My One Week Test in Frugality

by Matt B

A guy I work with (who frequents Financial Methods) and I were talking at work today, and he pointed out to me that I have not yet pushed frugality hard enough. He is right. I have written a small number of articles on frugality, and should focus on it more. (See: Discipline While Shopping and Frugal or Cheap).

One of my bigger flaws is my practice of frugality. However, as previously admitted, I am cheap. My co-worker, on the other hand is both. He knows what he wants and needs and spends not a penny more than necessary to get these things. I on the other hand, am more impulsive. For example, when I am hungry, I will go to the grocery store and purchase what I want then, instead of planning meals ahead and saving money in the process. He will stock pile the items that will last a long time after buying them on sale.

Honestly, I could write an entire series of posts on him. He is a character, and his money management practices could teach us all some lessons. (Both good and bad). Today, I am not going to do that, instead, I am going to set up a test for myself. Our next grocery shopping trip will likely be tomorrow evening. I am going to have a solid list to stick to with pre-planned meals and plan to stray from the list as little as possible. During this test, I will purchase lunch for all of next week.

I PROMISE that I will not eat out for lunch at all. Excessive lunchtime restaurant dining has cost a ton over the past few weeks, and after actually doing the math it hurts even worse. After reviewing online banking, here is last week’s lunch bill.

Monday $8.36
Tuesday $8.36
Wednesday $6.18
Thursday $5.94
Friday $8.36
Total $37.20

$37.20!! Are you serious? Well, after the lunch numbers are in for next week, the difference will be staggering. I’m shooting for a total of between $15-20 for the whole week. It’s time to start improving on practicing what I am preaching, and this will be a good test for me to see if I can budget within my goals and practice frugality simultaneously. Wish me luck.
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Miranda April 3, 2009 at 9:08 am

Good for you! You don’t have to completely deny yourself, but some steps toward frugality are important. At any rate, when we started using a grocery list and planning meals at our house, we cut our grocery bill by about $40 a week. That’s $160 a month! Not too bad. And now that my husband is taking his lunch to work (like you), we’re saving another $25 a week. And the food we eat is healthier, so that will have benefits as well.

solid4ever April 3, 2009 at 11:44 am

more importantly…what are you eating the same of three times a week that costs 8.36?

The triple prime burger from Ruby Tuesdays?!?!

Heyagainlando April 3, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Zaxby’s fried chicken…..mmmmmmm.
It’s my kryptonite.

girl April 9, 2009 at 8:50 am

this week he’s taking snacks to work in spongebob squarepants tupperware containers.
true story

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