All Quiet on the Chocolate Front

Sorry for the quietude. I was observing a moment (or two) of silence in Mr. MJ’s memory. Now that he has had his memorial service, that moment is gone. And I am back.

Tonight was somewhat upsie-downsie for me. I’ve been trying to get in shape the “easy” way by eating anything I want and not exercising. So far it hasn’t been too successful. But, as a true scientist, I wouldn’t dream of ending the experiment prematurely just because some stupid video game tells me I have GAINED weight over the past two weeks, am less balanced, and have a “wii fit age” of 32 (I always knew I was mature for my age). Nope, more chocolate and lazing around for me. There is nothing I won’t do for science.

Yoga Fit

So realizing I am raising my BMI was the UPSIE part of the evening. The Downsie part? Monetary.

I use an online tracking service to help my keep track of our expenses and expenditures. Up until this point, I was happily managing our money, content in the denial that the large amount we spend on groceries each month was normal. Then I got a wake-up call. A fellow blogger has issued herself  a challenge: to spend less than $100 on groceries for herself and her husband this month (they’ve attempted and successfully obtained this goal before). Now I am not going to scare any of you with the actual amount I spend on groceries in any given month… but let’s just say… I’ve already spent 100+ this month. And I have been out of town for half of it. SO. It looks like I won’t be attaining that goal this month.

In all areas of my life, it is time to trim the fat.

And, I need your help to do it.

I beseech you, good, faithful, good credit readers: I need your advice. How do you spend less on groceries? Does one shop at Costco? Does one plan meals at the beginning of the week (I fear this is a critical part of the answer… and my procrastinating heart hates it)? Does one clip coupons? Buy more meat, less meat, more frozen meals, less frozen meals?

Yes I may have the wii fit age of a 32 year old, but my spending habits more closely resemble those of a 13 year old (ooh I see gum. Yes, I will buy it! We do need chocolate!)

But I’m not 13. I’m 24. I’m about to become a poor-overworked-bitter graduate student. Help me get my grocery bill in line before I crawl into my lab cave and don’t see the light for 5 years (come to think of it, that sounds dirt cheap! Idea!)

The good news is there is light at the end of the cave tunnel:

1) I get paid  to go to school(although it is closer to indentured servitude than to a job), so at least I’m not in debt

2) There will always be chocolate (it might just be less fancy)

best chocolate ice-cream cone ever

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4 responses to “All Quiet on the Chocolate Front

  1. Quebec trip was hard on more than one BMI. Time to return to sensible eating (read: no chocolate desserts or trips to DQ for a while for me).
    I am not the best one to give advice on reducing grocery bills. Dad would be better. That being said here is my advice: Less processed food, less whole foods, more regular grocery store, less meat. I would not sacrifice quality for price however, perhaps reduce quantity….

  2. Emily ~ look for discounts at the grocery store and stock up when there are really good deals, like buy one get one free’s on your favorite cereals, etc. Planning meals in advance def helps and pick a few nights a week where you do the more inexpensive simple dinners, like tuna helper, etc. It still tastes pretty good and is SOOOO much cheaper than buying a bunch of stuff for gourmet meals! Also, buy the cheaper versions of things and invest in the BIGGER packaging because it is cheaper in the long run! Stop making COOKIES for everyone lol. :-)

    That’s all I’ve got so far!

    Bryan says “more beans. more rice.”

    :-) (also 100 a month is borderline unrealistic / just plain unrealistic ). And besides that family prob pays under 100 a month on groceries but then eats out and stuff to.

    Try to limit how much you eat out. Only go see movies when they are going to be amazzzinnnnng – other wise wait for DVD. And if you’d like Bryan and I LOVEEEE saving money too, AND we love cooking so we should try having more fun dinners where you and Eli cook one night and have Bryan and I over and then we return the favor, etc. It’s better and cheaper and more fun then eating out!

    <3 Have an amazing weekend!

    Krystyna

  3. D and I spend under $75 a week for groceries AND frozen yogurt out. He only spent $30/week when he lived by himself, but when I lived by myself I spent $50-55/week, so I’ve definitely had to downgrade some of my food choices to accommodate his. I feel like I’m in a pretty good flow. Here are my tips:
    (a) become a vegetarian, and/or reduce meat intake. Tuna and salmon in a can are good too. Tofu, eggs, milk/soy milks, and beans are cheap protein sources. We’ve actually stopped doing beans most of the time b/c my tummy really can’t take it, but you can get great deals on canned, bagged, or bulk beans if you can tolerate it.
    (b) Don’t buy organic anything except spinach/carrots (they’re usually comparable.) Non-bagged salad is usually cheaper but then I don’t eat it, so I buy up, but if you are cool w/ washing it, then buy the non-bagged. Check grocery store ads online to see where the produce you want is cheapest (produce is my biggest expense, and at certain times during the year I’ve actually had to scale back on variety/servings due to high cost. During these times, frozen fruit and veggies can be a lifesaver – they’re a lot cheaper.)
    (c) only buy “the nice label” products when they’re on sale, and shop at couple grocery stores over the course of a month or so to get an idea of what a “good” price is. For example, I only buy Kashi products at Target and only when they’re on sale, because I’ve learned that they are the cheapest source in town and they have the best prices. I just stock up when it’s a good price.
    (d) Refuse to give in for some things. Example: I WILL have my plain yogurt, regardless of price–I just won’t have plain Greek yogurt. I buy small amounts of artisan cheeses and a little goes so far in a salad or sandwich – it’s a lot more satisfying than a processed cheese so you don’t need as much. By the same token, realize what things you don’t really care about. E.g., I don’t really care about gourmet sandwich bread or having omega-3 fortified eggs–they can be the store brand and that’s cool.
    (e) Costco is not necessarily worth it. I used D’s membership throughout college but always ended up throwing stuff away because I couldn’t eat the 5 lbs of watermelon or 24 apples in my pack before they went bad. Plus, I also wound up eating frozen stuff way past the time I was sick of it (salmon burgers AGAIN?!) just to use up my package. You can save money if you actually use all of it, but you won’t necessarily enjoy all of it. Costco is great for stuff like cereal, granola bars, vitamins, though, so it just depends how much you think you’ll actually want/need bulk goods.

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