Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget – January Check in!

It may be a few days into February already, but I haven’t forgotten that I promised you all an update on my budget.

This month was definitely what I would call a work in progress as far as the budget goes. I had a few unforeseen expenses, like having to purchase a new iPhone after mine fell in a river (with me attached) in Oregon over New Years. I also had to pay last month’s Macy’s bill, which wasn’t pretty after all the Christmas shopping I did there ;) I bought an awesome onesie for this weekend’s pajama pub crawl. But I did not include these extra costs in my budget this month because I thought of them as one time purchases, and really wanted to focus my budget goals on limiting my spending in the areas I could control — groceries and going out!

Let me jog your memory on the budget I gave myself for food in January:

foodbudget

All pretty self explanatory! $30 per week for groceries (split between the farmer’s market and the supermarket), and $75 for any other stuff.

Going out, also self explanatory – $10 per week at the dodgeball bar (I go 2x per week), $10 per week for other bars or activities, and a whopping $20/week for restaurants.

budgetapp

I kept track on my handy dandy budget app, Pocket Expense. Unlike other budgeting apps, you have to actually manually add in all your expenses. I was actually pretty good about doing this on the reg, and on days I was lazy and didn’t add whatever I spent, I at least always kept my receipts so I could go back and do it later.

Now……..to see how I did!

foodbudgetjanuaryfinalNot too shabby, right?!

Groceries

So, I only went to the farmer’s market twice this month. I haven’t gone in three weeks…ever since the weekend I ran 9.3 miles, I have been way too wiped out after my long runs to make it over to the market, or I’ve just run out of time (umm, apparently running 10 miles takes a bit longer than running only 7!). So I did most of my grocery shopping at Grocery Outlet and Safeway. I used my Safeway JustForU app to get some great deals this month! Remember this fun quinoa salad thing I made for lunches one week?

IMG_3378

Yeah, that chopped salad was FREE thanks to a Justforu coupon! Using MAYBE a quarter of a box of quinoa, I made 3 days of lunches for less than $2 total! Cha chingggg.

Another way I saved some money on groceries was by stopping by the parents’ house a couple of times this month! Why is it that food tastes SOO much better when you don’t cook it yourself?

IMG_3374

Thanks Mom!

Miscellaneous purchases this month included a couple of Friday night bottles of wine, a six pack of beer, some stamps, a new phone case, and a trip or two to CVS for some nail polish :) All very exciting, right?

Going out

I am shocked that I stayed under my dodgeball bar goal this month. I actually had to go back at my app and double check that I remembered to enter in all my drinks… I did! {It’s not that I get trashed twice a week at dodgeball, but the bar does have a $10 minimum for card purchases and since I rarely have cash, I often find myself offering to buy my friends drinks so I can meet the minimum!} I must admit I had several drinks bought for me by friends who owed me money :-P Near the end of the month, when I knew I didn’t have much more “entertainment” money left, it became a lot easier for me to just say “oh well!” and grab a cup of water instead.

Because I only went out to eat twice this month, I did, however, start to sneak a few drinks into the “restaurants” column on Pocket Expense since I knew I wouldn’t be using that money. This allowed me to make sure I was still staying within my overall budget for the month, and made me realize that I may have misjudged my spending habits when I set up my budget last month!

Also, seeing that I spent just as much money going to bars/the movies/a roller derby (lol) as I did on groceries makes me think maybe I should start spending more evenings like I spent this one:

IMG_3146The beer was less than $2 in a six pack, and who doesn’t love Princess Bride?!

Based on how this first month went, and how much my first paycheck (!) was, I think I am going to largely keep my budget the same this month. Luckily, I was FINALLY paid some unemployment benefits this week. I will probably only get 5 weeks worth or so (not the full 8 weeks I was unemployed…) but at this point I’m just happy to get something! I’m planning on using the extra money to pay down my credit card bill from December/January and to *ahem* pay for a little trip I have planned… More on that in a few weeks ;)

Here’s my modified budget for February:

newfoodbudget

Sorry for the weird text on all of these.. I turned on my computer last night to realize that my Photoshop is busted, so I had to use a janky website to edit my budgets! Anyway, I allotted half of my restaurant money to the dodgeball bar and other activities. If we’re being realistic, I probably won’t even spend $40 at restaurants…But maybe if I know I have the money set aside, I’ll suggest dinner with friends one night instead of drinks!

Wish me luck!

Do you budget?

Do you and your friends treat each other to drinks?

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13 thoughts on “Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget – January Check in!

  1. So glad you did this update. I’ve been so much more conscious of my purchases the last few weeks, and I can already see it making a positive impact on my bank account. There are still quite a few areas I can work on my spending, but progress is good!

    MAJOR props to you for sticking to this budget.. keep it going!

    • Yay good for you! That’s kind of how I feel about my budget as well- there were definitely a lot of areas where I felt like I overspent, so focusing in on this one part is a little misleading, but it’s at least a good practice in a little bit of self control!

  2. Woah – way to go girlfriend! I like that in some areas you overspent and in some you under spent. I think budgets are meant to be flexible and it’s okay to move money around to different categories. Come do my budget – #kthanks ;)

    • Totally! In an ideal world, I should probably be spending less on bars and more on restaurants (like eating out for lunch) but that’s just not where I am in life right now ;) And you would not be happy with me and my bargain shopping self if I did your budget bahaha no more Stitch Fix for Becky!!

  3. I don’t budget but I try to stay mindful when I make my weekend food haul but sticking with my usual’s. If I go a little over my typical weekly food costs, I’ll cut back on specialty things like chocolate chips, the “organic” pb and sub normal, and my fancy liquid stevia for powdered. I am such an over achiever right? But I did just download that app…so we shall see what’s in store for my foodie splurging ways!

  4. Props to you for creating a budget!! And it’s okay too be a little flexible!! Hope that you have a great rest of your weekend!!

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