Sunday, April 26, 2009

Surprising follow up to Thrifty Diet

During the first two weeks of March, we followed a diet of meals that were supposed to be affordable under the U.S. Department of Agriculture "Thrifty Food Plan."

At the end of those two weeks, we calculated that our food costs were $383, about 20 percent over the Thrifty Food Plan amount. I also wrote that we would continue tracking our food costs and that the difference between those food costs and the diet costs of $383 would be sent to World Vision.

We kept the receipts for March, but it's taken me a while to go through them. I can now report that our total food costs for the rest of March were a surprisingly low $543.71. This amount includes grocery costs of $437.79, which on a prorated basis is almost the same as our grocery costs under the diet. It also includes restaurant costs of $105.92.

The costs were much lower than we expected. In part, the low costs reflect some travel in the last two weeks of March where my meals were provided by the hosting organizations. The low costs also reflect our family taking it easy on restaurant meals during Lent. Even so, we were surprised at how modest the bills were.

$161 is on its way to World Vision.