4 out of 7 Aint…Gonna Blow the Budget

There’s something that’s just not right about cooking on Friday or Saturday to me. I try to create a dinner out of my own kitchen 5 out of 7 nights of the week, but that’s about as good as my score gets.

This past week, my score dropped a little. Yesterday after spending the day at my parents’ house, I got back around 5:00 and Shane was absolutely starving and wanted to eat dinner stat. Sooo instead of scrounging around the kitchen (more on that in a sec) we headed out to grab a bite down the street.

First we stopped at The Coffeehouse, a delicious little vegan cafe in uptown Normal. I’ve gone there numerous times and have only had the same dish twice!

This time I went with the vegetable and hummus wrap!


Inside this blanket of whole wheat goodness is cucumber, carrot, tomato, hummus, and Italian dressing – with a cup of seasoned brown basmati rice on the side :)


Yum! So gooood – and cheap! This whole meal only cost me $5.71!


While waiting for my meal to come out, we walked over to the coffee bean section of the store and picked up a little bag of tiramisu coffee for this morning.

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Drinking it as I write this post :) Best. Coffee. Ever.

Sooo… part of the reason for the decision to grab a bite out (Shane just got pizza) is because I didn’t go grocery shopping this weekend. You see, last week Shane finally signed us up on mint.com


Actually, I had started to sign us up on mint.com quite a while ago, but then it got  a little overwhelming and I stopped. Typical. Ignorance is bliss 😉 Or at least it was. According to the budget we set for groceries each month ($400 – for us two) we were already $50 over. Yeah…


So now I’m back to the $400/month for groceries again. $100 per week? I’m sure that’s doable. I did $50/wk for a few months, and double that should be absolutely fine :)

I’m actually pretty excited to see if/how much mint.com helps us save! We’ve come a long way in the last two years (from credit card debt on multiple cards to NO debt besides the house!) so I’m looking forward to getting smarter with my dolla dolla bills. Additionally, I’ve been the supreme geek and have been listening to talk radio non stop lately. Two words: Money Talk. LOL

Which days do you typically forgo cooking?

Do you use any budgeting services? What have been your experiences?

Do you listen to talk radio? What’s station is probably on your car radio right now?


Well I’m got a VERY busy day today – going for a run, then to the chiro, eyebrow wax (finally!) client, cooking, more clients, and then a double header volleyball game! It’s supposed to do a mix of freezing rain and snow, so I’ll be doing all of these activities with caution :)

Tomorrow and Wednesday, however, we are supposed to get pummeled with at LEAST a foot of snow. NYC, Boston, and RI – it’s our turn to get dumped on 😛

Hope you have a good Monday, friends!! 😀

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  1. We usually eat-in 6 out of 7 nights, mostly 7 out of 7. We try really hard not to eat out very often. I might not cook, but we make grilled cheese, or eat cereal, or something.

    We also use Mint. I had signed up for it awhile back, and like everyone else, never used it. This year I have money-based goals and Mint is the best way to keep me on track. Setting a grocery budget is hard, we technically went over for January, but the food bought yesterday will mostly be eaten in February, so I’m not being to hard on myself about it. February is a shorter month, so that means less spending, right?

  2. I signed up for Mint, too. I love it, but it’s scary to see where my money is going. I need to save more!

    Be cautious out there. This whopper storm is finding it’s way here, too. They are forecasting near a foot of snow and a thick “glaze” of ice in our area. How many days until summer?

  3. I signed up on mint.com too but I do not use it to its fullest potential. I agree, Becky, it is scary to see where your money goes — and ignorance can be bliss, but nothing good ever comes from it. Good Luck with your dolla billz, we are all right there with ya. :)

  4. I did the same thing as you. I signed up for Mint forever ago. Tried it for a week or two and decided to ignore it. They still email me… oops.

  5. I used to be a self-professed personal finance junkie- until I got married, haha. Combining incomes has made me lazy. Anyway, I tried mint and I didn’t like it- it often miscategorized stuff and I didn’t like the fact that the site had all of my bank/card info. I absolutely love pearbudget- I believe the site is http://pearbudget.com. They have a free spreadsheet or an online one that is three bucks a month- so worth it IMO.

    Yikes, good luck with all of that snow!

  6. Maybe I need to sign up with mint.com. :) Or maybe stick with ignorance? :)
    I usually cook dinner 5 nights out of 7 too.

  7. I really don’t like to eat out much at all. Drinks are way too expensive, portions too large and service too iffy. I can get LOADS of fresh veggies and fruits for the price of two meals at a medium priced restaurant.

    We do like Chinese carry-outs. Our favorite restaurant is close, very good and very inexpensive. Subway is good too when you need something fast, good and healthy.

    Be careful driving in this mixed bag of precip tonight.

  8. ow! That meal out looks totally worth it. Love hummus on wraps. We typically go out one night a week and one morning for brunch. I try to limit it to this- but sometimes social plans get the best of us! Be safe today!

  9. Laura @ Backstage Pass says:

    Ah, budgeting. I definitely need a refresher! I use Mint.com as well, though I don’t have it set properly and it mostly just nags
    me about spending too much at Starbucks :-)
    I listen to a lot of NPR. My favorite programs are BBC News Hour, Freah Air and All Things Considered.
    I feel ya on the looming blizzard! We are supposed to get hit in Milwaukee as well, and I’m not looking forward to being stuck inside for 2 days.

  10. We usually slow down the cooking towards the end of the work week…

    We don’t use Mint, but I know lots of people love it!! We have our own budget spreadsheet and go over money each week… it’s a party.

  11. I work late on Thursdays, and Fridays so we tend to eat out on those days. We use Mint for our budget too, and we’re in the process of trying to reign in our grocery budget. Good luck.


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