These short work weeks feel accelerated

Where should I begin with this week’s Coffee Share?

This week at work has been a whirlwind. This week was Employee Appreciation Week. Everyday this week during lunch hour we had to set our department booth doing giveaways, outreach, etc. I’ve been on my feet all week at work. Though I had Monday off, these short work weeks feel accelerated. I know I need a vacation — even this vacation staying at home sleeping in and going to a local café for lunch.

Continue reading These short work weeks feel accelerated

Five things Friday: It’s a no meat week!

Five things Friday is a post where I share five things that either made my week, what I am thinking about, or would like to share with all of you!

1. No meat week — though not on purpose. We had a large produce box and I am determined to make sure nothing goes to waste! I asked my husband if he’s missed having meat at home and he does not surprisingly. I’ll continue this experiment at home. It’s likely meat dishes will be reserved for eating out or when we feel indulgent at home.

2. Speaking of no meat, check out this grilled cheese sandwich!

3. This post

I kind of agree with it but I also think of the people who just can’t make these adjustments if they’re already tight on money. I remembered when I bought a car in my early 20s, I knew I needed to spend less on fancy coffees, restaurants, and clothes for a while. I needed a car because I went from urban and walkable West LA to sprawling San Diego. Having a car in San Diego was a necessity. A drastic measure was reducing my grocery budget to $20 a week. It was doable because it was just me and I mostly eat vegetables and almost no meat. Also at the time I was carrying student loan debt. I guess what I am saying is that in my position at the time it was easy to cut back. For others not so much. Some have families and enjoy the comforts of their current lifestyle. Just telling them to adjust and sacrifice their current comforts is painful.

4. Aaron and Claire YouTube channel

I’ve been on a kick watching their YouTube Channel lately. Many of their recipes seem really quick. I’m entertaining the idea of having a blog post of their dishes.

5. Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel by Bernardine Evaristo

This is one of my current reads. I previously tried reading on the e-reader a couple of months ago, but I found it a difficult read due to the writing style. It looked liked poetry and there was no punctuation. It was a frustrating read, but I found the language beautiful and that’s why I was willing to give it a second chance in the form of an audiobook. I am glad I did because I can definitely get lost in their stories. The twelve women in the novel all have different lives — it’s compartmentalized, but yet they weave in and out of each others’ lives as friends, students, children, parent, and even acquaintances.

Week 3 of the $40 weekly grocery budget

We are entering into Week 3 of the $40 grocery budget.

At first, I thought to come up with some exceptions like a bag of rice would not count towards our budget because my husband likes the pricier rice brand. I guess it tastes better? For me, I do not eat rice as much as my husband. When lived by myself a small three-pound bag of rice was enough. Plus it was below my $20 weekly budget.

Yesterday, I told my husband to get some rice and we had $12 left in our grocery budget. Surprisingly he bought a 25-lb bag of rice for less than $12. It looks like my husband is trying to make this budget work.

So what I’ve learned from having a small grocery budget?

  • It’s doable despite what the naysayers think. I’ve made an entire week’s worth of meals in a week.
  • I’ve become more creative, plus it’s fun to do.
  • Less impulsive purchases!
  • …and importantly, my fridge is cleaner — there’s less food waste and food going bad.

Back to budgeting

At 22, I was a young professional working in an entry-level job at a biotech company in San Diego. The pay was not that great. My expenses were rent, student loan debt, other debt, paying for groceries, and utilities. I did not have a car at the time. I lived in San Diego, a very car-dependent city. For convenience sake, I lived walking distance from work but the rent in my neighborhood was fairly high.

I had a blog and in it, I had a blog series around my $20/week grocery budget. When I first brought it up to people, some were intrigued. Others said it was impossible or that I don’t eat much anyways. Then some told me about 99 cent TV microwaveable TV dinners. Ugh.  All thanks to a supportive blogging community, spending $20/week on groceries is possible. It did not involve TV dinners at all, instead, it involved creativity. I knew a bag of spinach could feed me through breakfast (green smoothies) to dinner (salad). A tub of Greek yogurt could be a filling breakfast or a healthy dessert. 

With that being said, we are launching our $40/week grocery budget. Why $40 this time? I’m married now which means $20 for me and $20 for my husband. Plus we’ve got a lot of financial things we need to take care of such as remodeling the house and paying our student loans (my husband’s bachelor’s, my Master’s degree). Let’s give it a go… I’ll try my best to journal this personal finance journey if time permits…