Tag Archives: groceries

December goal: money hoarding.

Money hoarding in December seems kind of counter intuitive, but considering I started my major Christmas shopping in November, I think it’s reasonable. Christmas is always expensive and even if you’ve set a budget for gifts (mine increased exponentially this year), sometimes the perfect gift appears right in front of your face… For $15 more than you were planning on spending. That being said, I wouldn’t do that for every person on my list, but it does happen and the budget needs to be adjusted rather than busted. I just have a few more people left to shop for so I’m braving West Ed this weekend (quelle horreur) to finish it off. This will be me after twenty minutes.

Grumpy cat "celebrates" Christmas. imgur.com

Grumpy cat “celebrates” Christmas. imgur.com

Needless to say, I’ll be happy to be done my shopping and out of the malls (anything else I need will be coming from the internet), and my one goal for December is to save as much as possible outside of Christmas gifts. Groceries should be better since I won’t be here for the last week of the month as I’m heading back to the West Coast for Christmas. We’re doing our mini-Christmas the weekend before I take off. I only have nine more days of work left before my (12 day) vacation!

Lord love a duck, 2013 is almost here!

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November success: we planned ALL the meals.

We did it!

Clean ALL the things!

November’s major goal was a major success. We planned our meals for the whole month. Naturally, we went out for dinner last night to celebrate. We did go out once in November, but it was on a weekend and it was a late brunch, so we didn’t count it as a strike against our goal (also it was at the restaurant of my people, De Dutch Pannekoek House, which opened recently and I really really wanted to go. So we went).

November's food spending. Yowza.

November’s food spending. Yowza.

Overall, we spent 93% on groceries and 7% on eating out. We spent more than I thought for groceries for the month ($570.49), but that’s because the numbers a) aren’t separated out into groceries vs. toiletries & personal care, and b) we had a lot of dishes with meat, which really drives up the cost of a meal. We’ll be working to get that cost down in the future by shopping more of the flyers.

I found that planning meals also yielded a lot more leftovers to bring to work for lunches (Mr. Dollars doesn’t always have access to a fridge, but I do, so if I can I bring something). I only bought lunch twice, and both times it was a soup that is utterly irresistible to me and is served only on Fridays (it’s called Wicked Thai by Campbell’s – you can’t buy it in store but if you see it in a kiosk BUY IT your stomach will thank you). Nutritionally speaking, I think our meals were WAY better than what we had been eating before, ie: crap. Just by virtue of eating at home we increased our nutritional intake immensely. Something to work on in the future is buying more fruits and veggies to snack on and making sure to incorporate them into our daily diet.

For now, we’re going to keep meal planning. We’re on a roll (we actually planned two weeks of October too, to prepare)! I’m also heading out to the coast for Christmas, so December will be a little choppy, but we’ll get back to it in January I’m sure.

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November goal: plan ALL the meals!

Remember earlier in 2012 when I was struggling to even plan one week of meals? It was on my goal list for months, yet I never managed to make it happen (mostly because of the difficulty in planning meals when you’re half living together. And extreme laziness on my part).  I’d even found an adorable template to use and I still couldn’t get my shit together. Eventually I dropped it off my goal list because I couldn’t take the stench of failure anymore.

When we moved in together, our pattern of frequent take out continued. Until Mr. Dollars suggested one day that we not only meal plan, we meal plan ALL OF NOVEMBER. Continue reading

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Living in sin: Our First Month.

We’ve made it through (almost) two months of living together! I must say, now that the stress of the move is gone I’m finding it a lot easier to relax and just enjoy myself. We also survived the IKEA trip, which is obviously a big step in our relationship. I managed to keep a pretty detailed spreadsheet of what we spent, when, where, return dates, etc, so as a Type A organizer extreme I’m pretty happy with myself.

Here’s the breakdown of what we spent to set up the apartment in September:

Small home items (door hooks, storage baskets, curtains): $270.63

Furniture (expedit shelving units, kitchen table, chairs):  $516.34

Total amount spent: $787.37

That may seem like a pretty high number, but I had some money saved for it and we basically split all the costs. I felt silly spending so much on the kitchen table ($300), but my Opa has always said to buy the best you can afford and Mr. Dollars said I should get the one I really want. So I did! It also has a really cool leaf system so we will definitely have this table for many years. I actually based the look of our dining area on this picture from Chatelaine magazine (Warning: that table is NOT from Ikea, I’m guessing it’s also from WestElm, like the chairs). Our table is a dark brown finish, and we bought two white chairs for it. It can definitely seat six comfortably, and lord knows if for some reason we have more people than that, it can fit them too.

kitchen table for two.

I’ve also been trying to keep the girly stuff to a minimum. By no means am I a frou frou pink frilly type of lady, but in my bachelorette pad, it was quite obvious that a lady lived there. We’ve yet to put anything on the walls, partly because most of them are concrete but also because my artwork involves flowers, Audrey Hepburn, and neon owls. That doesn’t mean that I can resist buying adorable flowers for the kitchen table though.

In August, I ended up buying most of the groceries (we did eat out a lot though), so Mr. Dollars has taken over that duty for September. In October, I think we’re going to aim to split the grocery shopping evenly. We’ve meal planned for a couple of weeks and when we do, it really works out well, but when we don’t, the fall back is take out. So that’s definitely something to improve upon.

All in all, for August, our grocery/personal care/cable/electricity expenses were $755.09. And again, that was without a meal plan. I bet you if we sat down and did a month long meal plan (I did that once, in January 2010 – it was awesome but a ton of work) we could really cut down on our grocery bill.

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Filed under love & money, Personal Finance

June Goals and Spending Plan.

So after May’s disaster, I’m ready to turn over a new spending leaf for June (yet again). I’ve taken out and adjusted a few goals, just so I can really focus and keep in mind exactly what I’m saving for.

Financial goals

  • Contribute $192.30 biweekly to my Emergency Fund
  • Put all “found money” toward the moving fund
  • No impulse purchases during the month
  • Record all spending in weekly reports

Personal goals

  • Prepare for the move as best I can without a firm move-in date
  • Post 2x/week on the blog
  • Keep my nails in decent shape (no biting!)

My spending plan is as follows:

  • $400 groceries
  • $200 dining out (it’s patio season!)
  • $200 hair (I’m breaking my own rule and getting my hair done here)
  • $50 wedding gift
  • $150 savings for the move

Total: $1000

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