April food habits, Week 1

Last month, I talked about how I wasn’t really happy with my food spending. One of my projects for April is to fix that. I’m less concerned about how much money I’m spending on food and more about the time invested and happiness I get out of the food eating experience.

I almost always eat cereal and orange juice for breakfast, so I’ll only specify breakfast if that’s not the case. That spending falls into my “Groceries” line item. I usually buy orange juice by the gallon and switch up the cereal a lot, buying the largest box of a type I can. I also generally have some chocolate in the afternoon which either falls into “Dining Out” (vending machine), “Groceries” (bulk chocolate buying), or “Travel” (I love buying chocolate while in other cities). If I go for afternoon coffee, that counts in the “Lunches” category since it’s a work break thing.

Sunday, April 1st

  • First lunch: sandwich, $4.37 (Dining Out)
  • Second lunch: free or you could say it was included in my weekend tournament fee
  • Dinner: awesome local pizza, $14.67 (Dining Out)
  • Total day’s cost: $19.04
Monday, April 2nd
  • Stopped at the grocery store on the way to work to get some yogurts for snacks. Cost for 5 small yogurts: $3. (Groceries)
  • Breakfast: yogurt at work
  • Lunch: manager paid. I really like eating lunch with my team on Mondays.
  • Dinner: out with a friend while shopping – fun! Cost: $17.98 (Entertainment)
  • Total day’s cost: $20.98
Tuesday, April 3rd
  • Lunch: by myself. Cost: $5.56 (Lunches)
  • Dinner: leftover pizza from Sunday night
  • Total day’s cost: $5.56
Wednesday, April 4th
  • Lunch: with a friend. Cost: $7.65 (Lunches)
  • Dinner: made some frozen Chinese food I had bought at the grocery store the previous week and had the leftover rice from Friday night.
  • Total day’s cost: $7.65
Thursday, April 5th
  • Lunch: with a friend. I almost ate by myself, but then I decided to see if she was free and that was a good plan. Cost: $8.88 (Lunches)
  • Dinner: out with a friend before going to play sports – fun! Cost: $11.34 (Entertainment) We do this every week and normally I spend $5 on a small sandwich, but we switched it up this week.
  • Total day’s cost: $20.22
Friday, April 6th
  • Breakfast: oatmeal and orange juice
  • Lunch: stayed home sick from work, so I had chicken noodle soup and salted crackers for lunch. I keep a stash of soups at all times :)
  • Dinner: leftover Chinese food from Wednesday night and leftover rice from the previous Friday night. I should probably throw that rice out now.
  • Total day’s cost: free!
Saturday, April 7th
  • Breakfast: oatmeal and orange juice
  • Lunch: out with some girlfriends. Cost: $18.34 (Entertainment)
  • Afternoon snack: out with some girlfriends: Cost: $7.25 (Entertainment)
  • Total day’s cost: $26.11
Overall Cost
  • Entertainment: $55.43
  • Dining Out: $19.04
  • Groceries: $3.00
  • Lunches: $22.09
  • Total: $99.56

I think I did a pretty good job of doing what *I* want for food this week. Sometimes I will go along with my coworkers because that was the “easy” route even if I didn’t want to go where they were going or I wanted some time to myself. An excellent side effect of eating lunch by myself or with a friend is that I will often get back from lunch before they do and then I have some quiet time before they all come back!

Looking at the way I generally eat, if I cook a batch of food on Sunday, I think I need to eat some of it during the week for lunches since I do often eat out for dinner with friends. The problem is that my favorite part of lunch time is *leaving* the office building and going for a bit of a walk to wherever I eat lunch. A way around that I suppose is to go eat in the “cafeteria” where there is a microwave instead of sitting in the kitchen on my floor OR to eat “quickly” and then go for a walk with the rest of the time I would have otherwise taken to eat and walk somewhere.

I’m going to keep tracking my food habits each week for the rest of the month and hopefully every other week will be as happy as this one was!

I meant to go out and get groceries yesterday, so I’ll probably do that today.

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6 thoughts on “April food habits, Week 1

  1. Eating out is definitely one of my biggest problem areas in my spending. I, like you, tend to go out when my coworkers do and it’s not necessarily good for my health or my budget.

    • It definitely is. I can afford it, but what I’m working on is only eating out with my coworkers when I *want* to rather than out of laziness.

      I could spend so much less on food by buying groceries for the month and not eating out at all. I figure that I could spend only $200 for the entire month on food if it was all groceries, no lunches or dinners out, no vending machine chocolate bars, etc. But then I would be eating alone, every day. And when I’m single, I really don’t want to do that. I probably would if I couldn’t afford the level of eating out I do now, but this way makes me so much happier.

      I don’t want to turn into one of those single women who goes home after work to cook and eat dinner by themselves and spends the entire weekend by themselves. So I’m trying to find some balance.

  2. I have the same problem as you when I bring my lunch to work, I end up eating at my desk and really miss getting out of the office. I also feel like I’m less productive in the afternoon if I haven’t had a lunchtime break. However, I feel like it’s so much healthier to bring my own lunch. Late, things have been so crazy that I’ve been buying my lunch most days at work. I try to stick to healthy things and it’s been so nice to get out of the office for a little while, even if it ends up costing more.

    • I think it’ll be easier now that it’s summer time, since if I bring my lunch, I can microwave it or whatever and then go eat outside in the sunshine! :) There are some patios near my office where anyone can go and eat, which my team often does in the summer time and it is AWESOME.

      I generally try to go to restaurants with smaller portions, where I can get a sandwich and some soup or something, which does end up costing less than where I go with my coworkers.

  3. Wow, I’m impressed by your attention to details. I know this is what I need to do but I still haven’t gotten around to it. My main excuse is that I can’t get my husband to track his spending so it really doesn’t work if only 1 person counts the cash outflow.

    I am also prone to eating out with or without co-workers. One of the ways I break that habit is to make sure that I do take a walk or change of scenery even if I bring lunch. That way, I don’t associate bringing lunch = shorter, eat at my desk scenario. I sometimes eat pretty quickly and then just go outside and read a magazine. I love doing that so the lure of eating out with co-workers isn’t as attractive.

    • You can always get him to give you receipts or check your credit card statements and then categorize them for his spending. Or count all of his spending as an “allowance”.

      I like the idea of going outside after eating – that doesn’t work so well in the winter though!

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