Simple Math for Simple Changes - Progress #1

Happy Sunday! Today is one of those rainy Sundays perfect for brunch and a movie matinee. Also some much needed self evaluation and bookkeeping. 

Before the holidays I made a promise to myself to start saving money and to pay attention to my spending. Read Post Here - Simple Math for Simple Changes. In my blog post, I decided to target my lunch spending as a good area to improve and limit. It's so easy to spend over $10 a day on lunch and if I want to achieve any of my hopefuls this year - I'm going to need the extra money to do it.

Week #1

Budget: $35/week for lunch. 
Goal: $7/day

Honest Confession: I had no idea how hard this was going to be...

I guess I didn't pay much attention to the real cost of my lunches in the past. Several places I frequent a lot, have nothing on the menu under $7.  Literally. Of course, I could order a side salad for cheap, but I'm going to be hungry/ravenous by 3pm and will blow my diet on something in the vending machine at work. I will definitely have to start doing some menu research online and bringing leftovers from dinner to help out this plan because it was very hard to find nutritious items under $7.

However, I was successfully able to have lunch this week everyday for under $7 and picked items that satisfied my hunger. The big item I cut out to achieve my goal was ordering/buying a soda. Some places will give you a small cup for water for free. This helped out my plan a lot. 

A Weeks' Lunches for Under $7/Day

Monday - Work Pizza/Salad Day
Money Spent: $0
Money Saved: $7 

Ordered: Small Japanese Pan Noodles w/ side Tomato & Cucumber Salad
Money Spent: $6.36
Money Saved: $.64

Wednesday - Local Deli/Bagel Shop
Ordered: 3 Egg Whites w/ Turkey Bacon w/ Swiss Cheese on a roll 
Money Spent: $5.00
Money Saved: $2.00

Thursday - Cafe@Work
Ordered: Chicken Gumbo Soup Lg & a Small Side Salad
Money Spent: $5.38
Money Saved: $1.62

Friday - Taco Bell
Ordered: Chicken Quesdilla w/ Side of Sour Cream w/ Cinnamon Twists
Money Spent: $5.75
Money Saved: $1.25

Total Money Saved: $12.51 

Taco Bell should not even exist but I thought it through...There were less calories/fat in the quesadilla than if I went to Chiptotle AND it was under $7. But trust me it won't make many appearances on my lunch progress list because it's not as healthy as I need to be. 

All in all I'm proud of my first week and I'm using cash for lunch so I can actually see and feel the money saved. Too often I lose track of money spent because it's on credit cards. Yes, I can check my purchases online, but it's not the same. 

I'm still not sure if for the following weeks I'm going to treat my $35 budget like Weight Watchers points where I can spend over $7 one day and just eat simpler/inexpensive the next day or two. But I know for certain the money saved is money saved. I'm not going to carry it over to the next weeks. 

How's Your Budget Going? 

Linking up w/ Carylee @ More Pieces of Me


  1. Impressive! Keep up with the good work! What do you do with your saving? Do you put it into a savings jar instead?

    I'm trying this too! I've started eating salad boxes for lunch and found that a salad box cost me £4.50 then add in a packet of crisps and a drink and it was easy going up to £6 (approx $8)! SO after two days of that I went and bought all the ingredients to make my own. I think I spent £10 on the ingredients but so far it's done 5 days of lunches - saving of £2.50 per day!

  2. Good job! Food is an area for us too that is a money pit. I had a really bad week last week with eating out every day at work but it's not a typical thing. I try to bring lunch to work when I remember and have time in the morning.

  3. I'm working on my food spending too, when I was working outside the home lunch was such a money pit for me. I started going to the salad bar in the grocery store across the street, it had a great selection including different proteins to top your salad with and it was a reasonable price.

  4. Oh gosh I should really do this. Though, I should get a steady income before I do, right? Hahaha! It's great that you saved the amount you did. You're starting off small and that's amazing <3

    xx Bash | H E Y   B A S H | bloglovin'

  5. You are doing great girl! I like to take out $20 for the week for lunch or anything I want to buy while at work - I usually aim to take lunch at least three day's a week and our cafe at work has a great selection of foods for well under what we would pay at other places!! Liked your breakdown a lot! xo, Biana-BlovedBoston

  6. What a great idea! So smart of you to keep track of everything you spend that week. I really like this and think I'm going to adopt it for myself.

    Darling Down South
    Find me at : instagram

  7. Great idea! I mostly bring my lunch to work, so the money you "save" do you get to use it next week? Or do you put it in savings for a rainy day? Going to go back and read your other budget posts. I love budgets!

  8. Wow, I think you kept your lunch prices super low considering your limit! Well done, I don't think I could do it!

  9. This is a really good idea. It's easy to not be aware of how much you're spending on lunch every day. Whenever I track my spending, I'm a lot more mindful of what I'm buying and how much I'm spending.

    - Courtney

  10. I really need to shed some pounds and work on a budget. This is a brilliant idea.

  11. This is a great idea! We are working on a budget for 2016.

  12. Well done, this is brilliant! I love the idea of keeping track of how much I spend on food. I should do this too. Kisses, sweetie

  13. This definitely sounds tough. I spend so much more than that on lunch most days, but truthfully it's because I'll always buy for two. One for me and one for my boyfriend. If it was just me, maybe doable ;) Chipotle is under $7 so I could do it! xx