Living on $360 a month
One of the interesting skills that i have developed while here is budgeting out my monthly living expenses on the $360 spending limit we have.
Fortunately postage stamps, phone calls, music and email stamps are not part of that spending limit. above and beyond the $360 limits, we can purchase up to 140 stamps, 300 minutes on the phone and unlimited email stamps and music each month.
we have a really nice commissary here. on average i eat 10 of the 21 meals each week in my cell and skip the chow hall. (liver night, no thank you) we can buy packaged meats (chicken, beef, sausage, bacon) rice, beans, breads, cheese, oatmeal, ceral and quite a few other options. we also can purchase some fruits and vegetables watch week including avocados, tomatoes, lemons, onions and apples. occasionally we treated to mangos and cucumbers. there is also a bevy of chips, cookies and even ice cream, although i have tended to bypass those for the most part in my quest to get healthy.
the other benefit i have is called hobby craft. i have access to purchase art supplies, drawing supplies, mechanical pencils, templates for drafting and many other craft supplies.
my typical monthly budget consists of $40 to hobby craft supplies, $30 of coffee and milk, $40 in other drinks, $40 in tithing to supply new arrivals with the essentials (soap, toothbrush, deodorant) and the rest in meal materials.
not having a refrigerator and a food storage bin that is 24″x18″x12″ means that organization is key, as is weekly planning of what to buy.