Tonight was THE chance for the Husband and I to put our new budget skills to the test.

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Budgeting is hard.  πŸ™

 

We walked to an Italian restaurant called Vivace for our weekly β€œdate night,” for which we have set aside $40 each week.

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We were mostly drawn to this restaurant for it’s wonderful location, but we WILL come back because of the fresh, seasonally-inspired food!  It was DIVINE.

 

We sat out on the patio so we could watch the sun set over Uptown:

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In order to keep our budget under control, we both skipped alcohol and stuck with (FREE) water.

 

Lucky for us, dining from the vegetarian menu is always cheaper, too!

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(It was nice to have a dedicated menu for vegetarians, but REAL β€œvegetarian menus” should NOT feature seafood, in my very humble opinion!)

 

We started off with warm and crusty bread with a whipped bean dip:

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And we split this amazing olive and almond appetizer.  I have become OBSESSED with olives lately… so salty and satisfying!

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I ordered two more appetizers for my entree.

 

Gnocchi with grilled peaches, cheese, and greens.  This gnocchi was THE BEST GNOCCHI EVER.  Little pillows of fluff!

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I ordered the seasonal side salad with fruit and wonderful lemon dressing.

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I am proud to say that this wonderful dinner (the Husband had a pasta entree) only cost us $44 with a 25% tip – only $4 over budget!  Wahoo!  Not perfect, but definitely making progress.

 

After dinner, we walked to the grocery store and did our weekly shopping.  Our weekly budget for groceries will vary from $60 to $80 a week.

 

Grocery shopping on a budget is as fun as dining out on a budget.  :(  But it’s going to be worth it to bring our monthly bills down to a manageable level!

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Our haul:

 

  • Almonds
  • Half and half (organic)
  • Bananas (organic)
  • Rice milk
  • Spinach (organic)
  • Zucchini (organic)
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Green beans (organic)
  • Spinach (organic)
  • Blueberries
  • Tofu (organic)
  • Bread (organic)
  • Wraps
  • Three cans of beans (organic)
  • Hummus
  • Two Greek Yogurts
  • Orange juice (organic)
  • Peanut butter (organic)
  • Animal Crackers
  • Chocolate

 

As you can see, we buy a lot of organic.  The Husband insists on buying everything organic if it’s available (I tend to lean towards only buying The Dirty Dozen organic).  It definitely drives up the overall cost of groceries, so I try to buy whatever organic produce is on cheapest versus a specific type of produce.  We spent $54 – coming $6 under budget.  Wahoo!

 

And we might’ve spent the evening pinchin’ pennies… but truthfully, it was a great night. πŸ™‚

 

And – just ate a million animal crackers.

{ 90 comments }

 

  • Iris September 16, 2010, 9:43 pm

    Wow, that was a cheap dinner for all you got! And a 25% tip? Nice job. All waitresses everywhere are thanking you. πŸ™‚

    • Caitlin September 16, 2010, 9:44 pm

      I was a bartender and the Hus was a waiter so we are especially generous when we make lots of vegetarian/vegan modifications.

  • Rachel September 16, 2010, 9:43 pm

    That looks like an amaaaazing dinner! Wow!!! I must say- that makes me want to come visit Charlotte so I can enjoy that delightful dinner! Good for you that you were on budget!

  • Kath September 16, 2010, 9:43 pm

    Go you for skipping alcohol! That’s the hard part for me. I always wanted to go to Vivace.

  • Kristina @ spabettie September 16, 2010, 9:44 pm

    awesome thriftiness, guys!

    πŸ™‚

    that gnocchi looks DIVINE…

  • Whitney September 16, 2010, 9:46 pm

    Those to me are the two hardest parts of budgeting! We have such a hard time coming in on target with groceries. And I can say it’s 100% my fault. I love cooking and eating too much. There’s always a new recipe out there that I want to try that requires at least 3 ingredients that aren’t in my pantry. It’s a weekly struggle for me!

  • Angharad September 16, 2010, 9:47 pm

    Gosh budgeting is so hard. We had a similar crack down on our spending last year when we were ALWAYS going broke. Grocery shopping was a big struggle because we also made a commitment to only buy local, free range and organic meat, which equals serious $$$!

    It’s worth it though and I think it makes you so much more conscious of where your hard earned cash is going.

  • Shannon, Tropical Eats September 16, 2010, 9:47 pm

    I think servers at restaurants hate me bc I always order water. Free = awesome.

    Great job on stickin to your budget!

