Friday, April 13, 2018

TGIF #5

Happy Friday everyone! The last 2 weekends of April are going to be pretty busy for us, so we are doing absolutely nothing this weekend, and I can't wait. Might do some spring cleaning.


Thankful - for friends made through blogging and care packages. Thank you Erin! The lollies lasted less than 48 hours and I felt sick but happy afterwards.


Grocery budget update - we are not even halfway through the month and we are *this* close to our grocery budget, which means we can't buy much for the next 2 weeks if I want to actually stay under the budget I've set. The reason we are super close to it already is that I wanted to try and meal plan for an entire month, but then KC and his spring break foiled my plans (it's useless to meal plan when he's off) so I just did 3 weeks. We can still buy things like milk or produce, but other than that, we should use what we have and not go over our budget.

I looked through the fridge, freezer and pantry, recorded how many of each type of meat we had, any sauces or packs I wanted to use, and staples we needed (none because I am a hoarder but I still bought some because I'm a hoarder), then I wrote out breakfast, lunch and tea for each of us for those 3 weeks. As long as we stick to it, we'll be fine. 

It's not crazy rigid, we've already moved a thing or two around because KC ate out on a planning day and we had extra leftovers I hadn't planned on. I planned for eating out once a week and I included lazy pizza nights, plus the nights I'll be out and KC has to fend for himself (he's an adult, yes, but I'd really rather he ate exactly what I tell him to otherwise he ruins my meal plans) and a day and a half that we'll be out of town. 

Normally we go to Coscto once every 2 months... but we only get enough meat for 5-6 weeks, but then I don't want to go again until a new month starts (really hurts the budget) so I buy meat from Kroger instead. We don't really buy much else from Costco besides meat, rice, quinoa and canned foods like beans and diced tomatoes. I've tried Aldi, I want it to work for us like it seems to work for so many other people but every time I go they are out of most of the meat, they don't have other things we want or their prices aren't that much better compared to the inconvenience of driving out to Aldi (such an inconvenience, 5 miles away - but Kroger is literally, yes literally, a 10 minute walk/5 minute drive).

Phew, that's a lot. If this works - please Zeus let it work, I have literally never been under the grocery budget I set and I don't want to increase it! - my next goal is to try again for a whole month, then if that works, I'll be focusing on reducing it even more. Not that I have any idea where to start with that. I barely eat meat, our grocery budget would double if I ate my share of meat. KC eats enough to feed 3 people, I'm no slouch either. I don't drink soda at home anymore, KC still does, but Kroger's soda is super cheap so it's not like that's what's making us exceed the budget. There are definitely items we don't *need* like my sharwood's sauce or the kraft aioli I love to have with our fish.. but I don't want to give those things up, ugh.

Anywho, my trolley was overflowing just for 3 weeks. Shopping for May all at once should be interesting...


In the mood to spring clean - I wouldn't say that I love to clean, but sometimes I do. I definitely get in the mood at the beginning of autumn and spring. Now that spring actually seems to be almost here, I have plans to deep clean the house tomorrow and I'm weirdly excited. I've printed out a checklist but I know I won't really follow it... I just clean absolutely everything in one room and move to the next. But I ignore clutter, which is why I bookmarked Steph's post to remind me. We have way too much crap for only being in this house for one year!


Free book - Erin very kindly sent me her copy of Homegoing and I had just read it via the library earlier this month. I want to continue the passing on of the book, so let me know if you want it! From Australia to Kentucky, where to next? While I wouldn't say it was the most enjoyable book I've ever read, it was still a powerful book and it's worth your time.


I am sure I have asked before but if you have any - any! - grocery budget reducing tips, do share. I feel like I am doing all I can, but it's probably one of those things that I think that and in reality I am doing none of them. I know we could cut back on things like soda or sparkling water, or the fancy brand name things I don't want to give up. I want to have my cake and eat it too, you know? I want to buy all the things I currently buy, somehow reducing my expenditure drastically? You know?

25 comments:

  1. Oh how fun is your book sharing idea! I have a friend who did that with a journal - each person wrote a week’s worth of entries and passed it on. So cool!

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  2. Oh my shopping for an entire month takes some skill! Good for you! It has to help planning out that far in advance! Happy weekend!

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  3. I am really interested in hearing more about your grocery budget. Am I a jerk to ask how much your budget is? I spend a ton at the store I feel like and also feel like we never have enough. I’m a hoarder, too, and our pantry and freezer are overflowing. I need to get better with meal planning, but Jason makes it super difficult.

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  4. salt to the sea was incredible! so nice of Erin to send you those books + lollies.

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  5. Your grocery budget and meal planning process sounds intense and stressful!! I wish I had some useful tips, but you are far more expert than I am. And thanks for the motivation to Spring Clean. I started 2017 off with a great de-cluttering, but haven't done it since. And of course, now it's all piling up again. Ugh. It's never ending!

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  6. I don't think I could shop for an entire month but if you get grocery reducing tips please pass them along. I am sick of spending so much for food and having nothing to show for it, or having the same shit sit in the freezer and pantry and never get used.

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  7. I need to get better at using coupons & not buying things I don't actually need. If you find any tips let me know! I "meal plan" for a week. And by that I mean it's just me so I make one or two things and eat it the whole week. If I had more storage space I would probably try to do it for longer & then just prep everything so I could pick and choose throughout the weeks/month. Good luck!!

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  8. I have to say, I'm proud you budget & really try to stick with it. I'll budget & be over it in 2 days & say, OH WELL - spend on :) haha

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  9. Enjoy your restful weekend! I'm with you on cleaning - I don't not like it but sometimes I really get in the mood and it's like an everything must go sale LOL! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  10. You're doing so good with the strong will to grocery budget!!! It is so hard! I can't wait to hear if you come up with any tips - we definitely use Costco for most of our meat needs and just freeze a whole bunch of it. Hope you guys have a good weekend!

