So, quick and cheap were major criteria when looking for recipes. To give an idea, my meager take home pay was about $800 a month. Half of that went to rent for our tiny apartment in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
By the time we paid all our other bills – including his modest tuition – and put a small amount each pay period towards savings, there was very little discretionary income to speak of. In fact, we allowed ourselves precisely $2.50 to spend as we pleased.
People are often amazed that we lived like that. But we made the conscious choice to keep our needs very simple so that we could save at least enough each year for plane tickets home to visit my husband’s family.
We knew that family was something very important to us. So were were willing to make whatever sacrifices were necessary to make it happen.
As it turned out, our frugal ways enabled us to save much more than that over the next few years, so that we were able to put aside entire raises and extra earnings until we eventually had the down payment on a house.
I cannot precisely recall, but I think I budgeted about $20 per week for our grocery bill in those years. Maybe even less, if I consider the inflation that’s taken place over the decades since then.