My Spending Diet: Week 11

| May 28, 2010 | 3 Comments

Before I launch into the My Spending Diet update, two things:

  1. My garden is growing! We’ve planted all our veggies and need to fence it all in (hopefully this weekend). Check in tomorrow for some pictures.
  2. Today is 30 days until I turn 30. Hard to believe it’s so close. I expected to enter my 30s at a much lower weight … so I am going to work my butt off to get as close as I can in the next month. Check out my Facebook page for updates on my progress.

What Happened: I started off the week with $200 in cash. Groceries were about $120 for the week, so I started Monday with about $80. I splurged on pizza (about $12) Monday, since it was uncomfortably hot and the idea of heating the kitchen to cook was just too much. Tuesday, Will had a birthday party to go to so we stopped and bought a present and ground coffee, which we were out of ($30). I also let him get a few extra tokens at the Chuck E. Cheese party ($1). Wednesday, I needed gas ($20) and bread for dinner ($2). There were a few other expenditures in there too … In any case, it’s Friday and I have about $15 left.

Did I stick 100 percent to cash this week? Nope. I tried. But on Wednesday, my cousin called me about a sale on clothes I love (and need), so I spent $50 there on a skirt and two shirts. On Thursday, I bought lunch for the kids, myself and my mother at Ikea (about $18) as well as a few items I wanted for the kids ($25 — but I am returning a $9 item). And I also replaced a toy box ($100) with a new storage unit. All in all, I spent an extra $185. Not the most successful week for cutting back spending.

That said, I really, really, really like using cash instead of credit. At the grocery store, I was more conscious than ever about the items I selected. It’s one thing to have a budget, but when that budget is steadfast — as in if you overspend, you don’t have money — it’s something totally different. It changes how you look at the things you purchase.

So, yes, I will go cash-only this week too. I think that the $200 might be the right amount for the week, but we’ll see. My biggest goal for this week? Not breaking out the credit cards once. I also want to get my grocery shopping costs down further (as in $100 this week …  eventually even less).

I’ve come a long, long way from when I began this journey. I never shared the dollar amount … but a few months ago, I was spending between $250 and $350 a week on groceries and takeout. Crazy, right? It just goes to show what good planning and smart decisions can do for what you spend.

What’s Next: I will continue with the cash plan this week. I am also setting aside any spare change at the end of the week for our vacation next month. Whether we use it for parking, tolls or a meal out, it will definitely come in handy.

Changed Saved for Vacay This Week: $2.03 (ALL WEEKS TOTAL: $2.03)
Photo credit: mconnors from


Category: A Little Help, Budget Eating

About the Author ()

Sarah Walker Caron is a writer, editor and recipe developer who loves to create delicious recipes the whole family can enjoy together. Her work has appeared in countless publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Maine with her two food-loving kids.

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  1. My Spending Diet: Week 12 | Sarah’s Cucina Bella :: Family Food | June 4, 2010
  1. Kayla says:

    I really love this post. Many food blogs don’t even worry about the budget when trying out gourmet recipes. I am a brand new blogger and I was out “researching” other food blogs and stumbled on to yours. I will be subscribing! P.S. I love the cash at the grocery store idea. How does your significant other feel about using cash? For whatever reason, (and yes, we are on a very modest income) I cannot get my husband to get behind the idea.


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