Running Around (on) a Budget

Welcome to the weekend! Ooooh yeah! 😉

So far I’ve spent this sunny, brisk morning walking Niko and getting into a cleaning frenzy for my cardio! I was going to run my long run today (11 miles again) but I have to train three clients starting mid-morning, so I figured I’d leave it to tomorrow morning. Plus, Lord knows housework has been neglected the past few weeks, so why not turn it into some fun? 45 minutes of housework cardio, annnnd go! However, my tummy’s starting to rumble, so I foresee an oatmeal break in my future…

Yesterday I started my Friday out with a nice little trip to the gym after a solid 7 hours of sleep. I felt like I had plenty of energy on the treadmill when I ran 3.5 miles at an (almost) 5k pace. I could have kept on going, but I wanted to get in some upperbody weights, too:

Inverted pushups on stability ball – 2×10

Incline dumbbell chest press – 15 lbs – 2×12

Triceps dips – 2×10 (oof)

Just a quickie weight session – took about 20 minutes.

Once home and showered, I was almost out of oats (the horror!!) so I decided to make another mongo green monster:


Except I was out of spinach (the horror x’s 2!) Never fret, a fruit smoothie’s a sure bet.

Ice, 1 frozen banana, ½ c. frozen blueberries, 1 scoop of Jay Robb brown rice pp, maca, water, flaxmeal, coconut butter.

Topped with Ezekiel granola.


I love using this granola because it’s SO crunchy. Even when it sinks below the top of the smoothie.    

This smoothie kept me full for quite some time, but eventually da tum was in need of some grub:


I tried out this Split Pea soup for lunch. I was a little hesitant, because split pea soup can either be amazing or atrocious. I took a look at the ingredients, and still wasn’t sure I’d like it…


But luckily, this version was amazing!

Other random eats included:


Most of this bad boy, a plumb, and some trail mix.

After work, I trained a client and hurried home to get picked up to go to Bunco. It feels like I never stop…

Typically the food at Bunco is pretty unhealthy and not veg-friendly, so I made a quickie dinner:


brock, cuke, shroom, cado w/ a big ol’ dollop of hummus


Millet w/ tofutti (which is good, but the ingredients list is a little scary) and Quorn meatless nuggets.

Bunco was a blast, regardless. And girlfriends + wine + laughter= a good night – exhausted or not! And even better? I won!

IMG_1176 IMG_1177

Big money, baby 😉 mhahah

Running Around (on) a Budget

Shane and I have been trying to cut costs pretty much all around. The other night, my analyst of a husband created a big spreadsheet depicting all of our bills, expenses, incomes, etc.

It really helped to have it all laid out all organized with categories. 

Basically, I need to find a cheaper hair salon, and I need to quit buy so much expensive food. I currently spend around $500-$700 on groceries every month. And in our situation right now (which I’ll reveal on the blog soon, I promise – it’s good, not bad!!) we need to cut costs.

I’ll deal with the hair salon sitch later, but for now, my goal is to slash our grocery bill by $500. This means spending a mere $200 on groceries per month, or $50 per week. I can do this. It might mean no more fancy pants Coconut milks, Kombucha’s (however I will spend extra money on kombuchas – like the bunco money I won. I just really believe in the healing power of Kombucha,) Barney Butters or goat’s milk ice cream, but I can do it. Basically I have to rule out two of my favorite stores (Naturally Yours and Fresh Market) and only go to them when I NEED an ingredient for something, like spelt flour for baking, for example.

So to put it in writing, and make it official…

In order to spend less at the food stores, I’m going to:

  • Shop at cheaper/bulk stores (as much as it pains me) like Wal-Mart, Sam’s, and Aldi’s.
  • Look for coupons – but only for things I need.
  • Take a list, and stick to the list
  • Compare prices
  • Buy store-brand when it’s a better deal
  • Buy in bulk when it comes to things like frozen goods, cereal, and of course – spinach.

Today’s my first go at it, actually. After training clients, I’m heading to the store, with a $50 limit. I’ll report back how it goes 😉

But for now, enjoy this wonderful Saturday, everyone!

How do you cut costs in the grocery stores? Or do you shop without a budget (like I used to)? It’s gonna be hard, but totally doable.


21 Responses

  1. Coupons! Coupons! Coupons! They really do save money and if I can make something myself for cheaper then I will. Also buying in bulk helps. Why can’t we all just be fabulously wealthy?!

  2. Aldi’s can help, but comparison shop too. Sometimes Kroger’s is actually cheaper. If you watch for sales in about three locations (more is too mind boggling) that helps. I watch WalMart, Aldi’s and Kroger’s, but I still get fresh fruits and vegetables for health reasons. I stay clear of expensive coffee and lunch places and make my own. We also have our drinks at home Not in the restaurant. They make a fortune on drinks!

