"Scrimpy Livin'" introductory post . For other editions of Scrimpy Livin', click .As mentioned previously, my challenge through the end of March is going to be saving as much money as possible. My method? Cutting back on grocery and restaurant spending. For more information, visit the So it seems my original plan of updating everyone with my cost-cutting progress on a weekly basis was a bit of an undertaking. As with most people, I have high aspirations and limited free time which has apparently kept me from my schedule. But I'm here now and I would love to report to you on my progress.
This whole Scrimpy Livin' thing began when we decided not to renew our lease. Chris and I were fortunate enough to find an awesome apartment to move to. It is actually the complex we had originally wanted to move to back in 2009 while planning our move from West Virginia. We ended up moving to Midland instead, but when we were shopping for apartments again in 2010, this particular location was not in our price range. Things are a lot better now with us (and the market in Austin has changed considerably) and our dream apartment is now ours. On top of that, our credit has vastly improved and we were able to sign our lease without a security deposit. That means there's no money up front and all we had to worry about was the pet deposit and administrative fees. And hiring movers, of course, which we got at a supreme discount by enlisting the help of a friend with a moving business.
Taking all of this into consideration, it seems like all my effort saving my pennies was unnecessary, but I still feel really grand about the whole experience. I have learned to manage my kitchen to such an extent that my new methods are now habits and are no longer considered an extra effort. In fact, it's hard to describe how much time and money I've saved because all of the things that I do are now so instinctual I don't think about them at all. What I do know, though, is that I've watched a lot more TV than usual, and I've had time to pack a lot of boxes without worrying about having to make dinner or go to the store for food.
I am still making bread from scratch every couple of weeks. I successfully made a wonderful sandwich bread, which Chris and I have used to make awesome panini. I've also started making rice and quinoa in big batches and freezing them in containers with 2 cups per piece. And I'm still going strong with cooking chickpeas and black beans in my slow cooker. I haven't starved Chris or I of anything we actually want, and we always have food in the house, but I'm still averaging between $30-60 for the both of us every week. I'm absoltuely loving it.
I'll be discussing some of this stuff as well as some time saving techniques during my presentation at Techmunch on March 10 here in Austin. It's been dubbed "Creating A Menu And Optimizing Your Grocery List," and will cover topics including using technology to your advantage, time saving advice for bloggers, and more. I'm very excited about it and I hope you'll consider coming to the conference if you're in the area, not just for my presentation but for all the other ones, too. After that, though, I plan on making a video sharing similar information here on the blog. A lot of people tell me all the time how difficult it is for them to eat healthy because shopping and meal planning are so difficult for them. I'd like to help change that, of course, and would love to go into more detail- maybe even write a book on really affordable, easy to manage dishes that anyone can make.
But I'd love to know if there are certain things that challenge YOU when it comes to meal planning or grocery shopping! If you're in need of advice, feel free to ask me for it in a comment. I would love to try and help.
Be on the look out for more ; I may not have a lot to say about it right now, but saving money on food is still one of my favorite topics. I'm certainly not done yet!