The Results Are In

I’ve been doing the tracking my spending thing for one week.

The result:
I think I may throw up.

I spent way more than I really can afford to.  Which has me a little puzzled. What am  I spending more on than I used to, when I earned less?

Alright, so one of the spendiest things was bra and undie shopping, and that’s something I do maybe once or twice a year. It won’t happen again for a long time.

But I don’t have that excuse for the amount of money I spent on sushi and smoothies. There’s a big thing right there.

There were four trips to Starbucks – with Cameron along that means yogurt parfait, kid’s juice, and a latte or smoothie for me. It used to be just a weekend treat. There was lunch at JJ’s – latte, muffin, juice, pannini. Whupsini. That’s new.

But $144 in a week on groceries? WTF? Five one-litre bottles of the expensive kind of flavoured soy milk is a good starter on that. Cameron’s guzzling it, and it’s twice the price of milk. And waitasec … 7 and a half bucks for A LITRE of chocolate soy milk? How could I have missed this? Ohwaitasec, that’s the soy milk ice cream. It is delicious. And mostly still there. I love ice cream in teaspoon doses, it’s been known to go bad in my freezer because I eat it so slowly, so it’ll likely not be a repeat purchase. Five litres of yogurt, and the stuff I’ve been eating isn’t the cheapest to put it mildly. Four litres of homo milk, half already down the drain in a failed attempt to reduce my yogurt purchases. How does one fail at making yogurt? I dunno, but I managed. Yes I spent the last eight years culturing bacteria. I should also note that there’s lots still left over. My fridge is packed full. There’s ham, sole, tomatoes, chard, peppers, salad, carrots, onions, veggie lentil/bean soup mix, milk galore, juice galore, pasta, tomatoes with which to make pasta sauce, two full things of yogurt some potatoes, lots of rice.

Lattes. Let’s not even go there. You mean we have to? Crap. Okay, here’s my thinking. I earn more now than before. I used to have a latte a day. I should still be able to enjoy that. Right? Maybe every other day. I know, it’s a pointless waste of money but it makes my mornings a little brighter. But really, I should try to keep it to just one.

I can do a good job of justifying, eh? Suuuuure,  I spent a lot on groceries, but a lot is still there for us to eat!

So that this isn’t all me beating up on myself: alcohol. Once upon a time I spent far more on booze than I should have. This week I bought Strongbow Cider once. Less than fifteen bucks, and that’s enough for me for the week for sure. Yay me.

So, here’s my spending plan for this coming week.

  • ONE Starbucks OR JJs weekend trip. Sorry Cameron my love, we’ll have to come up with a cheaper bribe to get you to potty train.
  • Try a latte every other day in the morning. Coffee on the off days.
  • Bring tea bags and a litre of milk to work.
  • Buy a bag of cookies. Take a couple a day to work.
  • Cameron loves his soy milk, but I might just switch to a cheaper brand. He doesn’t seem to notice, at least he didn’t when he was drinking the chocolate stuff.
  • Plan meals around what I have already in the fridge.
  • Try to make yogurt again.
  • Make bread. Four bucks a loaf vs a buck.
  • No clothes.
  • Sushi once. Smoothie once. (whiiiine) Get back to routinely packing a lunch.
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3 responses to “The Results Are In

  1. You’re good Mel… to be tracking so diligently. Something we need to do, but are too afraid.

    We drink the President’s Choice Soy Milk in vanilla and chocolate. Can be found on sale at about $1.29 for a 946ml box. If we’re running low, I mix it with 2% milk (cheapest here is at Shopper’s Drug Mart, at $3.99 for 4L, unlike the $5 at the grocery store).

    I have a hunch you’re eating Activia yogurt. The prune reference the other day tipped me off. I have tried many others in an attempt to find a cheaper, but just as decadent, variety. No luck. So I splurge on Activia. Sooooo creeeeeammmmy.

    Allow yourself the treats, but make a schedule for them. When you know it is treat day, it seems easier to wait than just say “no treats. ever”

    Good luck!
    Joe

  2. I know what you mean… it’s scary. I’m currently trying the ‘cash only’ option. It’s challenging. To say the least. Do you need your coffee maker back? That’s what I’ve been doing. Bringing coffee with me to work. Reduces the temptation to buy coffee. Reduces, not eliminates. Sadly enough…

  3. Darnit, I so wish there were Superstores (same company as Loblaws) near me. It’s such a hassle to get to one, but I love the president’s choice stuff. Good and cheap. Though I doubt it’s that cheap here – I’m always stunned at the price difference in food when I visit home. And yep, Activia strawberry for Cameron. The even more expensive plain high-fat Mediterranean stuff for me. Which reminds me, gonna try making yogurt again with the last of that.

    Chris, nah, hold onto the coffee maker for now. To tell the truth, on weekend mornings I have tea, and will probably do that for now on weekdays. We’ll see though. Plus … where would I put it? You’ve seen my kitchen. There’s no space! 🙂 About cash-only, that’s part of my general plan. A month of awareness of spending so I know how much I need for the week, then ONE trip a week to the bank.

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