The New RulesEvery month, we spend a higher majority of money on food than any other expense. Not because we NEED to but because we like to eat out and we are sometimes very lazy (or tired) during the week.
When we took a much closer look at our spending habits, food was the easiest and hardest to drastically change. We made some new rules which we have been following for over a month now:
- Eat one meal out together each week
- Go to Starbucks/other coffee spot once a week
- Buy lunch for ourselves once a week
- Shop at the Hollywood Farmers Market every Sunday, buy anything we can't get there at Whole Foods or Trader Joes
These four rules have helped us cut our spending on food by almost HALF last month! Spending cash at the farmers market also makes us think more about how much we're spending on items since we only bring about $40 or $50 each visit.
We knew we were being a little reckless with our food spending but we were too lazy to change our ways. Then, I saw how much I owe the government in student loans and believe me, that was enough to make me want to eat cheap ramen for the next year (not really, that would be gross).
The Weekly Haul
The husband is on a spring break trip this week so this is all just for me. I am going out with friends tonight but other than that, I plan on eating at home and bringing lunch all week. I spent $49 (including $3 for parking) on groceries. This includes almond milk which will last me a few weeks and eggs which will definitely not be gone by next weekend. Normally, we spend about $70-80 per week for two of us.
|It would have been a little cheaper to buy the rice from TJ's or Whole Foods bulk bin but instead, I supported a local farmer at the market.|
I normally also buy tangerines or some kind of citrus but decided to buy extra cucumbers to snack on instead this week. I consumer tomatoes and cucumbers at an alarming rate anyway, so we'll see how long they last.
|I bought one basket of these tomatoes. Should have bought two, they are so delicious.|
I like to take Matt Frazier's advice from No Meat Athlete and cook as simply as possibly during the week. The menu this week will consist of:
- Brown rice, kale, and black beans (from a previous farmers market trip) with some kind of homemade tahini sauce
- My favorite meal in one bowl: brown rice, tomato, cucumber, onion (the tops of the ones pictures), avocado, and soy sauce. It's like veggie sushi in a bowl!
- Giant salad with Frank's sauced tofu
- Tofu scramble with tomatoes, onions, and red pepper
- Garlic stir fry with broccoli, kale, red pepper, onions, and beans over brown rice
- 2 eggs, cucumber tomato salad, and a yummy smoothy (fresh banana, frozen strawberries, some greens, ground flax and almond milk)
We both value supporting local farmers and our awesome Hollywood Farmers Market, so this weekly trip has been great. Plus, we get an hour and a half together on Sunday morning when we are not rushing or thinking about other things and we share the load (literally) of shopping!
What's your method for keeping your food budget in check? Any awesome tips and tricks?