Could you live off a $75 food budget for a month? I plan to.

And I call it, FRUTOBER.

FRUTOBER is the new death phrase.

This October I’m preparing to be ridiculously frugal. So beyond blog posts about free parties, cheap drinks, deals and everything else you’ve come to expect of me, I’m going to be regularly updating you all on my progress as I seek to spend only $75 on food.

What does this mean? No eating out. No buying drinks. No taxis. No shopping. No movies. No plays. Unless it’s free. (Or, already paid for! Hello, Hamlet with Jude Law!)

Other than Hamlet in the middle of the month, what the hell am I going to do to entertain myself?! Because I can’t be boring (I did that for about 20 years. C’mon, people) I’m allowing myself a nice $25 “party budget.”

This is mostly because I don’t want to be cheap - so the $25 will, circumstances allowing, go almost exclusively towards bartender tips at open bars my friends and I attend.

Questions and Answers about Frutober

Why October?
Because in order to do this right, I needed to mentally build up to it. In the middle of August I decided this monetary experiment just had to happen, and September was too soon. (I also had a few trips already planned…heh.)

What the hell do you have to look forward to? You’re gonna be so bored.
Well, I have tickets I bought in July to go see Hamlet, starring Jude law, in the middle of the month! And um, besides that, I am going to reward myself on Halloween by not restricting anything. I’m not gonna go and blow 100+ bucks, but I’ll make it a normal night out.

Also, I plan to take advantage of my tanning and gym memberships, which I pay for monthly and barely use, but for some reason can’t give up.

How is spending only $75 possible?! Katharine, an average Midtown lunch is over $9.
Um, I’m cooking. Everything. If you do the math, I’ll be spending about $2.40 a day on food.

The idea here is to use up food that’s hanging out in my cupboards and freezer (although I don’t plan to eat anything expired). Think mostly lentils, some pasta, rice, and uh, hot pockets. Yes, I will be righteously abusing Stiles Farmers Market.

Also, I’m going to fast/do a cleanse for 3-4 days, although I haven’t decided when yet.

Wait - why are you doing this, again?
Sigh. I didn’t really tell you why yet.

If you regularly follow my blog you understand that I write about free, cheap and fun things to do in NYC. People think that I save so much money, but I really don’t. I’ve read my share of money self help books, and while I understand the principles I’ve had the hardest time making them a reality. I do a lot of fun things, but I don’t really save much money.

Basically, my debt is out of control. I want to see how much I can pay in one month.

Lets also be real – Halloween is October 31. Eating this way plus working out to fend off boredom will help me lose somewhere between 5 and 8 pounds (I hope).

October Hacks
Honestly, I’ve got to keep this kind of interesting. Here are my October Budget “Hacks” so it feels a little more like a game than like hell:

--Any change I find can be spent on top of the $75 food or $25 party budgets, unless it’s from my change bowl at home (I also can’t steal – dammit).
--Free food at work is free, baby.
--I will not ask anyone for anything, but if someone offers me free food, drinks or whatnot, it’s not against my rules to accept. But I will NOT become a food-digger. (Like a gold-digger. Get it? hah hah. You can hold me accountable in my blog posts.)
--If in the really off chance I sell something, I can spend only half of the money made. The other half goes into my savings account. (Doubt I’ll be selling anything, but who knows.)

There you have it folks - over the next month you’ll be seeing a post every day or so about my progress. The posts will not be an extreme food diary, but more of a recap on what went well (Ramen for lunch! Carrots for dinner! I didn’t go to Express and charge $100!), and what went wrong (the guinea pig ate my salad when I wasn’t looking! My friend bought the dress I want from Express and now I hate her!)

And stop crying, because yes, I’m still gonna post things you would find useful that’s, circumstantially, useless to me.

Wanna play?
Oh – you want to get in on the fun? OK then! Email me at nycrecessiondiary AT and let me know if you’re following my plan, or making one of your own. Lets blog about it together! Send me the link to where you’re blogging. This could be cool.

Ahoy! Now I must go scavenger me-self some foods.


Anonymous said...

i'll buy that Express dress, and you can borrow it. :) so proud! i know you'll do it.

BS said...

i cant wait for the suffering to begin
(evil chuckle)

SARAHSPY said...

good luck with your project! seems like a worthwhile experiment. :)

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