In reparation for all of the money we spent during the holidays, and in preparation for our upcoming trip to Europe, Shane and I are focusing on frugality this month.  We set some ground rules on the 1st and committed to sticking to them throughout all of January:  don’t eat out, don’t go shopping, and don’t spend any more than $200 on food and groceries during the entire month.  In some ways, this has been surprisingly easy – I haven’t even noticed that we haven’t set foot in a restaurant for over two weeks.  And the fact that we have friends who love to get together at home for a movie or some games on a Friday night means that our social calendar hasn’t suffered (in fact, we’ve been spending more time than usual with friends during the past couple weekends).  Other things have been harder to deal with – I miss being able to grab a cup of coffee and sit in a cafe for thirty minutes before work or during lunchtime.  I regret not being able to take advantage of all those after-Christmas sales.  And grocery shopping certainly takes more effort when you’re counting your dollars.  But I find that we are cooking more, we are eating healthier, and, most of all, we are wasting less.  When you’re trying to avoid having to make another trip to the grocery store, it’s amazing what you can scrounge up for dinner out of pantry odds and ends.  Yes, sometimes this means cereal for dinner, but sometimes this means pasta tossed with olives, feta cheese, and chicken sausage.  It’s turned out to be a fun challenge in a lot of ways.  And although I look forward to being able to occasionally grab a latte before work come February, I do hope the restraint we practice this month will create some more conscientious spending habits for the future.  It’s a good way to set the tone for the year, as we re-examine our financial priorities and set ourselves up for things like travel, charitable giving, and a family.


  1. natalie says:

    Have you discovered McPherson’s? Awesome produce stand in Beacon Hill- DIRT cheap. And the Franz Bakery outlet- there’s one in SODO and one down the street from us on 20th and Jackson. We spend like 6 bucks and get like 5 loaves of bread, tortilla chips and donuts (that’s Matt’s doing not mine, I swear!) including rounds of Seattle Sourdough which is usually like $4 in the grocery stores. You know, feeding 4 people sandwiches uses like half the loaf, that still kinda blows my mind. Anyways, thought I’d share!

  2. kelly says:

    We frequent MacPherson’s, but haven’t heard of the Franz outlet – thanks for the tip!