Hello and welcome back! This is week three update of my money saving challenge. I gotta say, this is actually getting easier and easier! I really thought spending only 100 dollars a week would be really challenging; but in fact it’s been getting easier with each week as I learn new ways to save even more money.
Catch up on weeks one and two if you haven’t already!
This weeks catch up is gonna be breezy since I really didn’t have to do much shopping. I did not need any gas for my car–thankfully I drive a fuel efficient car, I do not live far from my place of work, and my go to grocery stores are less than a mile away. The only time I really use up a lot of gas is on my days off when I take my dog Cashew to the park. I’ve been enjoying the park more because it’s a free activity and a way for both me and Cashew to unwind.
If you’ve been keeping up you know that I start my week on payday, which for me is every Friday. If you get paid biweekly and wish to do the money saving challenge you could just divide your earnings in half. So this week started on Friday November 8th and ended on Thursday November 14th.
Here’s the Breakdown of Money Saving Challenge Week Three
What Am I Doing With the Surplus?
As you can see I have a surplus yet again! With all three weeks combined my surpluses equate to $70.86. I really thought when starting this money saving challenge that I would be left with pennies each week. Especially after last week–I had that $40.00 doctor co-pay and still managed to have a surplus.
So what am I doing with the surplus? Saving it! I’ve been putting the extra money in an envelope in case I do have a week where I need to spend more than 100 dollars. But hopefully it’ll just be an extra chunk of change at the end of these six months.
How Do I Spend So Little on Groceries?
Some of you might be curious as to how I’m managing with the grocery cost being so low. I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again– potatoes, pasta, rice, and beans! The cheapest calories money can buy. I base the bulk of my meals around that, and then splurge a little on fresh veggies as needed. I only buy fresh veggies in limited quantities so that I will use everything I buy. And I prepare the veggies the same day I buy them (except for salads, I make those fresh when I want one).
I’ve been eating a lot of baked potatoes and loving it. I do get the Tofutti brand sour cream and that’s a splurge for me while I’m doing the money saving challenge. I garnish the baked potatoes with the sour cream and with jalapenos because I’m spicy like that. As my side I’ve been making a green bean and mushroom dish. They’re seasonal veggies right now and quite affordable. For protein I’ve been eating a lot of different kinds of beans–especially chick peas. Breakfasts have been mainly oatmeal–which at first was painful for me because I’m not the biggest fan of oatmeal but honestly I think it’s starting to grow on me now. I just have to make it extra (plant) milky. I’m so sorry if I’ve offended the thiccc oatmeal lovers.
I’ve also been eating a lot of rice–which believe it or not happens to be my favorite food. It’s so versatile and can be paired with practically anything. For me a lazy go to that takes a few minutes is a bowl of rice with a little bit of soy sauce and sriracha. I add half an avocado and some dried seaweed; basically it’s a deconstructed avocado roll. And of course pasta is another one that is done in less than twenty minutes. I do use pre-maid pasta sauce, but I’m sure to buy ones in glass jars (sustainable) and the ones which are on sale or otherwise affordable. I do work a full time job in addition to doing housework, taking care of my dog (making sure she gets exercise), AND working on this blog so I need all the quick, lazy meals I can get right now.
Here is EXACTLY What I Bought on Money Saving Challenge Week Three
On the 9th:
Celery, Tofutti Sour Cream, portabella mushrooms, 3 cucumbers, carrots, Tortilla chips, 5 Roma tomatoes, 6 jalapenos, hummus, green beans, romaine lettuce, 2 avocados, 6 bananas, 2 sweet potatoes, and 5 russet potatoes.
On the 12th:
4 Russet potatoes, 2 bags of granola (they were buy one get one free), green beans, mixed lettuce blend, 2 avocados, and carrots.
For toiletries that day I bought deodorant, toilet paper, and baby wipes.
And that’s all the spending I did! I had pasta and rice already in my pantry, as well as beans and chick peas. Rice I’ll be good on for quite some time. I usually buy a 20 pound bag which at the market I go to costs about 15 dollars. It takes a long, long, LONG time to get through twenty pounds of rice. Even for someone who eats as much if it as I do. I have a rice cooker at home; I typically make a few days worth at a time so that I always have something quick and calorie dense to whip up in a hurry.
That’s all I have for you guys this week! Thank you so much for reading. I have a banger of a post coming soon–it’s not a money saving challenge update but it is a comprehensive breakdown of grocery habits that you could change potentially save thousands, and I mean THOUSANDS of dollars. For me it was nearly three thousand dollars! Stay tuned for that, it is coming soon.
If you ever want to reach out you can leave a comment here or reach out to me on any of my social media platforms. I’m OakHippo on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.