Year 5 of $56 in February

Well, $56 in February started yesterday – or should I call it $56 in Februarch, since the four weeks will run through March 3? Nah, I’ll just keep it to $56 in February – it’s easier that way. For any new (ha!) readers who don’t know what $56 in February is, here’s a quick rundown.

Who: Me and Chad
What: Spend $56 on food for four weeks
Where: At home, going out to eat would decimate our budget
When: Beginning yesterday, February 5 through Saturday, March 3 (four weeks)
Why: Ahh – the juicy question. This is an exercise in mindfulness. We do this to remind ourselves that many people around the world live on much less. We do this remind ourselves not to waste our resources and our good fortune. We do this to remind ourselves of the difference between want and need.

This year the rules are much different. This year, everything we had in the house as of Friday, February 3 is free. In the past, I would have considered this cheating, but then again, this is the first year we’re planning on moving to China in five (oh my!) months. A few months ago I did a decent job of cleaning out the kitchen of food that was so old as to be inedible, but there was still some good stuff left. Like half a large bag of red lentils, one single frozen chicken breast hanging out in the freezer for six months. Add some rice to that and we’ve got a great meal of the week. I’ve deemed these items as free because I want to make sure I use them up before we leave, and I don’t want to add to the pile by buying in bulk to save a little money during February (which is what usually happens). We also don’t want to waste anything (almost finished turkey lunch meat, quarter bottle of milk) just because it wouldn’t fit in our budget. Preventing wastefulness is a key tenet for $56 in February, so it works.

Because of this pantry cleaning rule, we’re going to come in under $56 for these four weeks. I’m personally shooting for $45, but we’ll just have to wait and see. Who knows, maybe I’ll even be good about blogging this year. :-)

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5 thoughts on “Year 5 of $56 in February

  1. A'Dell

    This is so cool, I totally remember you doing this last year. The permalink to the grocery list from last year is broken…think its fixable?

    I would LOVE you to blog this one.

  2. Lauren

    So interesting! Found you through a link from A’Dell. I would also love to see you blog this.

    My church is encouraging people to participate in “First Fridays for Food Security,” in which, on every first Friday of the month for one year, you eat meals that cost only as much as the amount allotted for a family of your size under the USDA Modified Thrifty Food plan. But for my family of three, that’s still $15.54 for one day! Doesn’t seem like much of a challenge at all compared with what you’re doing.

    I’d love to hear how it goes!

  3. Beth

    Good change in the rule — considering all the rest. :) I know that I don’t have to “wish you good luck” because you two have done this before. :)

    Take care. Love you both.


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