  • Erin September 16, 2010, 9:47 pm

    It’s always great to have a seasonal meal, too, which is unfortunately not always easy to find. Looks delish — and yes, grocery shopping on a budget can be frustrating but I try to embrace & enjoy the challenge. πŸ™‚

  • Tina September 16, 2010, 9:50 pm

    Good job sticking to your budget overall. It gets easier with time too. Trust me.

    I always like to make it a sort of game too. Gotta do what you can to make it a little less painful. πŸ˜‰

  • holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 16, 2010, 9:50 pm

    That meal looks so good — pillows of fluff, I love it!

    Pinching pennies is tough, but I love seeing money left over at the end of the month — it is worth it in the end!

  • Jillian@ Reshape Your Life September 16, 2010, 9:50 pm

    Awesome job sticking to a budget! And for giving a generous tip. πŸ™‚

  • Stacey September 16, 2010, 9:53 pm

    Glad you had a great night, even if you did go $4 over budget πŸ˜‰ Yay! That’s another restaurant to try when I’m in QC, I’m slowly starting to have a long list πŸ˜€

  • Joslyn @ missfitbliss September 16, 2010, 9:56 pm

    It’s important to be realistic with all of this healthy lifestyle stuff! Thanks for sharing with us;)

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 16, 2010, 9:57 pm

    I tried putting the husband and myself at a $200 grocery budget for the month… it’s the 16th, and I have $12 left. I’m not sure I can do it!!!!

  • Elizabeth September 16, 2010, 9:58 pm

    That gnocchi looks delicious! Have you ever tried pumpkin gnocchi? oooo i die thinking about it πŸ™‚

  • whitney September 16, 2010, 10:01 pm

    congrats on keeping within your budget and praises to you for tipping that well!

    I am a server and right now that is my only income. It saddens me when I work so hard to give great service , get praised, and then receive a 10% tip.

  • Emma September 16, 2010, 10:10 pm

    I KNOW budgeting is hard right now, but my husband and I started following Dave Ramsey’s budgeting tools and it gets so much easier and gives us so much peace of mind. Stick to it and you’ll feel so much less anxiety, honestly.

  • Camille September 16, 2010, 10:13 pm

    You have inspired me to start budgeting. Thank you!

  • Janene Giuseffi September 16, 2010, 10:14 pm

    awww, you two are just too stinkin’ adorable, even when penny pinching! πŸ˜€

  • Lauren September 16, 2010, 10:24 pm

    I am SO PROUD of you two for tipping 25%! I wish more people understood how much that extra few dollars means to a waiter/waitress. The restaurant I work in now is pretty up-scale, and if your average tip percentage isn’t a certain level, you don’t get to work in the good sections with lots of tables– you have no chance to make more than like $10/hr on a good night if you’re in a bad section. Also, most restaurants, even mom-and-pop pubs, practice tip sharing. That means that if you don’t tip, the server still has to “tip” or share with the bartenders/bussers/food runners a certain percentage of his or her sales each night, so in essence, that server just PAID to wait on you! NOT OK!!

    You might have gone over your budget by $4 but the good karma that will come back to you will be worth more than that! Good work! πŸ™‚

  • maria @ Chasing the Now September 16, 2010, 10:36 pm

    I agree with you on the organic issue-I buy thin skinned vegetables and fruits organic, especially if I eat the skin.

    You can definitely do this budgeting thing, Caitlin! Don’t give up.

  • Heather September 16, 2010, 10:49 pm

    I so need to get on a budget, I’m way too frivolous at the grocery store.

    Great job on the $54 grocery trip, that’s awesome for two people to eat for the week!

  • Ashley R. September 16, 2010, 10:52 pm

    Wow, I believe I have driven by Vivace plenty of times before and I always thought it was a hair salon. lol! Beautiful view and the food looks good. I may have to try it our sometime. Good luck with your budgeting, I should do the same!

  • Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] September 16, 2010, 10:52 pm

    Your dinner pics are so fresh and appetizing!!

  • Jen September 16, 2010, 11:09 pm

    You were $4 over on dinner and $6 under on groceries, so technically you came out $2 ahead πŸ™‚ I totally LOL’d at the pic of your hubby with the grocery cart – my hubby has the same expression when we grocery shop/make unexpected stops at Payless/visit pet stores that shelter rescue cats (I always want to come home with more furbabies). You guys are doing great!

  • Caitlin September 16, 2010, 11:20 pm

    My boyfriend and I almost always drink only water. Once he ordered a pint of beer, and we were both SHOCKED at how much more expensive it made our meal.

