating canned goods. Re-hydrated bulk chick peas and beans are a bazillion times better than the canned ones, but I didn't use up the canned goods before I switched over. And I had switched to the good organic canned stuff before I stopped eating it, so the things I have saved aren't "bad" and they also weren't cheap to stock. 

So, I've decided that (for a multitude of different reasons to be explained over a few posts) that I need to try and see how long I can go without spending any money. Yes, this included groceries too. 

So, for October, my "area of opportunity" (man, I haven't done that in a really long time) is to see how long I can go without spending money on anything (besides rent and bills and gas of course). A lot of other bloggers out there have done this, and they usually leave money for groceries. But they also usually are feeding a lot more people than I am and they probably don't have the insane amount of back stock I have. 

So, for the food part of my no spend October, I am only going to buy milk (and soy milk for me), cheese, yogurt, bread and eggs. 

Now, the goal isn't to starve myself to death. When I seriously start running out of things to eat I'm going to buy groceries. And this is NOT because I don't have the money to feed us; I'm actually doing pretty okay financially (I have over $1000 in my emergency fund for the first time EVER!). The purpose of the food part of this is to use of what I have not to see how far I can push myself. 

So, the way I am preparing for this is I'm starting to sort my pantry by when things expire so I can make sure that those which expire first go first. I'm not going to "stock up" on anything; that would defeat the point. And a thorough menu plan doesn't work for my family, but I am going to start looking to divide things into meals so I don't end up with 6 cans of green beans and no actual entrees left. 

I'm excited to see how this all works out. 

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