Something I randomly take a lot of pride in is my ability to consistently keep my grocery bill on the low side. I didn’t think much of it until roommates and friends after college started commenting on how “little” I was spending, and I do watch what I buy each week (and go in with a list/plan rather than impulse shop). My dad has always been good at grocery shopping on a budget and in turn, I’m one of those passionate CVS couponers and picked up how to keep my food bill low! When I was only shopping for myself, I’d average around $25-30/week on groceries, often under $20 and sometimes pushing $50, depending on if it was my turn to pick up toilet paper or if I was out of olive oil, etc.
I think the main thing that helped keep my grocery bill low is that I didn’t buy meat often–shopping as a vegetarian is much lighter on the wallet! I also didn’t love cooking meat and would rather order it out, so this never felt like a restriction. However, when J and I moved in together, he expressed wanting to cook meat more frequently–which is totally valid! We probably don’t eat it as much as he’d like to (😬) but he actually likes getting creative with vegetarian recipes and we’ve been incorporating more fish into our diets, too. The main reason I did this post is because I can’t quite articulate what makes me spend “less” at the store–hopefully writing out what we bought will help! We try to stay around $50 total–give or take–each week, and it’s been relatively doable.
A note that J probably averages buying lunch out once a week (sometimes once, but never more than twice), I buy lunch out once every other week or so, and we are usually out for dinner 1-2x/week. Included in that are my blog events (he’ll usually graze on something or eat leftovers), meeting up with friends, or treating ourselves to takeout (usually 2-3x/month). If one of us is out and the other is home, we try to piece things together from the fridge or freezer instead of order in. That’s why we buy a lot of frozen food…I think our bill would be a lot higher if we brought more fresh fruit + veggies but as long as we’re getting the health benefits, we’re fine with it! We also shop at Trader Joe’s as much as possible, even though Safeway and Whole Foods are sometimes more convenient. TJ’s is so much cheaper and slightly inconveniencing ourselves is worth it for the selection + budget!
Attending the Brimfield Antique Show in central Massachusetts (also known as the Brimfield Antique Flea Market…I can’t even tell which one is the “official” website) has been on my bucket list for years, and we finally made it up there a couple weeks ago! My sorority little’s wedding conveniently happened to overlap with the last market of the year (it happens 3x/year) and since J grew up in the area, it was easy to fly up Thursday night and head to the market early Friday. The weather was supposed to be pretty crummy but it ended up being a cool day with a couple sprinkles but generally overcast skies. It was pretty much exactly what I expected, but less chaotic and more organized.
I have some experience with antiques and flea markets but still turned to the experts (in my mind, at least!)–Meg, Jackie, and Jill–for their tips. We were flying with carry-ons and had no plans to buy furniture, so only brought $200 cash–and didn’t even use all of it–so was mainly there to browse and hopefully come home with a few gems. We ended up with a semi-large blue and white bowl (in pristine condition with scalloped edges that weren’t chipped!), brass anchor-shaped bookends, a cool piece of handmade wood art with a lobster (pictured below), and a couple pairs of earrings for me ($1 each!).
Following our trip up north last weekend, we’ve spent most of the week in DC stalking weather reports. Luckily it looks like the effects of Florence are going to be pretty mild on our front, but obviously the same can’t be said for much of the Carolinas. If you or loved ones are in the path, stay safe! Our weekend plans were minimal to non-existent because Millie gets spayed today and we don’t want to leave her alone if we don’t have to. They say that it’s harder on the humans than the dog and while I find that hard to believe, am guessing she’ll be in better spirits by day two and we’ll still be fawning over her like she’s immediately post-surgery 🙃
I’ve been reading a lot lately–a new book roundup to come soon!–and am planning on doing a whole lot of that and behind the scenes blog work (in the way of SEO, categorizing content, etc.) that’s been nagging on my to-do list for awhile. Hope you have a nice weekend!