  • Natalie September 16, 2010, 11:31 pm

    I love the expression on your husband’s face in the picture of your grocery cart…it reminds me of my own husband when we go together!

  • Elisse September 16, 2010, 11:50 pm

    Can I just say that I think its really great that, while dining out on a budget, you still managed to leave a 25% tip. Props.

  • Amber K September 17, 2010, 12:04 am

    I stick to the dirty dozen when it comes to buying organic. Otherwise it feels like a waste of money.

    My husband and I only drink water when we’re out. If we want something fancier, we’re eating at home. But I am shocked by the price.

    Maybe it’s because we go to very unfancy places, but we have never spent more than $25 on dinner for the two of us (at some places that’s including drinks and dessert).

    The food looks great!

    • Amber K September 17, 2010, 12:15 am

      I also disagree with having seafood on the vegetarian menu. This especially bugs me when fish is the only vegetarian option. I don’t eat meat! Guess what? That includes fish!

      • Caitlin September 17, 2010, 6:39 am

        fish have faces = not vegetarian πŸ˜‰

  • Charlie September 17, 2010, 12:17 am

    Everything looks delicious! You gave me a craving for olives ;).

  • Nicole - yuppie yogini September 17, 2010, 12:17 am

    Vivace is really yummy. We haven’t had outside seating though. I’m siding with Kristien on the organic issues.

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks September 17, 2010, 1:04 am

    I almost bought the TJ’s animal crackers on Monday…but instead TJ’s Way More Chocolate Chip Cookies….they are so addicting! @_@

  • Sarah for Real September 17, 2010, 1:12 am

    Nicely done! My husband and I dine out a LOT and our trick for saving money is to eat at weird times.

    We often have “linner” in the middle of the afternoon when lunch menus are still available. This also discourages alcohol purchases… unless we subscribe to the “five o’clock somewhere” philosophy of course πŸ˜‰

  • Wei-Wei September 17, 2010, 2:13 am

    I think it’s so cool that you managed to leave a 25% tip even on a budget! You guys are awesome. And hey, if you add it up, then you’re actually $2 under budget! πŸ˜€

  • Susan @ Journey for Health September 17, 2010, 2:45 am

    Wow, a spectacular dinner! Looked delicious.

    And, can I say another WOW for only spending $54 for TWO people for weekly groceries! I spent twice that before for the boyfriend and myself easily. But, his frozen lunches for work are easily $3-5 a piece (he likes the Amy’s and Kashi brands), so that’s easily about $20-$30 right there). Plus, I’m not a vegetarian, so the meat adds up.

    But….can I make a suggestion for something that’d be awesome to see on your blog, and it fits kind of with this post’s focus? You listed your grocery goodies, now, can you list the week’s meals that are going to be made with those ingredients? You obviously give multiple recipes, but it’s nice to see the meals listed with the grocery ingredients if possible. It makes it seem easier to make such a small grocery budget stretch.

    • Caitlin September 17, 2010, 6:40 am

      Oh that would be such a cool idea BUT i don’t meal plan – at all. like, even a meal ahead.

      is there another way i could do it (after the fact i guess?)

      • Laura September 17, 2010, 7:39 am

        Consider giving meal planning a try just for a week or two, Caitlin. It is a really great way to save money on groceries because you’re only buying what you need to make meals that week. Also, if you read the sale paper for the grocery store you can base your meals off of what is on sale that week and save even more.

        I actually add dinners to my Google calendar and have it “repeat” every three to four weeks (this doesn’t always coincide with what is on sale, of course). After a week or do of doing this, the meal planning is done for me and the dinners are spread out enough that we don’t get tired of the recipe!

      • Susan @ Journey for Health September 17, 2010, 3:02 pm

        After the fact would be cool, too. It’s just a way to see how to creatively use the items purchased. I don’t meal plan much, either. I mean, I try to have an idea of a few things to have for dinners, but I always end up changing things depending on my mood.

  • Freya (Brit Chick Runs) September 17, 2010, 3:05 am

    I think it’s ridiculous to have seafood on a vegetarian menu! Gosh :s
    Congrats on coming in under budget on the groceries – makes up for being $4 over on the meal πŸ˜€

  • Christie {Honoring Health} September 17, 2010, 5:27 am

    We are working on our food budget too and it blows.

    I am also thinking I must be really ocd. I put all of my groceries in the cart really neatly and I even put them on the belt the way I want them bagged. (Yes, I have a way I want them bagged).

