Monday, May 14, 2012

Food and budget

I've been eating some really yummy and healthy meals lately.  Here's what I had for lunch and dinner today:

 Hummus on a multi grain ciabatta with some lettuce and red peppers with a side of fresh berries.

BBQ tofu stir fry served on a bed of spinach (instead of rice).  

So Sung Hyun and I have started in on the budget plan.  This plan failed miserably mostly because I can't be bothered to have money separated into jars for different functions.  I think the main reason why the jar method is so great for some people is because it is another STEP in the way of just making rash decisions.  With the jars you have to keep track of money coming out and in ALL THE TIME.  I can't be bothered to write that stuff down.  Maybe it's part laziness.  Or perhaps it has to do with my disorganization.  Either way, this system didn't work for us.

So our new approach is to just keep our money in the bank (it's probably safer this way) and use our debit/credit card for our monthly purchases.  So far we are successfully keeping track of groceries.  We don't have any other big purchases that we need to make.  But usually if I want to buy something I ask Sung Hyun and vice versa.  I've halted the house shopping because if I came home with one more vase Sung Hyun was going to shoot me.  

We each give ourselves $200 of free money every month that we don't have to be accountable to one another for.  I usually use mine for dining out with friends.  Sung Hyun chooses to suck toxic chemicals into his body (smoking blows!)  So we each have our vices.

I'm very happy to be keeping track of our monthly expenses, but I'm not sure that Sung Hyun really understands the purpose.  He's still got the "if you want it, buy it mentality".  So when I showed him that our grocery bill for the month of May was $408 he said "so what?!"

So 14 days into May we've already spent $408 on groceries and $116 on dining out together.  EEEEEEEEEEEK!!  I think that's a little excessive for 2 people.  

We have waaaaay too much food in this house.  

The pantry is all full.

The door of the freezer and fridge is packed.

And the freezer and fridge couldn't handle much more!

I'm hoping to cut our food budget back a bit next month because it's probably not necessary to stock pile so much food.......or spend so much money!


Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

I don't keep track of what we spend on food in a month ... because I am scared to find out, lol!

Jacky said...

Wow that's a lot of food! A lot of those, I'm sure, are condiments which once you buy will take forever to run-out (not things you'll have to restock any time soon). Hopefully you can change his mentality a's kind of a struggle with my boyfriend, too. (We see different things as being a waste of money. He FINALLY ran out of room for shoes, so he's had to bring his shoe shopping to a halt. lol)

Anonymous said...

$400 for two weeks is a HUGE food bill. Are you wasting food? How much of what's on your fridge right now will end up in the garbage because you don't eat it in time?

Anonymous said...

Two of us, and we spend less in one month than you did in two weeks.

As for budgeting, search for the 50/30/20 budget, or the 60/20/20 budget. That sort of budgeting might match your style better.

Why am I here??? said...

Hehe, do it Jolene! I'm interested to know if you're in the same boat as me. I challenge you to track for 1 month ;)

Yes Jacky, I understand the comment about the condiments. Unfortunately, we didn't spend any of that $400 on condiments. I love that your bf has a shoe problem....okay not love, but I think it's kind of cute.

Yes you're right Anony #1. I think we also waste a fair amount of food. I will have to make sure to monitor this more tightly. I'm doing a good job of freezing the leftovers but having a hard time catching up to all the food. Maybe I should challenge myself to have a clean sweep of the cupboards. Of course we go shopping every 5 days or so to pick up fresh fruits....AND my husband eats a ton at lunch. We could certainly cut back on our soda consumption. I drink 1 can a day and Sung Hyun averages about 4 a day, plus gatorade.

Anony #2, are there only 2 of you in the family? Is your husband Korean? If you answered yes to the following 2 questions...then I'm wondering if your name is Amanda. Anyways, thanks for the 50/30/20 and 60/20/20 information. I just spent the last 3o minutes reading about it and plotting our previous months income/expenses. Baby steps.

Next month I have two goals: start tracking another thing and spend less on food!!

Mrs. Kim said...

Anonymous 1&2,

It's not a contest. You don't win if you spend less money on food than Jen. Maybe you guys waste money elsewhere. Sure, she could pare down her grocery bill. That's why she posted about it.

FTR: I live in small-town Canada and food prices are astronomical, coupons almost nonexistent. I spend at least $200 a week to feed myself, my husband, and our two kids. It would be way more if I didn't buy what's on sale and if I only bought unprocessed organic stuff.

Hali said...

Try It is essentially what you are doing on the white board, minus the writing... the site does the work for you by combining all your accounts, debts, etc. (even find out your net worth!)

Why am I here??? said...

AWESOME Hali, I've been on the site before briefly, but now, thanks to you, I've set up an account connected to my bank. I will have to add in all the details sometime tomorrow. Thanks for sharing.

p.s. I love all your healthy eats on your blog. Send a wave of that inspiration my way ;)

Amyable said...

I too love the website, Thanks Hali!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to call myself Anonymous Coffee Table, bcs I am the person who wrote in depth about your ghost table and your living room. In all honesty, your pictures look like you are food hoarding. Do you even know what you have? Is any of that food expired? Stale?

However, I don't think you can put a dollar amount on your food if you a)Have the money and B)Are buying fresh, healthy foods. It's an investment in your future. However, if you are buying junky processed foods, it's no better than buying cigs or drugs. I think what you need is meal planning. Try planning meals 1-3 days in advance and also plan when and where you will be dining out. And remember, if you are aware of your budget then you are 10x better than most people who have no idea where their money goes or that they have a spending problem in certain areas of their life. So don't be too hard on yourself.

Why am I here??? said...

Hi coffee table, I think you're right on part a) and b). I think we've been hording food rather than looking at our cupboards and eating up what we already have. Yes, I'm happy that I'm more aware of what I'm spending because this week I could have eaten out 3 times (2 lunches + 1 supper) but I DIDN'T.....YAHHHH ME!