Last day!


Day 7: Tuesday, January 24

5:30 AM – Rain AGAIN. Getting tired of soggy fluffies and soggy ME. Same breakfast as yesterday. Also make earl grey lavender in my travel mug to take to work, to stave off the coffee craving.

7 AM – Listen to the first episode of Hollywood & Crime. It’s not bad, and I decide to download the rest of the available episodes.

9:45 AM – Eat my pear. I have a 10:30 AM training class and if I don’t eat now, I’ll be so cranky. I also eat some cashews. (Incidentally, isn’t it hard to get the suggested number of fruits and veggies a day?)

10:30 AM – Training class. Got homework. Boo.

12 PM – Scramble to eat lunch before the next meeting and office microwave rush. Same lunch as yesterday: mac and cheese, Brussels sprouts and satsuma.

1 PM – Meeting #2. Fairly painless and it occurs to me that our management rocks.

2 PM – Tackle my project. Translating a Python package into R. Did I mention I don’t code in Python?

3:30 PM – Finish up the last of the dried baby pineapple I keep in my magical desk drawer of everything good. Why do I keep getting so many emails? Also, I need more snacks.

5:30 PM – HOME. We decide to go out to dinner to celebrate S’s birthday early, because we’re having family over this weekend when his actual birthday is ($55.35). We go to a local restaurant that we like for crab cakes, burgers, and cocktails.

8:30 PM – Home again. Call my dad. It’s his birthday (5 h time difference to HI).

Daily total: $55.35.

Weekly total: $2.27 + 29.97 + 247.83. + $32.40 + 55.35 = $367.82


I feel like I have to defend that total a bit. Like I said, we shop at Costco for some staples and basics, about every 6 weeks or so, and it’s unfortunate that that trip fell during my experiment, ha! S sent me this old Washington Post article about grocery shopping for one, because it’s helpful. We shop for two, but a lot of the ideas are the same. I don’t agree with some of them (like keeping fresh herbs on hand every week – although I do want to grow some this summer), but for the most part, I keep a well-stocked pantry with basics (flour, sugar, butter, canned tomatoes, canned beans, etc.), buy and freeze proteins in bulk, and then buy fruit and veggies and dairy on a weekly basis. We’ve also been making extra effort to minimize food waste (S got this book for Christmas one year), but also not to go overboard in the other direction. I know my mom has a tendency to have a billion things in an overflowing cabinet, and I regularly try to go through and make sure that we don’t have things sitting around unused.

Otherwise, though, it’s pretty obvious that most of our money is spent on food, haha. That’s not terrible. I could probably cut out the extra coffees, (two in a week), but sometimes these little things do perk you up during the day, and I guess we have to decide what’s worth it. Still, it’s an ongoing effort.

What are your strategies for grocery shopping, or making and keeping a budget? Have you ever done a weekly diary like this, and what kind of habits did you notice?

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