  • Val @ Balancing Val September 17, 2010, 5:57 am

    Grocery budgeting is the hardest thing we have come across since living together. We split everything 50/50 since we both make about the same money and let’s face it, he’s got a little growing up to do in the financial area!

    We spend about $50 per week on groceries and I try and use some of that for household things too. We ran out of water filters for the sink and they were on SALE for $40 for 6 which only leaves $10 left in grocery for the week. If we need it, I’m the one that takes it out of my ‘allowance” that I put myself on, but I always try and look in kitchen and see if I can scrape together enough meals to get us through and this time I do.

    It’s always challenging, but kinda fun! πŸ™‚

  • Lauren September 17, 2010, 6:59 am

    That sounds like the best thing in the world, gnocchi with grilled peaches?!?! WOw!!

  • Erica September 17, 2010, 7:02 am

    Great job sticking with the budget! Dinner looks fabulous. I agree- veg menus should NOT contain fish/seafood…I would be all over that white bean spread for the bread (YUM!). I need to get better about buying more organic produce. I’ve been focusing more on local vs. fully organic as of late

  • Cati @ crave and create September 17, 2010, 7:16 am

    Gnocchi with grilled peaches?! That sounds amazing! I’ve never heard of such a thing, but I’m betting the texture combination was spot-on.

    Thanks for sharing your work with the budget – it’s so nice to know that I’m not the only one who struggles with money, because sometimes it feels like it! I’ve been budgeting for over a year, and speaking from experience – even on days where you’re not “perfect” it is definitely going to help you to be aware of where your money is going!

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) September 17, 2010, 7:24 am

    I will have to keep that place in mind next time I come to Charlotte. It looks delicious. I hear ya on the budget. It is hard. I wish it was easier to buy organics and not so expensive. Whe you feed a family of 4 on one income, it gets a little tricky. I try to stick to the things I can especially with the boys, but I don’t always do it for myself.

  • Susan - Nurse on the Run September 17, 2010, 7:35 am

    As a former waitress, I definitely appreciate the 25% tip! I would hate when people gave 15%, especially if they lingered after their meal. Time is money in the serving business!

  • Mary September 17, 2010, 7:35 am

    I ask this with no ill will – but when the change of heart on “As you can see, we buy a lot of organic”… something that stuck with me was your post from a couple months ago where you emphatically stated the opposite – that you rarely buy organic: http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2010/06/goodbye-publix.html

    As I said, just curious…

    • Caitlin September 17, 2010, 10:30 am

      The Hus has REALLY gotten into organic produce so I’ve been trying to change my shopping habits. It’s hard to spend the extra money but obviously I see where he is coming from.

  • Jean@RoastedRootsPumpkinSpice September 17, 2010, 7:39 am

    Good for you starting on your budgeting! It’s great that you got to eat such great food at a low cost.

  • Heather (heather's dish) September 17, 2010, 7:48 am

    that’s so awesome to watch you come under budget…definitely some tips for the taking here! and that gnocchi looks outrageously good!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal September 17, 2010, 7:57 am

    I think publicly documenting this will help you immensely, too. If you mess up, everyone sees! (obviously your readers aren’t perfect either, but I’m just sayin’ πŸ˜‰ )
    What a great meal out – the gnocci looks great!

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) September 17, 2010, 8:03 am

    Wow, I wish we could only spend $40 on our date night! Our goal is $50 and we hardly ever make it :/

    Great job with budgeting!

  • Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon September 17, 2010, 8:21 am

    Congrats on sticking to the budget! Our weekly budget is actually quite similar to yours–both for groceries and for our weekly date night. We set our budget right after we got married (almost 3 years ago), and we’ve loved it–budgeting forces you to get creative in all that you do!

    PS–Gnocci with peaches? Awesome! Dinner looked incredible.

  • Jessica (Fit and Clean) September 17, 2010, 8:23 am

    I wish I had your grocery budget! My husband budget’s ours at $200/week…but there’s 5 of us and 3 really hungry growing kids! LOL I LOVE gnocchi, I haven’t had it in forever! MMmmmm!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 17, 2010, 8:26 am

    Obviously you’ve never had my Nonna’s gnocchi πŸ˜‰

  • Laura @ Tidbits September 17, 2010, 8:38 am

    Great job sticking on budget lst night!!! I know how hard it can be, but when you stick to the budget, it’s so worth it in the end. πŸ™‚

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman September 17, 2010, 8:39 am

    I loved this post. We’re trying to budget better, and seeing your groceries was great. I always find that getting organic or just a lot of produce in general makes the bill skyrocket. I hope you’ll keep posting about your budgeting, etc. I love the tips.