  3. I have no idea how much I spend at the grocery store each month. I should probably pay more attention. I do write lists and stick to them pretty much.

  4. I agree – coupons are essential! You can save even more $$ by shopping during your local stores’ ‘double coupon’ promotions. In Milwaukee, ours are usually mid-week.
    Also, hit up Walgreens, CVS and Target – you can use their store coupons in conjunction with manufacturers’ coupons, which can lead to huge savings 🙂
    I am excited to hear about this ‘situation’ of yours – good news is always welcome!

  5. I price check for my hair appointments too. Most stylists who work in the really expensive places have graduated from the same schools as those who work in more reasonably prices salons. In fact, one of the most expesive stylist I have ever heard of in our town never graduated.

  6. I just suck at buying cheap groceries, so I’ve started cutting costs elsewhere to make up for it instead 😉 Seriously though, I haven’t bought a new piece of clothing since 2009…

    Also, what’s this new sitch all about?? Are you moving? Ooooh, having a baby!?!?

  7. I feel ya on a budget! I was spending a goo $200-$300 on groceries for just me a month. But no with no income from the parentals, and job cut, I’m definitely budgeting out to $30 a week. It’s tough, but possible!

  8. I used to spend a lot of money on groceries, but then I evaluated what I was buying and got rid of items I thought were unnecessary. I was actually a big fan of Kombucha, but then I did a bunch of research on it and realized that there is very little information about the “so-called” health benefits of Kombucha. There is also no information regarding the long term effects of Kombucha consumption. So I decided that I would stay away from the stuff until proper evidence shows up.

    The placebo effect is quite powerful.

    P.S. I’m not trying to bash your love of Kombucha, I’m just worried that you might be spending money on something that could be detrimental to your health.

  9. I am trying to cut back on spending too- my top tip is to scope out deals at different grocery stores for special offers… I save a ton by doing this and it means that I haven’t had to give up stuff like my favourite brand of muesli or coffee. Also meal planning and having a list is a great- and going through cupboards when you meal plan to use up stuff you have. I have been doing that lately and found all kinds of foods I forgot I had!

  10. I love the color of that smoothie. I’m trying to spend less on groceries too. It’s not fun, but it’s necessary right now.

    Hope your 11-miler went well today!

  11. coupons, buy generic, shop at trader joe’s, buy my produce from the farmers market (at closing time when they’re trying to get rid of stuff)

  12. We are in a “must save” situation at our house, too. I had to cut out a lot of goodies from Whole Foods and random stuff at Trader Joe’s that I just didn’t need. My husband will tell anyone I am the worst at buying fresh produce and then having to throw it out because it goes bad. I would buy things on sale but never really with a purpose.

    Coupons – manufacturers and stores own are a big help. We also spend almost half our grocery budget at Costco. Buying in bulk helps! Having an extra freezer is key though – ours is full of frozen items.

    I am lucky because I have 4 different places to comparison shop within a few miles of home, so if one grocery store has a better sale it’s easy to go.

  13. I am new to the Aldi’s world and I swear I will never set foot in a Jewel or Dominicks ever again. Since I am single and only have 1 mouth to feed its all in all cheaper for me to eat anyways, but OMG Aldi is crazzzzzy inexpensive. Their produce isn’t so great though. That’s the one bummer. Beyond that I was kind of a “name brand” snob and I can’t eve tell the difference in the Aldi brands. Also its good to try new things because they are so cheap I find myself less apprehensive to trying new things

  14. wait a tic.. exekiel makes granola!? gotta find it. haha at first i was a little confused about the rando 20 up there under the amys can. but then it all came together! YAY for bunco! i havent played in forever, i need to rally the girls and do that soon. i havent really had a grocery budget, but now hat i am getting married and have a house, i think i need to take some pointers! no more splurging every day! LOVE YA!

  15. Meal planning and creating a list based on that meal plan is my #1 strategy for saving money at the grocery store. I don’t buy things that end up sitting in my pantry, and it limits impulse buys because I’m not aimlessly wandering the store. I’m on a mission for specific items. I get those items, and I go.

    I average about $300 a month on groceries, and I still buy tons of fresh produce, organic products (though I pick and choose what is “important” to me to buy organic), and other “fancy” items. Of course, it’s helpful that I have access to a Trader Joe’s as well.

    Also, if you don’t already, buy dry beans in bulk. It’s way cheaper than buying cans.

  16. […] making some smart financial decisions by sacrificing our lifestyle just a wee bit, cutting spending (Running Around on a Budget, anyone?) and adding to our savings. We have also worked super hard to become essentially debt free […]

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