Evolving Personal Finance » food

Breastfeeding Ain’t Free

Breastfeeding Ain’t Free

Before I became a mother, I had the misconception that breastfeeding an infant was free. I mean, I knew it wasn’t completely free because the calories the baby eats have to come from somewhere, but I thought the costs beyond the extra food that the mother was eating would be negligible. Breastfeeding was some magical minimalist pursuit where all you need is mother and baby.     While there may be some unicorn mother-and-nursling pair out there for … Read entire article »

Filed under: family, food

Picking Up the Check

Picking Up the Check

Here’s one perk to being a grad student: everyone pities you. Wait, that doesn’t sound like a perk… I’ll rephrase. When you’re a PhD student, people with real jobs assume you are poor. They either think you’re taking on debt for your extended schooling or know that you’re living on a small stipend. The perk is that this pity often expresses itself in financial generosity in the form of free meals. For nearly all of … Read entire article »

Filed under: choices, food, spending

Meal Planning Has Finally ‘Clicked’ for Us

Meal Planning Has Finally ‘Clicked’ for Us

Over the years, I have attempted to meal plan repeatedly, but I had no long-term success with it.   Why meal planning didn’t work for us in the past: I overestimated our appetites, leading to overbuying groceries our meal plans would be disrupted by our irregular work schedules or social plans Kyle and I used to eat almost completely separate food I kept overlooking that Kyle needs to eat more than I do we batch cooked consistently, which has a lot of the same benefits … Read entire article »

Filed under: food

Financial Tweaks for Our New Year

Financial Tweaks for Our New Year

Kyle and I have been so busy with work in the past few months that we have really left our money management on autopilot.  I haven’t even played with spending scenarios recently, as I love to do!  But even without me looking for issues to tweak, three areas of our budget have popped up with some needed updates.   Take-Home Pay Increase   We noticed that the take-home pay we received at the end of in January was slightly … Read entire article »

Filed under: budgeting, food, savings, spending, targeted savings, taxes

Christmas 2013 Recap

Christmas 2013 Recap

It seems that every year Kyle and I try a slightly different approach to Christmas gifts shopping, but our choices this year didn’t work out so amazingly.  (I’m still waiting for my giving revolution, y’all.)  The first year we were married, 2010, was a disaster because we spent way too much money and made the whole event stressful.  In 2011, we instituted a per-person spending cap that was very successful in keeping the whole affair … Read entire article »

Filed under: family, food

Eliminate Eating Out for Convenience with Batch Cooking

Eliminate Eating Out for Convenience with Batch Cooking

One of the main strategies I identify as a key to living well on less is eliminating eating out for convenience and limiting our food spending to groceries and restaurant spending for dates and group social events (and the occasional reward).  Kyle and I both used to occasionally buy fast food at work, while driving from work to an evening activity, or when we were too hungry to take the time to cook.  We also … Read entire article »

Filed under: food

Financially Surviving Your First Month as a PhD Student

Financially Surviving Your First Month as a PhD Student

First month’s rent up front plus a security deposit.  A parking permit.  Textbooks.  Furnishing your new place.  In the first few weeks of grad school you’re hit by one expense after another.  On top of that, your department expects you to start orientation (followed by classes and research) five to six weeks before getting your first paycheck!  How are you supposed to swing this?   The best position to be in at the time you enter grad … Read entire article »

Filed under: budgeting, credit cards, food, frugality, grad school, housing, income, spending, taxes

Edging toward Quality Food: Proposal

Edging toward Quality Food: Proposal

I’m in the middle of re-reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma (highly, highly recommended! and that’s an affiliate link so thanks for using!) and it is spurring me to figure out if we can raise the quality of the food that we’re buying without busting our budget.  (I also have gotten into lengthy “discussions” about food with two vegetarians in the last couple weeks!)  Kyle and I have had many clashes over food and money spent on … Read entire article »

Filed under: budgeting, food

How to Spend Less When Attending Out-of-Town Weddings

How to Spend Less When Attending Out-of-Town Weddings

In a 48-hour period last week, we received two unexpected wedding invitations, heard about two more engagements, and attended a pre-wedding event – all for weddings occurring this summer!  We had thought it was going to be another slow wedding season for us, but we are now planning to attend at least two out-of-town weddings – one in Boston and the other in Madison, WI.   Since 2010, we have attended TEN out-of-town weddings.  We want to … Read entire article »

Filed under: family, food, frugality, marriage, personal, travel

Grocery Challenge Update for February 2013

Grocery Challenge Update for February 2013

I was considering not posting about our grocery challenge this week because I don’t have a complete report, but then I decided that this blog is supposed to reflect real life and sometimes real life just doesn’t leave room for tracking receipts!   I know how much money we spent on groceries last month thanks to Mint – $458.50 – but at some point in the month we lost track of our receipts for the mega pie … Read entire article »

Filed under: food