  • Emily September 17, 2010, 8:59 am

    I actually LOVE grocery shopping on a budget. I approach it as a challenge, and then feel awesome when I find things on sale, etc. So sad we have no Trader Joe’s here in CO.

  • Heather September 17, 2010, 9:46 am

    Ooooh, I just saw Vivace while out and about last week. I will definitely give that a try.

    I’d also like to recommend Aria, which is in uptown. They have $5 bar bites (I think every night…we usually go on Fridays). You have to sit in the bar area, but it has a really cool vibe…like you’re in a cool NYC club for the night (only less snobby).

    They have a fantastic gorgonzola & apple gnocchi (it comes with prosciutto, but you could definitely order it without that) and wild mushroom flatbread pizza. My boyfriend and I like to go there and have a cheap date night “tapas style”.

  • Maria @ Kale and Cupcakes September 17, 2010, 9:49 am

    The food at that resto looks wonderful! Love this post – I’ve gotta sit down with the husband and figure out our own finances – thanks for the ideas!

  • ari September 17, 2010, 10:04 am

    it makes me mad that some people think that fish “don’t count” as animals or meat.
    i also love that you guys are such good tippers. i work in a restaurant – just as a hostess, but i know the servers and how hard they work so i always make sure and tip at least 20% everywhere i go.

  • Jess @ atasteofconfidence September 17, 2010, 10:06 am

    Grocery shopping on a limited budget is so hard- there are always so many things I want to get..but you guys did a good job!

  • Marg September 17, 2010, 10:14 am

    Way to go!!! I need to get my grocery shopping in order. I’m spending way too much for just a few dinners a week.

  • Rachel September 17, 2010, 10:15 am

    Way to go for keeping your budget in mind. I think a lot of us make a budget, and then totally forget about it. Or just hope and pray that our spending meets the budget, but don’t take any concrete steps.

    I guess my parents noticed it was “Budget chat time” in the healthy living blogosphere and now it looks like I’m going to have to work in two new bills into my budget that my parents were paying for up until now (health insurance and cell phone). I’m going to be officially financially independent from my parents at age 23. I think that is pretty impressive!

  • Sarah September 17, 2010, 10:26 am

    NICE job with that tip- especially while on a budget.
    Looks like you’re doing a great job with everything!
    And I agree- seafood is still meat!

  • kate September 17, 2010, 10:42 am

    Its kind of fun to see how much you can spend on a budget. Those apps look mouthwatering…my boyfriend just saw me scroll down and he asked if we ate that. Obviously we’d remember something that tasty looking!

  • Natalia - a side of simple September 17, 2010, 10:53 am

    That last tidbit of information was vital to your entire post. =) Made my day.

  • nicole September 17, 2010, 10:59 am

    I’m very interested to see how you do with your week’s worth of food. There are only 2 of us in our house (and our two cats) and we spend way more than that every week. However, when we go grocery shopping we buy everything–cat food, litter, paper towels, cleaning products, shampoo, conditioner, etc. Do you have a budget for dog supplies and other necessities? We spend about $120 a week…which is still alot but we don’t spend money on food outside of the house during the week. We pack our lunches (and breakfast) and we cook dinner at night. (I will admit that about $20 of that is usually beer/wine related) And we always buy extra staples like beans, crushed tomoatoes, etc. just in case. I’m really interestd in seeing how this works for you.

    • Caitlin September 17, 2010, 11:01 am

      i am going to include dog food in our budget each week. they don’t eat a lot πŸ™‚ i’m trying to eat through our pantry. we are like you and tend to buy repeats of stuff we already have!!

  • Marie September 17, 2010, 11:17 am

    Woah nice job on the budget! After your original budgeting post I got inspired and modeled my own Excel spreadsheet after Kath’s… so helpful! My new plan (for my boyfriend and I) is to spend $50 a week on groceries… very hard! But I also came in at $54 this week. We also eat vegetarian at home (he’s not) so not buying meat definitely helps πŸ™‚ These posts are great!

  • Quisha September 17, 2010, 11:22 am

    Hahaha, love the sad faces LOL

  • emily (a nutritionist eats) September 17, 2010, 11:29 am

    Ugh, I’ve recently started REALLY budgeting and while it isn’t always very fun, it does feel SO good!

