Monthly Food Costs – Update #4

After another full month of tracking our food and grocery expenses I feel that we are finding a good system that works for us.  Are we still spending more than the average family?  Maybe.  But we are saving a ton of money compared to our 2015 food costs and still eating healthy.

I am still doing meal planning on Sundays and find that this is the key to making this work.  I usually only plan meals through Wednesday and then do a mid-week plan for the rest of the week.  Although this is not my favorite part of the day on Sunday I do find that there is a lot less stress mid-week when it comes to food so it has been worth it.  Here is my meal plan from last week. Continue reading “Monthly Food Costs – Update #4”

Monthly Food Costs – Update #3

Um, wow!  This past month we made incredible progress towards reducing our food costs.  Woot, woot!  

Part of the reason that our expenses were a little lower this month is I did some stocking up last month at Costco buying enough nuts to last a couple of months as well as some meat that we are still using.  So I guess it kinda evens out in the end, but still I love seeing a lower number even if it is skewed a little. Continue reading “Monthly Food Costs – Update #3”

Monthly Food Costs – Update

This week marked the second month of tracking all food and grocery store purchases.  After a surprising first month we buckled down and made some changes to our eating habits in an attempt to reduce our obscenely high food costs.  I have found that this takes more time and planning but overall we did reduce our expenses.

Continue reading “Monthly Food Costs – Update”

Monthly Food Analysis

Have you ever had analysis paralysis?  Well after Mr. SFF and I sat down and reviewed our 2015 total expenses we were shocked at how much we spent on food.  At the start of this journey we decided we still wanted to eat well but these numbers were just too high for my liking so we decided to take action.  Starting on Jan 8th we started to track every single food and grocery store purchase. This will help to determine how much of the grocery store totals were for things like toilet paper and cleaning products but also to hopefully help us narrow down the actual problem so we can make changes.  We didn’t really make any conscious efforts to make any changes to our eating habits over the past month but I am sure they unconsciously happened since we were tracking everything.

We collected every receipt and I logged things in a spreadsheet.  I had the numbers break down into three broad categories and then 12 more detailed categories.  Here is what we came up with:

Category Totals Purpose
Food $787.27 Breakfast $98.64
Groceries $85.45 Lunch $74.31
Alcohol $48.93 Dinner $332.14
Snacks $111.12
Ingredients $103.18
Entertaining $31.93
General household $45.21
Cleaning $2.99
Personal care $16.26
Rental Properties $20.99
Alcohol $40.94
Beverages $43.94

Continue reading “Monthly Food Analysis”

When Your Best Intentions Backfire

I have been taking allergy medication since 2008.  I take Cetirizine which is the generic version of Zyrtec for seasonal and other allergies.  Sometimes I also use a nasal spray when pollen is bad or I know I am going to be around dogs but I am going to focus on the general allergy meds today.  Since this is an over the counter medication I have not been able to utilize my Heath Savings Account to pay for it.  During my recent physical at my doctors office she wrote me a prescription for the Cetirizine which would mean I could use my HSA for payment.  Seems silly but that’s how the system works.

When I dropped the prescription at the pharmacy at first they were confused as it is an over the counter medication but when I explained that I wanted to use my HSA to pay for it they understood my reasoning.  I picked up the prescription the following day and was a little surprised by the Continue reading “When Your Best Intentions Backfire”

Weddings are Expensive, for Everyone

Mr. SFF and I just spent a fabulous weekend down in NJ for a family wedding.  This was the first black tie wedding I have been to and will probably go in the books as the most beautiful and lavish as well.  The bride was stunning and both of them were beaming of love all day.  I am so happy for the two of them!

As were are family we were invited to the rehearsal dinner on Friday evening.  I left work early for the drive down so that we could attend.  We were able to wear clothes we already owned so the only expense we had on Friday was filling up the gas tank.

For Saturday we were on our own for breakfast and lunch.  We found an absolutely amazing restaurant that served gluten free food so I was in heaven with Continue reading “Weddings are Expensive, for Everyone”

Frustrations and Progress

Both last month and now into June I have been having trouble keeping my expenses low.  I know things always come up but it still can be frustrating when you have a goal set but you just can’t make it work.  I am certainly still saving money but just not as much as I would like.

The great news is that Mr. SFF has finally added some money to our joint savings account.  I have been asking him to help contribute for a few months but as he is super laid back he just hadn’t gotten around to it.  He has just been accumulating money in his checking and has finally moved it over.  This method seems to work well for him but can be frustrating Continue reading “Frustrations and Progress”

Run Your Household Like a Business

All businesses have the goal of making a profit, otherwise they will not survive in the long term.  To get an easy snapshot of a business’ health you could look at their Profit and Loss Statement.  If every household ran their finances like a business, I bet people would have more savings and less debt.  I will admit that I only recently started to actively track my income and expenses (thereby creating my own P&L of sorts).  I previously would log in to Mint and see my spending there but it was not until I had my own spreadsheet where I spent time entering my data that I really had a full understanding of how much money I was taking in and where it was all going.

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I don’t believe there is any one magical way to Continue reading “Run Your Household Like a Business”

Life (Expenses) Happen

Yesterday was just one of those days where by the time I got home, I had wracked up some receipts.  One was necessary, the others were more of a “want”.  Here’s a rundown of my day.

My Car – The Necessary Expense

I have a 2007 Honda Fit with approx 98,600 miles on it.  I do my best to take good care of it as I want to drive it for another 100,000 miles.  My braking was starting to feel strange so I dropped it off at the Continue reading “Life (Expenses) Happen”