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  11. Dude, our grocery bill is out of control every month. I honestly only buy the things we need each week and meal plan a week at a time. We dont have a lot of food stocked in our pantry. I try so hard to cut it down. We do most of our shopping at Target because redcard, cartwheel and the coupons they send me all the time. I get some stuff at Publix, Trader Joes, Whole Foods and Aldis sometimes too, but not regularly. I feel like if you eat semi-healthy...it is nearly impossible to shop cheap. You know? Ugh. If you figure out how to make it work, share your secrets!!! I dont even want to say how much we spend on groceries. It's ridiculous.

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  12. Our grocery budget is something I super struggle with too. It sounds like you are doing almost everything you can though! Wi have no experience with this but would a sodastream work for sparkling water and pop? Might be cheaper in the long run but again with the brand preferences might not work or the best. Buying dried beans/chickpeas is also easy cheaper and tastier in my opinion.:) TGIF indeed! Have a good one!

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  13. I've heard Homegoing talked about on any and every book podcast but never actually came across it. You know I'll try it if no one else got there first!

    Currently, we are grocery-shopping for two households and it kills the control freak in my soul. It's like double everything and I never know what to expect. I cannot wait to be under one roof again 7 days a week AND to not have to worry about me packing a lunch with the end of the school year coming up. When Scott was on his spring break last month, a whole week's worth of food was gone in 3 days.

    I plan for generally one week at a time. I also double everything I make in the crockpot and freeze half. And, a few times a year, I'll pull out my stand-by freezer recipes and spend a weekend making 4 or 5 things just to freeze. Pizza dough, soups, marinara, etc.

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  14. I would have eaten all those gummies at once too. I have no self control. I go to the grocery store at least twice a week and it’s ridiculous how much we spend on two adults and a toddler. But by the end of the week our fridge is empty, so I’m not sure what to do! I love that you said trolley (and thought you would appreciate that’s what Leighton calls it).

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  15. You always get such fun care packages from blog friends! And, I thought it was amazing when you sent me a book, lol. :) Wish I had insight on the grocery budget - we just try to meal plan as best we can, use coupons and buy store brand vs. name brand when we can.

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  16. If no one else claims the book, I'll give it a good home!

    I hate grocery shopping. Sooooo I do it online and I save money that way. I'm a sucker for an impulse buy.

    Depending on how much space I have in my luggage, we will definitely be bringing back some Non-US goodies. Let me know what I need to be on the lookout for! I can also send things. Like selfies with Erin when I'm there.. :D

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  17. Meal planning for an entire month is ambitious. Dang. Best of luck to ya. I aim for a week and I still fail 95% of the time.
    I've been in the mood to clean and purge, too, lately although my weekend flu these past few days killed all my energy and motivation. Sigh...

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  18. I hate grocery shopping, my sister does it for us and we always go over budget. It's hard. I wish I had some good tips for you but I don't. We do try to stock up on things when they go on sale like paper towels and such. If I'm in the mood, I love cleaning. But if I'm not in the mood forget it.

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  19. Can I ask what your actual budget (for two) is every month? I searched your blog a bit but couldn't find any numbers. Grocery shopping is HUGELY individual, I found. I also just shop for two people (although my husband counts for two, ha) and we spend more than what I hear from other people, but I've come to the conclusion that a) we can't really compare each other with other people and b) we really value good food.

    I pride myself in the fact that we hardly WASTE any food at all. I meal plan for one week and go shopping once a week. I sometimes buy stuff in bulk (but that's stuff that we can freeze or that lasts in the pantry). However, the things that go in the fridge are pretty much gone by the end of the week.
    If you throw out a lot of food, you might want to look into that, because that's money wasted right there.

    I'd be happy to talk more, especially since you - like me - budget for two people and not a whole family.

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  20. I liked We Are Okay, but it kinda ripped my heart out. x_x I am majorly (this week) into cleaning, purging, being on top of money and cooking, etc. But that's basically the first time all year. I'm going to check out Steph's post and the checklist. I'd like to get through a few boxes/bags/etc. every day. Hoping to keep the motivation. :) I am THE WORST at menu/grocery stuff... because we've been saving a ton but otherwise not budgeting *that* hard... BUT my lifesavers are: 1) doing that water egg test thingy - we almost never throw them out now, 2) cutting up adobo chiles and freezing them in ice cube trays to use later (otherwise you use like 2T and then what?), Also freezing leftover broth in ice cube trays. Then it is basically just keeping track of what we have, being creative with things in the pantry, trying not to waste food, and bringing our own bags to the store to save a few cents each. And coupons. Usually mobile/app ones. Not a lot of helpful stuff there. LOL. Good luck. I hope you had a great and productive weekend. I am hoping to channel that feeling for the rest of the week, weekend, month, year?! HAHAHA XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  21. I'm not the most savvy grocery shopper in the world but two things that help me are prepping meals for the week, specifically lunch, and eating leftovers, also for lunch. That meal seems to be the weakness in my house as well as a budget buster. I also meal plan and mostly buy for that. I also can't shop for a month at a time. The most I can do is two weeks. I hate food waste and shopping for more than two weeks at a time leads to that.

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  22. I've tried to do a month at a time before but I found it's easier for me to do just a week at a time. I ended up wasting stuff when I bought for a month, and when I do it for a week, I plan my meals around the weekly sales at the store. That's helped me reduce our spending a bit. But I would love to hear other tips too!

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  23. Wow I'm so impressed with your grocery shopping! How do you do it?! Too funny about the spring cleaning too - I know what you mean about half loving it + half hating it. But it must be done!

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