  • LC @ Let Them Eat Lentils September 17, 2010, 11:59 am

    I promise going to the grocery store on a budget just gets easier and easier. If I ever go over $65 now, I’m like, what just happened??

    Thank you for tipping your waiter well. I was never in the service industry, but I have a lot of friends who are, and we never use our budget as an excuse to tip poorly, but I know many people do. It’s not fair – you’re taking money directly out of your server’s pocket. Order less, tip better.

  • krista September 17, 2010, 12:03 pm

    I saw $40 for dinner for 2 without alcohol and thought you’d go way under budget there, I must have cheap restaurants around me! On the flip side, your grocery money seemed so low to me, good job going under there! I couldn’t have done that, LOL.

  • danielle September 17, 2010, 12:12 pm

    Totally agree about the seafood. The fact that some people have the idea that seafood is vegetarian always makes me worry that some well-intentioned chef is slipping fish sauce or clam broth into my “vegetarian” food.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin September 17, 2010, 12:52 pm

    That looks like an amazing dinner, especially for only $44! I tend to skip out on wine whenever I dine out because it’s ridiculous how much they charge for a bottle that I could get for half as much at the store!

  • Lisa September 17, 2010, 1:23 pm

    Can do “date night” at home to save more money? I love eating out at restaurants but sometimes we need to take a break to save money!

  • Wendy @ Seriously Sassy September 17, 2010, 2:16 pm

    WOW – great run! And yummy eats! Way to go, Caitlin!!

  • Jaime Runs September 17, 2010, 2:41 pm

    Congrats on sticking to your budget — it’s so hard especially when you go out to dinner. That bean dip looks awesome.

  • MichellePC September 17, 2010, 4:12 pm

    I’ve always had to stick to a budget when dining out or grocery shopping, but I swear it gets easier and easier! When dining out, I usually order an appetizer as an entree, too – it helps keeps the cost down, and “normal” entrees are usually twice (or three times) the serving size anyway. πŸ˜‰

  • Kim @ Kim Lives Healthy September 17, 2010, 5:11 pm

    Good for you for skipping the booze – especially when you can pick up the 3 buck chuck @ Trader Joe’s and drink it at home! πŸ™‚

    I always get water too, and I’m so cheap that when we go to theme parks & eat in the restaurants for meals, I fill up like a camel on water – “drink it while it’s free!!!” otherwise I end up paying too much for bottled H2O in the parks.

    Our weekly grocery budget is $75 for two people (vegetarians), and I strictly prohibited my fiancee from putting in impulse purchases (Tab soda, beer…) – if he wants those things, he gets them himself because we both don’t drink it (and trust me, there are 2 six-packs in the fridge right now for the weekend!).

    The hardest part for us is staying at home & cooking instead of going out on the weekends, because it’s so much fun & easier to go out and grab something with friends. We feel lame sitting at home making a pot of chili by ourselves πŸ™

    Maybe you could make date-night at home?

  • Halley (Blunder Construction) September 17, 2010, 7:09 pm

    I try to avoid buying bulk cookies or packaged desserts at the grocery store. It’s such an enormous temptation, and I find myself eating *millions* of animal crackers and the like. If I want to have dessert, I have to whip it up myself at home. Makes me think twice about eating so much dessert. (This practice of course backfires after I bake a dozen cupcakes and homemade frosting…)

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) September 17, 2010, 7:23 pm

    Thank you for not only sharing about how you put together a budget but how you are sticking to it. This is an area Hunni and I are revisiting after vacation. WE need to get it under control after this summer.

  • Wendy Irene (Give Love Create Happiness) September 17, 2010, 11:20 pm

    Great job on the budget! You are setting such a wonderful example, love that! πŸ™‚

  • Sana September 18, 2010, 11:50 am

    Budgets are hard! You and your husband are going rock! I think using the blog is a good idea to help keep yourselves accountable πŸ™‚

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) September 18, 2010, 6:12 pm

    Great price for what looks like a fabulous meal!

  • loreejo September 18, 2010, 9:11 pm

    caitlin, you guys are doing great! for some reason, it just FEELS better to eat and spend in control, doesn’t it? you know you’re getting something for it too! i know canned beans aren’t expensive, but if you really want to go “on the cheap” you can make delicious dried beans in the crock pot. one bag makes so many, they taste better than canned and you can control the sodium. if you’re at all interested and need a recipe to try, give me a holler and i’ll send ya one!

Healthy Tipping Point