Monday, March 2, 2009

Your Money & Your Bowels...but no football.

Mrs. Mackalicious and I have been conducting a little experiment this past month.

We took up the challenge of the leopard-print clad financial sex-cougaress herself, Ms. Suze Orman, and attempted not to eat out for an entire month. Luckily for us February is like the shortest month EVER!

"Ms. Orman are you trying to seduce me? ...No? ...Well, should I purchase this new Lexus now that I've got a mortgage and making $35,000/year with nothing in savings???"

So essentially the wife and I haven't spent a dime at any food serving establishment. You always hear people say "If you want to save money don't eat out so much and pack your lunch!" Take it from me, this is true.


What would you do with an extra $200 each month? I know it's a toughie, right? By eliminating two $30 meals each week ($60 total/week) and instead adding roughly $10-$15 extra to your grocery bill each week to cover adding one more big meal and, yourself could easily add an extra $200 to your income.

These figures were based off the Mackalicious household who is generally pretty good about eating a homecooked dinner most nights of the week, yet occasionally goes out for La Parilla or sushi if it's been a particularly craptacular day at work and we don't wanna cook.

Was it tough for an entire month? You bet. We both went through weak moments the first half of the month but once we got in the swing of things it was actually quite refreshing to sit down with each other over a fail-proof dinner. Unless you are my sister, you probably cook better than restaurants do anyway (...she found a way to smoke out her apartment by burning a loaf of store-bought bread in the oven...still wrapped in the bag of plastic).

Anyway, I was able to break my fast food-fast today at lunch by taking a trip to one of my favorite establishments...McDonalds.

If you have ever gone a long time without eating fast food, and out of nowhere you are compelled to down a Big Mac and large order of fries, then you feel my pain.

The term "massive dirrhetic blowout" really fails to embody the demon I've been exercising since 3pm...but that's all beside the point.

During this down economic cycle I highly recommend this exercise. Fortunately for me we were able to attempt this not out of necessity, but simply for the helluvit. But I am now able to rest assured knowing if for some reason I ever needed to tighten the belt on the family budget, the wife and I are more than capable.

My only suggestion would be to break your cycle with a trip to Doc Greens or somewhere...light. Otherwise you'll feel like you've got a huge purple Grimace shaped turd blocking your digestive tract.



dean said...

My wife and I have been doing something like this for a while now. We only eat out once a month (with exceptions to birthdays and or anniversaries). It's not a big stretch for us because I normally cook at home. I went to culinary school and worked in various restaurants back in the day so I can handle my own in the kitchen. Plus we live in a small town where your dining choices are very limited.

Where we cut cost was by budgeting our grocery spending. Last year we started keeping track of all our expenditures on an excel spreadsheet and were surprised at how much money we spent on groceries per month. Our goal is to reduce our average monthly grocery bill by $50. It really hasn't been that hard yet even with two kids. It makes pay attention to what you're actually getting for your dollar. Not to mention looking for coupons, buying in bulk and while on sale.

Fortunately we're not in dire straights but it never hurts to cut unnecessary spending.

Oh and you do know Suse Orman is a lesbian right? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Mackalicious said...

Ha, yeah I know Suze bats for the other team. Having a 26 yr old refering to her as a leopard print-clad financial sex cougaress is meant entirely in jest.

I live in Marietta directly inbetween 2 polar opposite Krogers we refer to as Dirty Kroger (which is on the way home) and Clean Kroger (which is where I prefer to shop otherwise). There is a website called where you can load coupons directly to your Kroger Plus Card. Not only that but if you have a hardcopy coupon for the same product Kroger doesn't consider this double-ing so you can essentially use 2 coupons on 1 product.

dean said...

I appreciate the info but unfortunately there's not a Kroger near us. We have a BI-LO (notice they don't spell it BUY-LOW 'cause that'd be false advertising) and a little Mom-n-Pop store. If I want something just a little out of the ordinary I have to go to Augusta or North Augusta.