Budget

5 Unnecessary Items I Spent $30 on When I Broke the Cardinal Rule of Grocery Shopping — The Financial Diet

Welcome to a column from The Financial Diet, one of our very favorite sites, dedicated to money and everything it touches. One of the best ways to take charge of your financial life is through food and cooking. This column from TFD founders Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage will help you be better with money, thanks to the kitchen. A version of this post originally appeared on The Financial Diet.

A recent shop at the grocery store revealed some upsetting truths about myself. First of all, I realized that I truly hate grocery shopping; it is boring and borderline stressful. Second of all, I realized that the cardinal rule of grocery shopping — don't go grocery shopping when you're hungry — certainly holds true.

It is one of the quickest and easiest money-saving tips people will give you. If you go to a grocery store prepared to spend on food, and are super hungry while doing so, you may find yourself loading your cart with a lot more unnecessary items than you would have if you had a full belly and the will to just stick to your list.

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How I Pulled Off My First Adult Dinner Party (on a 20-Something Budget) — Life in the Kitchen

I've always been in love with the idea of hosting dinner parties. My mother used to host game nights at our house when I was a kid, and she'd also throw parties for milestones throughout the year. As a 20-something adult, I've loved venturing into the playful, well-appointed world of hosting. But working with a tight budget, mismatched flatware (I know we have another fork somewhere around here), and small spaces means the way you go about it looks a little differently.

Here's the thing: That's OK.

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11 People Tell Us How Much They Spend on Alcohol Each Week — The Financial Diet

Welcome to a column from The Financial Diet, one of our very favorite sites, dedicated to money and everything it touches. One of the best ways to take charge of your financial life is through food and cooking. This column from TFD founders Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage will help you be better with money, thanks to the kitchen. A version of this post originally appeared on The Financial Diet.

A few months ago I took a good look at my overall spending for 2016 (via Mint) to figure out how much I'd spent on alcohol. I found that, when I divided the total number for the year by the number of weeks that had passed so far in the year, I spend an average of $35 a week on alcohol. (Of course, Mint is not a perfect science — at least not the way I use it. There's no accounting for cash spending, splitting checks on Venmo, etc.)

Living in an expensive city like I do, where most people also don't drive and therefore have the "excuse" to drink more, $35 a week seems pretty minimal. It's interesting to me how people have different ideas of what constitutes "a lot" of drinking. Of course, I have to take into account the way I was raised. In my household, there was no taboo against drinking; I saw my mom drink a glass of red wine pretty much every night. I rarely saw my parents have more than one drink at a time, except on special occasions or during family get-togethers — it was simply a thing adults did.

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11 People Tell Us How Much They Spend on Alcohol Each Week — The Financial Diet

Welcome to a column from The Financial Diet, one of our very favorite sites, dedicated to money and everything it touches. One of the best ways to take charge of your financial life is through food and cooking. This column from TFD founders Chelsea Fagan and Lauren Ver Hage will help you be better with money, thanks to the kitchen. A version of this post originally appeared on The Financial Diet.

A few months ago I took a good look at my overall spending for 2016 (via Mint) to figure out how much I'd spent on alcohol. I found that, when I divided the total number for the year by the number of weeks that had passed so far in the year, I spend an average of $35 a week on alcohol. (Of course, Mint is not a perfect science — at least not the way I use it. There's no accounting for cash spending, splitting checks on Venmo, etc.)

Living in an expensive city like I do, where most people also don't drive and therefore have the "excuse" to drink more, $35 a week seems pretty minimal. It's interesting to me how people have different ideas of what constitutes "a lot" of drinking. Of course, I have to take into account the way I was raised. In my household, there was no taboo against drinking; I saw my mom drink a glass of red wine pretty much every night. I rarely saw my parents have more than one drink at a time, except on special occasions or during family get-togethers — it was simply a thing adults did.

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How a Family of 4 Eats for $150 a Week in Waco, Texas — Food Budget Diaries

Welcome to Kitchn's Food Budget Diaries series, where we show you how people around the country spend money on what they eat and drink. Each post will follow one person for one week and will chronicle everything that person consumed and how much it costs them.

Name: Melissa
Location: Waco, Texas
Age: 33
Number of people in family: 4 (me, my husband, a 4-year-old, and an 11-month-old)
Occupation: Stay-at-home mom. My husband is a bookstore manager and bartender.
Household income: $38,000
Weekly food budget: $150

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This $2 Lunch Idea Is Perfect for the Office — Budget Lunch

In my quest to stick to a food budget, I've found that lunch is my downfall. I have some inexpensive breakfast ideas that get me out of bed in the morning (homemade muffins! Eggs!) and dinner is a place I'm now in the groove with for meal planning, but for some reason it's hard for me to break the habit of going out to lunch when I'm at the office. Those fancy New York lunch salads add up, and I know I need to make a change if I want to really stick to a budget.

That's why I was so excited today when our friends at Cup of Jo posted an ingenious idea for a $2 lunch. If that wasn't already exciting enough, it just so happens that the base of the lunch comes from Trader Joe's.

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