In March, I wrote an article about how we're slaying our food and dining bill. Recently, a few readers asked me to post a status update about the idea. Today, I’ll share an informal update and a few observations about the project.
With that, let’s get started!
At the end of February, we started to plan our meals carefully, and we began to closely track our spending on food and dining. Doing so impacted our habits and spending.
Check out the difference in our food and dining spending over the past four months:
January 2017 — $1081
February 2017 — $970
March 2017 — $637
April 2017 — $700
The figures above include groceries for our home (the bulk of the totals), dining at restaurants, cafe stops, coffee and tea for our house, and alcohol.
Other observations about this project include:
1. Ideally, we'd like to spend $400 a month on food and dining. I hope we can make that happen by June. We need to tweak our budget and do a better job at meal planning and preparation to make that goal a reality. Instead of being hard on myself or trying to be perfect, I'm having fun with the process. Changing my habits takes time, and that’s okay!
2. I'm spending additional time in the kitchen cleaning and doing dishes because we don't have a dish washer. When I'm in cleanup mode, I listen to podcasts, think about writing projects, or zone out. Also, I'm learning to let my dishes sit in the sink if I'm tired. There is no rule that says my kitchen needs to be spotless all of the time. Plus, letting things get messy is an excellent way to let go of my perfectionist tendencies.
3. When we lived in the tiny house full-time, I shopped for fresh food every few days because our refrigerator was very small. In our apartment, we have a large refrigerator, a freezer, and additional cabinet space in the kitchen. This enables us to shop once a week for food. Eating well in our tiny house wasn't a problem. However, it’s nice to have a little more space in our cupboards. And speaking of storage, we’re purchasing more food in bulk (like almonds, walnuts, dried fruit, protein bars, etc.) because it’s less expensive. Hopefully, these purchases will lead to a reduction in our spending over time.
Are you trying to spend less on food and dining? If yes, what have you learned from the experience? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.