Monday, January 7, 2019

Weekly spending roundup (12/31-1/6/19)

This was a very unusual spending week for us. We had a holiday (New Year's Eve), a travel day (New Year's Day), a two day ski trip - where we got stuck in a snowstorm, and Sam made a four course meal for his final cooking class project for school. Some of the ingredients were . . . hard to find & not cheap! We came up with a few substitutions, but the menu was reasonably fixed, so our options were limited. We normally only go to 2-3 stores, one time a week. So, this week represented an anomaly for us. I'm going to have to work really hard on our grocery bill for the rest of the month!

The menu:
-Appetizer - California rolls
-Salad - Thai Chicken Salad
-Main course - General Tso's Chicken w/rice
-Dessert - Tiramisu (I'm not sure how this made it's way into such an Asian menu, but they were allowed to select a dessert from a list)

  • Monday - 12/31 - No spend day! We made dinner at home, & found a bottle of champagne in the pantry. It was perfect!
  • Tuesday - 1/1
    • $5 at McDonald's for a 10 piece nugget & a burger. I did attempt to make food for our travel day, but Sam couldn't resist McDonald's when we stopped in for a bathroom break
    • $53.40 - at a restaurant at the airport for a salad, two beers & an order of fries. Our flight was delayed. . . best laid plans & all of that.
    • $24 of over priced snacks (will be turned into lunch snacks) - free, on a travel voucher
    • $493.37 - car rental for 11 days on our vacation
  • Wednesday - 1/2
    • $1.50 for 1 avocado for guacamole at the grocery store (on a gift card)
    • $1.48 for 2 discounted Christmas treats (Lifesavers & Hershey's Kisses) for the kids for skiing, at Rite Aid - (used Bonus Cash)
    • $14.92 at the produce stand. This included $9.99 for a 2lb container of tahini, for making hummus. That is the cheapest I've found tahini, so I was thrilled. Also included 2 bunches of radishes, a head of cauliflower, cilantro, & mini cucumber
    • $10.36 at Trader Joes. I bought a jarred bruschetta to try on crostini (trying to follow my no dairy plans & come up with alternatives to our standard meals/appetizers), mini ravioli for the kids to try, gnocchi, and. . . a box of mini dark chocolate mint cookies. Oops.
    • $146.87 at Costco for a full stock up on everything. Plus, M bought a splurge cut of sockeye salmon for $30, that definitely wasn't on the menu or shopping list. He loves salmon & it's healthy, but . . . pricey! 
  • Thursday - 1/3
    • $25.71 at the grocery store, to pick up supplies for chili, & a few sandwich ingredients for tomorrow. Pepperoni was on sale, so I also bought two packages. We use the pepperoni to make pizza. (on a gift card)
    • $6.09 - at the produce stand for a few items for the meal + green peppers for the dinner I'm making.
    • $11.27 at Trader Joes. We bought coffee to take to the condo tomorrow (we don't have ground coffee & don't have a grinder). We also needed coconut milk & rice vinegar for the recipe. We were out of rice vinegar, but do use it at the house, so at least that item is just not for this meal!
    • $25.12 BACK at the grocery store ($22.33 paid, the rest on the last of the gift card). My son finally had his shopping list ready, and we both realized he needed to purchase everything today (we'll be out of town Friday/Saturday), so he can cook all day on Sunday. We bought curry paste, whipping cream, chicken thighs, pickled ginger, sushi rice, & other random ingredients I can't remember. There will definitely be a need to use these items other in other recipes, so expect them to surface in a pantry challenge soon enough.
    • $15.79 - hand warmers for skiing
  • Friday - 1/4
    • $1.81 at Burger King, for a coffee for M at a bathroom stop on the road to Lake Tahoe
    • $430.99 - lift tickets x4 + a few hot meal items to go with our sandwiches
  • Saturday - 1/5
    • $498.76 - lift tickets x4 + two hot chocolates
    • $136.58 - unexpected dinner out, after freeway closure & snowstorm
  • Sunday - 1/6
    • $67.30 - soccer hoodies for the kids, as part of their school team uniforms
    • $11.98 - pool chemicals
    • $19.47 - a few more groceries at Costco
I was really impressed with the food Sam made. The tiramisu, in particular, was incredible. So, at least we have leftovers that will make their way into the rest of the week's menu. 

Total spent for the week = $1996. Shivers. That's a lot. What about you? Do you track your weekly spending? How did you do? Any unexpected expenses this week?


  1. I do keep track of what I spend weekly because if I don't I will overspend. Your meals sound so good, especially the tiramisu. :)

    1. It was a special treat, thanks to Sam. He even made his own marscapone! I was super impressed with his kitchen skills. . . now, cleanliness in the kitchen. Well, I'll just say that we're still working on that.

  2. We bought new tires on NY Day sale so our Costco bill is more than triple the budgeted monthly amount but we've got it covered with our big expenses fund thankfully! :)
    I backed up from scrutinizing our food bills every week because I felt myself going in the unhealthy direction of choosing not to spend on needed or healthier food options (hello vegetables!) in order to make the budget and honestly I need to learn by NOW that our health is more important than saving a hundred dollars on the groceries. I'll find that savings elsewhere or make more money or something but I need to stop prioritizing money over health. That's not to say I won't be mindful of how we shop - we do shop the sales primarily, but I need a whole mental shift from how I used to be.

    1. My husband keeps me in check with the groceries when I go too far in the frugal direction. We buy so much produce at Costco. I'm fine with that, as long as it's not wasteful & we are eating everything. We could both stand to move a bit more into the middle, to maximize health & minimize cost/waste. Always more work to do!

      I think your plan sounds great. Have the right priorities, but be reasonably flexible within those, and minimize cost while eating healthy. As you & I know, our health is irreplaceable, so we should be focused on achieving that balance in what we eat & how we spend our time.