Posts tagged ‘money’

April 6, 2011

to the market

On Monday, Jeff and I took a little trip to get some groceries. One of my favorite things to do!

In all aspects of my grocery shopping, I like to use an app on my iPhone called Springpad. It’s a free “notes” app that syncs your phone to the computer. In other words, you can access your notes from your phone or your computer. This app and the Evernote app are the only apps I’ve found to do that! I just like Springpad’s “look” more. =)

I don’t only use the  app for my groceries, but also to keep a list of my recipes (never know when you’re going to need to cook something!), my “to-do” list, and other random useful information I’d like to have on hand whenever I want!

Here’s a snapshot of the app:

After I take a grocery trip, I update my notebook titled “Groceries” (the blue one!).


So on Monday, here are the things we bought:

Organic zucchini, organic baby carrots, portabella mushrooms, and broccoli florets

Fresh mozzarella, unsalted butter, Smoked Andouille chicken sausage


Gummy Tummies and organic popcorn kernels (cheaper than Walmart!)


The total came out to $26.01 –


So when I get back from grocery shopping, I open up the app and put in a checklist of all the things I bought, like this:


And when we’ve used up and eaten all of something, I check it off. Here’s an example of a grocery trip from back in early March:

So when we finished the pita chips, I checked it off. And so on with the garlic, camembert, and kale.

And when it’s checked off because it’s all gone, that’s when I add it to my “shopping list” notebook (the orange one) if I want to buy it again at my next grocery trip. So I’m always just adding to the list little by little throughout the week in anticipation for my next grocery trip.

Here’s a snapshot of my shopping list before Monday’s trip:

I checked off the items that I bought at that trip. I don’t always follow the list to a T. For example, I didn’t buy spinach because it just seemed we had enough veggies for the time being. I don’t mind being flexible when I get to the store! (Obviously because the Gummy Tummies for sure weren’t on the shopping list…)


And here’s a snapshot of all the grocery trips I’ve made (I started in February):


I like to do this for a few reasons.

1. I absolutely hate hate hate throwing away food because they’ve rotted and become unedible because I neglected them! So having a list of all the things I have in the kitchen helps me know what I’ve used up and what I should be using up. So typically I’ll look in the oldest list (in my case February 7) and see if anything in there is unchecked and try to use that up!

2. It helps me to plan meals. Yes, I could just go and walk over to the fridge and see what I could make with what I have, but sometimes when I have down time at work I think about what I should make for dinner and having the list on hand helps a lot!

3. Sometimes when I ask Jeff what he wants to eat and he responds with, “I don’t know, what do we have?” I whip out the list and bark out each item to him. Usually, he still doesn’t know what he wants, but I like to think it helps with the process.

4. I don’t know…I find it fun?


Most times, my grocery trips are based around when I need more butter.

I know it may all seem meticulous but this method really helps me to buy only what I need (OK…I guess we didn’t really need the Gummy Tummies!) and not waste it! It’s super fun to check things off too. =)

Or maybe I’m just weird. Do you have any method to your madness? Or I mean madness to your method?

April 5, 2011

project money smart

I realize that this is not exactly a blog about money, but I think that’s the beauty of blogs – you can venture out on what you want to write about. Blogs don’t need to be “perfect.” Now, books or magazine articles are a different story – you’d better write about whatever you’re paid to write about, and stick to the subject!

So today I felt like talking about money!

Moral of today’s post: I need to get smarter about money.

Thus was born, Project Money Smart.

In some ways, I am smart with money because I can be very organized and meticulous with my spending. I am all about excel spreadsheets and creating budgets and saving receipts and keeping track of all my spendings. But sometimes life gets in the way and all those things go out the window.

And lately, life has gotten in the way.

Money and debt and all those things are very subjective and personal things. What may be a huge amount to one person, may seem like nothing to the next!

Right now, I am working to pay off 4 credit cards. And it seems like an enormous feat to me. I know compared to others’ debts, it’s nothing.

But to me, it’s blargh. And that’s all I want to say about that.

But really, I’m excited to become debt-free. I even made an excel spreadsheet with a plan of action last night! Fun stuff! And that’s no sarcasm.

Some sources say to pay off the smallest credit card first. The reason being it’ll be paid off the fastest since it’s the smallest, and kicking one credit card out of the way will give you the mojo to pay off the next credit card, and the next, and so on.

That makes sense, but it also seems to make sense to pay off the credit card with the highest APR.

Well, I’m sure this will be a continuous journey and I’ll be sure to update my progress in my “money smarts.”

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

Or, to be more true to the situation, when you give yourself sour lemons, make watermelon-rosemary lemonade! It’ll be delicious. =)

ETA: any advice or personal stories are welcome! =)