Simple Math For Simple Changes - Progress Week #2

Happy Saturday!! I'm so excited to share with you my progress from week #2! It's hard to explain how shocked I am that I'm sticking to this budget as strict as I am. I'll admit it...I'm one of those people who goes hard and fast at something for a brief period of time and then slowly drops it off course. The follow through and keeping up has never been my strong suit. But I'm two weeks in and I've been able to keep to my budget and see real saving results! 

Week #2

Lunch Budget: $35/week
Goal: $7/day

Everyone knows they can go to Wendys or Mcdonalds and have 2-3 items off the dollar menu to save a few bucks for lunch. However if I did this on a weekly basis, I would proceed to gain weight...and then some more weight. It won't work for me, so I've been trying to find healthy choices, minus the Taco Bell last week, for lunch in my $7 budget range. 

This week I did have not have much variety in my lunches but it was healthy and within my budget. I found a local pizza place with great Specials all within price range (I will definitely be going there a lot in the future) and then made a quinoa salad the other 3 days. 

Monday, Jan 11 - Local Pizza Place Special
Ordered: Eggplant Focaccia Bread sandwich - Eggplant, fresh mozzarella, arugula, roasted red peppers
Money Spent: $5.89
Money Saved: $1.11

Tuesday-Thursday, Jan 12-14 - Homemade Option
Homemade Quinoa Salad: Quinoa, cucumbers, mushrooms, tomatoes, baby spinach, red onion, & goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette (Not included in money spent - I had at home)
Money Spent on Ingredients: $16.23
Money Saved: $4.77
Friday, Jan 15th - Office Birthday Party Luncheon
 Money Spent: $0
Money Saved: $7.00

Total Money Spent This Week: $22.12
Total Money Saved this Week: $12.88

For a moment this week I thought perhaps I was setting my budget of $35 too high because I'm easily saving a good portion of the money. However then I looked back at my bills and realized if I went to Chiptotle once a week for a month (which I used to do), I would have spent $52 on a mere 4 lunches out. Burrito Bowl, Izze Drink, & an Extra Chicken = $13.00. That's insane looking at the raw fact numbers. That amount of money would be my new budget for almost 8 days of lunches. I also have been getting lucky with my job having luncheons and pizza days, but I can't depend on that each week. So I'm going to keep my $35 budget for a little longer to see how it goes...

***I can't say enough how much writing it all out has really helped me shed the light on this bad habit of mine.***

 How I Kept My Quinoa Salad Good for 3 Days:
Pereg Quinoa is a great brand of plain quinoa. It fluffs up nicely and it's almost full proof in cooking. One box cooked has lasted me up to about 3-5 days. To keep my salad going - I separated the quinoa into 3 containers and freshly cut the other ingredients everyday. I brought everything separate and added it all together when I was going to eat it. Especially the goat cheese. I added it last only to the bowl I was eating. This enabled me to use the fresh ingredients without them getting wilted or soft from being in the salad too long.

Additional Budgeting Techniques I've Been Successfully Doing:
  • I got super lucky with a Kellogg's Special K Sale at my local supermarket. Buy 3, pay $1.66 per box. One box lasted me 4 days, therefore my weekly breakfast budget was under $2 this week. I have enough cereal for 2 more weeks.
  • For my homemade quinoa salad I purchased the fresh baby spinach one sale and the store brand mini tomatoes to keep costs in my budget.
  • Buying gas in a cheaper state. I live on the border of New York & New Jersey, so I only buy gas in New Jersey. Price in NJ - $1.80 for Regular...Price in NY - $2.10-$2.30 for Regular.
  • Use up my other essentials before buying new ones. I have a stock pile of shampoo/conditioner. I vow not to buy anything new until I use it all. 
  • My job supplies a generous amount of milk, Keurig selection of coffee, and green tea for their employees. I have my cereal at work while I check my morning emails, I have my 2nd cup of coffee in the afternoon, and I can drink all the green tea I wish. They have no idea how much it's helped me out a little.

How's Your Budget Coming Along? 
All tips are welcome! 


  1. WOW, keep it up, you make it look easy! I love that you are doing this. I don't think we realize what we really spend until we write it all down

  2. that's awesome! thanks for sharing! :D

    Have a great week!
    Animated Confessions

  3. Sounds like your doing great. Thanks for linking up to #justanotherlinky xx

  4. Looks and sounds like you are doing fab!
    Thanks for linking up with #justanotherlinky