one of my seemingly annual new years resolutions is to get an actual grip on my money and start meal planning and making shopping lists. every year i resolve to do this and every year i seem to fail. over the past couple of years i’ve managed to cut out a lot of impulse buys as far as clothing is concerned, but i do still feel like i make a lot of impulse buys at grocery stores, and i feel like i have to run to the store several times a week because i’m always out of something crucial.
i realized that part of what makes grocery shopping lists and meal planning so arduous for me is that i eat unconsciously a lot. the chore of grocery shopping gets rewarded by little impulse buys, which i eat secretly. my 3 year old son has a habit of snacking instead of eating meals, and i have to admit that i do this as well (proving once again that children are the biggest mirrors to all of our unconscious bull shizz).
i figure there is no better way to really look at where my money goes than by keeping track of what i buy. i felt like outing myself on the internet/public humiliation was the only way to go, so, i decided to chronicle my spending. this was an actual yikes, but it kept me in check and made me pay attention in a new way. after a couple of weeks of this, i kinda feel like i have it down. i am able to plan out the week and make 3 shopping trips (mostly to go where the bargains are, cause i’m a pro shopper yo). below is an example of a pretty successful, lean week. one where no alcohol or fancy meals were purchased (but we did get to eat out on saturday night). i did have things like oils, spices, quinoa & rice in my pantry, but other than that everything was purchase and used in the same week. for the three of us, it came out to $150 for the week.
monday: breakfast: instant oatmeal. lunch: peanut butter & banana sandwiches & apples. dinner: purple sweet potatoes with thai sauce, frozen pizza for my son.
tuesday: breakfast: frozen gluten free waffles. lunch: smoothie of spinach, bananas and almond milk & a lara bar (the boys snacked on trail mix, pbj oat bars, gluten free pretzels & grapes). dinner: black bean & sweet potato chili, turkey sandwich for my son.
wednesday: breakfast: toast with peanut butter. lunch: chips & hummus. dinner: roasted chickpeas & sauteed spinach with tahini sauce for me, oven fries for the boys.
friday: breakfast: instant oatmeal. lunch: smoothie of spinach, bananas and almond milk & a lara bar (the boys snacked on trail mix, pbj oat bars, gluten free pretzels & grapes). dinner: roasted chickpeas & sauteed spinach with tahini sauce for me, frozen tamales & steamed rice for hubs, turkey sandwich for my son.
saturday: breakfast: toast with peanut butter. lunch: snacking on apples & peanut butter, lara bars, chips & salsa. dinner: vietnamese: spring rolls, pho & five spice chicken with a fried egg & rice.
sunday: veggie burgers for everyone!
trader joe’s: chickpeas, tamales, almond milk, gf bread, vegetable broth, black beans, canned diced tomatoes, instant oatmeal, salsa, mirepoix (chopped onion, celery & carrots to use in soups and rice/quinoa dishes), eggs, sweet potato, oven fries, pbj bars, granola bars, chips, hummus, tahini sauce, grapes, chia seeds, apples, peanut butter, spinach, bananas, yogurt, trail mix, frozen pizza= $78
target: gluten free pretzels, lara bars, gf frozen waffles, turkey lunch meat, milk= $26
sprouts: cilantro, green onion, purple potatoes, red onion, avocado, veggie burgers= $16
dinner out: vietnamese= $30