Pantry staple price comparison: ALDI edition

After a Trader Joe’s opened up near me a few months back I decided to do a price comparison of some of my pantry staples at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and the grocery store I normally shop at (RS in the post for “regular store”) to see if I should be changing up my grocery shopping habits in order to get the best deals on things I buy regularly.

Turned out there are a few things that are cheaper to buy at TJ, even though it’s more out of my way, and I’ve tried to buy those items there since that post.

My last grocery price comparison post started out like this:

Ah, Trader Joe’s. The bargain store spoken of in hushed tones of reverence usually reserved for sacred spaces and museum exhibitions of old masters (or no, is that just me speaking as an history nerd?).

Replace “Trader Joe’s” with “ALDI” and I’ve got myself the beginning of a second price comparison post! Continue reading “Pantry staple price comparison: ALDI edition”

No one else cares about your money: a #WomenRockMoney post

This post is part of the #WomenRockMoney Movement, a group of female personal finance bloggers who have come together to inspire more women to own their finances. Thanks to Chelsea for putting together this collaboration and the amazing homepage for the movement!

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone! If for some reason you’ve missed the fact that I’m a huge feminist and am therefore all about this day (and month) of celebration of women, well…surprise! When Chelsea at Mama Fish Saves asked who wanted to be part of this collaboration, I couldn’t sign up fast enough. She asked us to write a post about our most important piece of money advice for women, and I didn’t want to add to the multitudes of how-to posts about fundamentals like the basics of budgeting (especially since I don’t budget… 🤷‍♀️).

While I was thinking, I realized there was an incredibly essential thing that I wish I’d known earlier: no one else cares about your money. You are the only one who does.

That sounds disingenuous, especially from someone who blogs about her money and certainly appreciates when people read what she writes. But let me explain. Continue reading “No one else cares about your money: a #WomenRockMoney post”

Coming to terms with a year’s worth of spending

Tracking your spending is one of the most basic things you need to do when on the FI path. December 2016 is the first month I actually kept track of everything I spent, which means I have data for the entire year of 2017.

I have to admit, for months now I’ve been thinking about totaling up everything from 2017, but I’ve also been avoiding it. While I moved to spending more intentionally overall during the year, I know for a fact there was a lot of waste, and I was scared to see what I’d find. But for the sake of better knowing my finances, I sucked it up and took a peek at the numbers. Continue reading “Coming to terms with a year’s worth of spending”

Twelve months of experiments: January 2018

When last I wrote, dear readers, I’d cliffhangered you at the end of the first of what’s likely to be an exhaustive series on how my first-ever request for a raise goes. I regret to inform you that today’s post is not a continuation of that series, which is something you’d probably surmised from the title.

Instead, since it’s a new month (also my birthday month! I suppose turning 26 means my quarter-life crisis will be over, right?), here’s an end of month update on the challenges I took on in January. I was decluttering, doing a no-spend/uber frugal month challenge, a barre challenge, and still trying to meditate every day.

In case that sounds like an overwhelming number of things to do all at once, may I remind you how the last bit of my first post of 2018, which laid out the four challenges I was doing, ended?

Ridiculously overly ambitious? We shall see!

In a surprise to absolutely no one, turned out it was ridiculously overly ambitious! Continue reading “Twelve months of experiments: January 2018”

The day I broke my frugal month challenge

Today. That would be today, y’all. Well, yesterday by the time you read this, but the fact remains that we’re only halfway through January and I just absolutely annihilated all of the savings from the spending I previously hadn’t been doing this month.

I have to laugh at both myself and the universe here. Wasn’t I just saying that because of my uber frugal month challenge and my double side hustle income that January’s spending report might possibly rival December’s success? Or that the frugal month challenge was going strong? That was literally two days ago. Clearly the universe heard that and decided to throw me for a loop.

I’ve had an expensive day. The numbers aren’t finalized, but I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 today. Considering that was the sum total of my expenses last month excluding rent, I have well and truly broken the uber frugal month challenge. Continue reading “The day I broke my frugal month challenge”

Five things I don’t regret spending money on

I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about ways I’m saving money or things I’m no longer spending money on. It’s a function both of being on the FIRE path and also just a fact of life for someone on a non-profit salary. There’s lots of talk in the personal finance community of how to save money, ranging from small things like lattes to the big things like houses and cars.

But saving money isn’t the whole story—sometimes there are times when it makes more sense to spend money than not to spend it.  I’m a broken record when it comes to talking about why I spend so much money each month on my barre membership. But here are five not-so-obvious larger-ticket items I’m glad I’ve spent money on. Continue reading “Five things I don’t regret spending money on”

Holiday traditions, old and new

So writing wasn’t happening Monday night (let’s be honest, it wasn’t really happening last night either. Apologies for the resulting incoherence), so it’s a Wednesday/Friday post week because it’s my blog and I can make the rules! Also that works out just fine because I’m going to be at a holiday party for my side gig tonight so no writing’s happening. ANYWAY.

I’ve been listening to Christmas music since the properly-appointed time of after Thanksgiving and got into the decorating groove last weekend. This got me thinking about holiday traditions, and what’s new this year now that I’m on the FI path. Continue reading “Holiday traditions, old and new”

What are your trade-offs?

Essentially all of life is a trade-off: when we say yes to something, we’re saying no to something else. We trade our time and energy 40 hours a week at our jobs in exchange for a paycheck, which means saying no to the myriad of other things we could or would rather be doing during that time.

When we say yes to an evening in reading a book or watching tv, we say no to an evening out somewhere or spending time with friends. And vice versa.

When we stay up late writing blog posts, we say no to getting more sleep. Ahem, I digress. Continue reading “What are your trade-offs?”

Of lemons and rice: a price comparison of pantry staples

Ah, Trader Joe’s. The bargain store spoken of in hushed tones of reverence usually reserved for sacred spaces and museum exhibitions of old masters (or no, is that just me speaking as an history nerd?).

Despite the many glowing reviews, I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve shopped at TJ. The closest one to me was either in Virginia or a drive halfway across the city. I’m a fundamentally lazy person at heart but paradoxically living here has made me quite the city slicker: walking a mile or two is way less work in my opinion than having to get in the car to drive somewhere (and losing the prime parking spot I usually snag on my block). Plus I generally refuse to drive across this city on principle. Continue reading “Of lemons and rice: a price comparison of pantry staples”