We survived another weekend in our No Spend Grocery Challenge, and while it isn't as hard as I'd expected, I'm amazed at how quickly money can get spent even when we're working to really stick to a tight budget! With a family of five there are just a lot of expenses (eating out is huge), but we're sticking with our decision for the month and didn't do too badly this weekend.
Friday night Jackson and Caroline were out for the night so we just had Reagan with us. We spent Friday afternoon working to finish up our taxes (bleck – not a great way to spend a Friday afternoon), and by the time we finished we were famished. We'd promised Reagan we'd go see Cinderella though (it was so good!), but the next showing was too soon for us to sneak in dinner. We ended up spending a small fortune on popcorn and drinks, and by the time it was done it was too late to even get dinner! Between the tickets and popcorn we spent $45 (Y.I.K.E.S.) but it was worth every penny. We all loved the movie (I highly recommend this one!), and my sweet seven-year-old even shed a tear or two. 😉
don't judge – some days you just need a butter burger 🙂
Saturday we headed to Culvers with coupons in hand and spent $12 for lunch for the three of us, and after church yesterday all five of us had pizza for $17. Honestly, drinking water while eating out saves a ton, but goodness if I'm being truthful with you it's hard to do! We don't go out all that often, and my kids only drink water and milk when we're at home, so they're really missing those sodas.
We did the math with them though yesterday, and the same $12 that we could easily shell out for drinks for the five of us would purchase 3 salads, 3 orders of breadsticks or 3 orders of wings. Right now we're adding that money to donate, but it's a good lesson in how much those drinks can do to bust your budget!
I made a trip to Kroger to get some groceries (we were out of milk), and by the time I re-stocked on some produce and dairy products (as well as 8 half gallons of milk – they're $1 per half gallon this week in our area!), I'd spent $41. As long as I stick to my budget throughout the week we'll still be on track (our goal was no more than $50 per week), but it definitely reminded me that every time I step into the store I'm likely to spend a little more than I'd planned. (Which is why skipping shopping completely is often my favorite way to save!)
So, our total including today that we've spent is $70 during the last four days. (I'm not counting our Cinderella splurge – because it was really entertainment and not eating? ahem.) We're finishing up our challenge at the end of the week as we near Spring Break, but it's definitely been so worth keeping track of where we're at to know where our money really goes each month. I so fought the idea of taking on this challenge, but am loving staying on track in what we spend on food, so we can enjoy splurging on the things we really love! Here's where we're at for the month so far:
- Day 1, 2 & 3 = $5.17
- Day 4 & 5 = $15
- Day 6, 7, 8, and 9 = $67.89 (this included several meals out while I was out of town – we knew we would go over for those few days)
- Days 10, 11 & 12 = $48.34 (including $30.34 in groceries)
- Days 13, 14, 15 & 16 = $70
- Total = $206.40 for all groceries and several meals out
I'd love to hear if you're joining us this month how it's gone for you, as well as any other tips you have to stay on track. Leave a comment to share your thoughts!
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