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Archive for June, 2019

Trying to Save $ on Groceries

June 16th, 2019 at 05:31 pm

I am trying to save money on groceries....

Here is what we already do:
- meal plan/make a list
- don't each very much processed food
- eat generic
- no prepared foods unless it's a special treat
- no prewashed salad or precut carrots or fruit
- no pre-grated cheese
- we eat mostly vegetarian (some chicken, fish but no meat/pork/lamb)
- we waste almost no food
- F and I drink only water; we never buy juice or anything like that
- we only shop once a week
- I cook from scratch

What I won't skimp on:
- we buy some organic (strawberries and a few other things)
- we buy organic eggs
- I buy a lot of fresh fruit and veggies for snacks for F
- I like to be generous with guests (like my friends or F's friends when they come over)

I am trying to figure out why our grocery bills are so high... Here are some ideas:
- we buy GF bread and bagels (about every 2 weeks; we aren't big bread eaters) and GF pasta (pasta once a week) and GF oatmeal which are more expensive
- nuts (but if I don't buy nuts then F's snacks would be empty calories)
- we don't eat out a lot so we have to buy more groceries
- dairy; because we don't eat meat, we eat more dairy
- we don't have an Aldi here
- we don't use coupons (because they seem to be only for processed foods)
- D's coffee and beer (but having these at home is less than getting these at Starbucks or a brew pub)
- it takes us a long time to go through milk/almond milk so we can't use the whole thing before it's spoiled (otherwise, very little waste)

Some ideas to fix the problem:
- one week a month could be eat out of the pantry/freezer week (but I'd still need fruits and veggies)
- better meal plans
- less dairy

Maybe groceries are just more expensive than they used to be.... What do you do to save on your grocery bill?

Saving Money to be able to Spend Money

June 5th, 2019 at 08:55 pm

Some of you know me, and so you know that we are completely debt free (even mortgage); I wouldn't have done this back when we were paying off our mortgage. But sometimes I save money in one area just so that we can spend it somewhere else. (PS - we also save a ton for retirement, and everything is budgeted).

I am thinking about this now because F and I just went to Disneyland, and Disneyland is not a cheap place.

Here's how we saved-spent-saved-spent...

- We did only one day at Disneyland but we bought F the super cute $30 mouse ears
- Besides the mouse ears we did not do any shopping but we did a TON of photos so those were our souvenirs (be sure to write down the codes for the photos on the rides and link them in the photo section of the Disneyland app)
- We stayed at the Disneyland hotel for two nights ($$$$!) but the rest of our trip we stayed with my parents so no hotel cost for most of the trip
- We brought food for breakfast/lunch so that we could have one super nice meal out (Blue Bayou)
- We are not going to Europe to see D's family this summer so that we could afford splurging on Disney tickets
- D did not go on the trip for several reasons (work, isn't a Disney fanatic like me and F, can't go on the rides, didn't want to come for my SIL's baby shower which was the real reason for the trip) so we saved his airfare and Disney ticket so we were able to add California Adventure to our tickets
- We brought our own snacks so we were able to buy each a gf red velvet cupcake from Sprinkles (yum!)
- I did a ton of research on how to do Disney so we were able to go on everything we wanted to go on TWICE! We were there from 7 to 11, and we're still exhausted, but it was so much fun!

Just FYI - yes, Star Wars was open, but neither of us likes Star Wars, so we didn't do that. But because everyone there was so into the new Star Wars area, the rest of the park was pretty empty. We never waited more than 10 mins. for a ride (used fastpasses in some cases), and got take photos with Mickey Mouse (my daughter's favorite - she is nearly 14 and actually cried at Fantasmic because she loves him so much). We rode Small World ALONE and I sang at the top of my lungs!

Do you ever trade off your spends and saves?