Food! ($83,584)

I had a really good morning, taking the dog to get a pedicure (a/k/a getting her nails trimmed, since I’m too scared to do it myself), then taking her out to play fetch, and generally ride around. We don’t have a fenced in yard, and live on a busier street, so we haven’t tried taking her out back without a leash. We have to get more creative to find more open places for her to run around. There’s a really nice park not far from us, but they can be strict about the leash policy. I would not be disappointed if they wanted to put in a dog park there.
After we got home, I went out food shopping. I haven’t gone food shopping by myself in a long time. I like to take my time and go down every aisle. The man — he doesn’t. I was good about my purchases today, and didn’t buy any junk food whatsoever. I’m trying to watch what we eat, specifically eating a lot more vegetables and less pasta. We eat a LOT of pasta, largely because I know how to make it. The man also has multiple rice dishes in his repertoire. But damn, trying to eat healthy can be expensive. Even more concerning than the expense: will all of that food go bad in my fridge when I inevitably don’t make it? I tried to get a good mix of easy things (grapes, blackberries and clementines for taking to work), cooking vegetables (cauliflower, a zucchini, peppers and onions for stir fry) and lazy cooking vegetables (frozen green and wax beans, frozen butternut squash). Tonight’s dinner was a success (meatloaf, mashed cauliflower and the beans)–I won’t be too upset spending money on all this food if we are actually successful about eating it.

I really want ice cream now.

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Grocery Lists ($100,026)*

As I had hoped, I limited myself to 4 (okay really 5) trips to the grocery store this month, going only once a week. The first three times I brought a list with me, and only bought things on the list (admittedly, one of those things was often “snacky thing for work”). I spent about $75 each time, including the time I stocked up on paper towels. On Saturday I made a semi-planned stop at Whole Foods–I was by my old apartment an hour and a half away, and there is one right there. I had planned on stopping at the one closer to my house, but since we were there…long story short I like their California rolls (the closest I’m likely ever getting to liking sushi), and they make them fresh in the store unlike the WF by me. So in addition to my intended purchase of bags and bags of frozen strawberries, I bought some sushi dinner.

My last grocery trip of the month was on Monday night. I had a lot going on this weekend and was unable to plan for a real grocery shopping. In desperation (needing bananas to go in my smoothie with all those strawberries), I stopped sans list…and spent $100. I still looked at the circular in advance during the day, but there was no real meal planning.

The good news is I’m exactly at my $300 budget for groceries this month, and won’t be stopping again until at least Saturday. Hopefully I’ll be a little under budget in February.

* One small complaint: this includes both the vested and unvested portions of my 401(k)–I’d prefer to only see the vested, and am debating whether I should remove it from Mint entirely.