I have always been an extremely cheap consumer, partially because I don’t like “wasting” money and also because it’s a fun practice. Groceries are something I especially like purchasing cheaply: eating food based on what’s cheap exposes you to new foods, and actually makes shopping more interesting. Living the student life on my own I’ve started to wonder how little can someone spend on groceries, and still eat okay.

The Project

For the next few months, I’ll try testing this out (for science, of course). Here are some details to add context to the project:

  • Minimize monthly grocery bills
  • Eat decent (health-wise) foods. So that means I won’t be eating Kraft Dinner and instant noodles for a month. Obviously “healthy” is subjective, but the best I can say is that it will be reasonable.
  • Purchase food to eat for one person (you can probably expect slightly cheaper costs per-person with more people)

Another important point is that I will not be including restaurant and fast food bills. At the end of the month I will tally up the number of meals I ate that were not on the monthly bill and extrapolate the costs. I’m doing this because the purpose of the project isn’t to actually save money, but to see how much money can be potentially saved (saving money is a bonus).

The Dane Factor

With the project details out of the way I should mention some things about myself that will affect the outcome of the project:

  • I don’t really care what I eat. I really like eating, but I’m hardly picky. Eating the same tasteless food for a week is okay with me!
  • I don’t know how to cook. My skills are limited to chopping and putting things on a frying pan. You probably won’t see me make anything more complicated than that.
  • I don’t like spending time preparing food
  • I don’t have a car, so all groceries I buy are brought home by bus, or by bike (when it gets warmer)
  • I can eat huge amounts of food when it’s in front of me, at the expense of feeling terrible for the rest of the day

I’m definitely not an average food consumer, so a lot of my observations won’t be applicable for a normal person. But I think it will still give a nice idea of what is possible when it comes to spending less on food.

The Report

I’ll be (hopefully) updating this blog with monthly progress reports, and all the sick dirty deals I find. Maybe I’ll even put something nice together at the end of the project.