Author Topic: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season  (Read 8008 times)

MrsPotato

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Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« on: January 02, 2015, 10:38:29 AM »
I almost had a heart attack when I saw our spending on food and dining for December. My hubby and I definitely need a major face punch for this. We managed to spend CAD $1,039 on groceries, eating out and buying alcohol for just the two of us!!!! Argh I'm so disappointed! We slacked quite a bit in December because we though we deserved it since we had been doing so well in terms of saving and were only spending $2,000 a month on everything (insert face palm). For December we ended up spending $3,500 in total including gifts and our ridiculous eating expenditures. So that means $1,500 less in our investing accounts (my heart bleeds)!!! I usually aim for $400 a month on groceries, eating out and alcohol, so I'll be working hard to stick to that for all of 2015.

Anyway, I've attached our December food/alcohol binge expenditures courtesy of Mint just so you guys can have a good laugh (hopefully I've attached it right and you can view it)! It's really easy to lose track with all the multiple $20-30 trips to the grocery store; so I will definitely get back to doing grocery shopping once a week to stay within budget. We also love the Vietnamese restaurant (Pho Boi as you'll see in the attachment) we go to frequently, but again, we'll go back to visiting there once a month instead of weekly like we did in December. And we also plan on cutting back on alcohol since hubby and I will be stepping up our fitness game over the upcoming months. I'm honestly surprised that we aren't overweight from such extreme spending on food etc.

Laugh away... And please feel free to offer any advice on managing grocery costs. We live in Canada, on Vancouver Island, where food is generally expensive, and we eat a lot of fresh fruit and veggies, nuts and grains, and organic meats... (and we like our chocolate and alcohol too).

RFAAOATB

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2015, 11:06:46 AM »
It's still lower than what I'm spending on food, restaurants, and alcohol.  $1500-$2000 a month average.  I would like to get that down but don't see it happening any time soon.  Two people eating for $50 a day.  Doesn't sound like much when you put it like that.

MrsPotato

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2015, 11:13:08 AM »
It's still lower than what I'm spending on food, restaurants, and alcohol.  $1500-$2000 a month average.  I would like to get that down but don't see it happening any time soon.  Two people eating for $50 a day.  Doesn't sound like much when you put it like that.

Yikes! That's a hefty bill you have there! $50 a day seems like excess to me because if I'm really good about shopping, that's enough to buy fresh produce for  the week for the two of us; add another $50 and that's all my grocery shopping for the week. I hope you're able to get your spending down. That would be quite a bit of extra cash for investing :-)

ketchup

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2015, 11:17:31 AM »
It's still lower than what I'm spending on food, restaurants, and alcohol.  $1500-$2000 a month average.  I would like to get that down but don't see it happening any time soon.  Two people eating for $50 a day.  Doesn't sound like much when you put it like that.
It most certainly still sounds like much.  We're typically at around $100/week in groceries for two people and we eat the good shit.

OP: We were kind of bad this December too about eating out.  Said yes to too many invites really, including work lunches that I generally 100% avoid.

MilwaukeeStubble

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 11:22:40 AM »
It's still lower than what I'm spending on food, restaurants, and alcohol.  $1500-$2000 a month average.  I would like to get that down but don't see it happening any time soon.  Two people eating for $50 a day.  Doesn't sound like much when you put it like that.

Wat?

That still sounds like a lot to me.  Not too bad if you only eat at restaurants/drink at bars, but even then it's not good.

Louisville

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2015, 11:25:18 AM »
It's still lower than what I'm spending on food, restaurants, and alcohol.  $1500-$2000 a month average.  I would like to get that down but don't see it happening any time soon.  Two people eating for $50 a day.  Doesn't sound like much when you put it like that.
That level of spending in that category is consistent? Wow. You should burn franklins for warmth, too. Wife and I do about $400/month grocery and $400/month restaurant/party, and that feels exessive...

RFAAOATB

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2015, 11:35:27 AM »
That still sounds like a lot to me.  Not too bad if you only eat at restaurants/drink at bars, but even then it's not good.

Food is expensive here.  Sit down restaurants are more expensive.  $40-60 minimum for two.  While my coworkers are getting the 3 dollar coffee at the convenience store, I'm sucking down lemonade powder and leftover MRE instant coffee.  I bring in my lunch about 4 days a week which is a 10-15 savings, but hit most of my splurging on the weekends.  Last Saturday I took an MRE to the range because I know we usually have lunch out either at McDonald's or the grocery store deli.  One change I'm working on is cutting back on weekly shopping for 100-180 a week and buying ingredients closer to when I need them.  I'm hoping it cuts the waste from moldy ingredients even if the store by my work is more expensive.

If I could get my total food spending under $1,000 that would be a big accomplishment.  The big challenge is the other person in this house is less willing to eat rice, beans, and MREs more than necessary.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2015, 07:20:27 PM »
That level of spending in that category is consistent? Wow. You should burn franklins for warmth, too.

I don't think they have franklins in Canada. There's the Loonie, but that doesn't work either.

Wife and I do about $400/month grocery

Well, that's not TOO bad...

and $400/month restaurant/party, and that feels exessive...

Ok yeah, that's excessive.

Family of five, Australia, $110/wk for all food expenditure (grocery store and restaurants). This includes non-food items bought at grocery stores such as shampoo, detergent, diapers, etc.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 07:23:01 PM by NumberJohnny5 »

RetiredAt63

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2015, 07:27:28 PM »
Loonies and toonies - I wonder what temperature they melt at?  I was in the US over Christmas and it was very strange getting $1 bills in change.  We used to have them, but we have adapted.  Coins are more compact, but heavier.

Sorry, no huge financial overindulgence stories here, basically the worst I spent was a lot on gas (the drive to the US) and the NH liquor store on I93.  Wow that place is amazing. However I drank more in a week than I normally do in a month. Recovery time.

That level of spending in that category is consistent? Wow. You should burn franklins for warmth, too.

I don't think they have franklins in Canada. There's the Loonie, but that doesn't work either.

Wife and I do about $400/month grocery

Well, that's not TOO bad...

and $400/month restaurant/party, and that feels exessive...

Ok yeah, that's excessive.

Family of five, Australia, $110/wk for all food expenditure (grocery store and restaurants). This includes non-food items bought at grocery stores such as shampoo, detergent, diapers, etc.

BPA

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2015, 07:39:24 PM »
Live and learn.  And share your holiday season badassity a year from now.  :)

I bought two utility turkeys from No Frills in December and I swear...I can not believe how much eating we are getting out of those birds.  Paired with some mashed potatoes, carrots, corn, broccoli that I bought on sale, we've been feasting like kings.  I still have some left from the first bird and haven't yet cooked the second (bigger) one.

Booze would push my spending way high, but I spent less than ten bucks on four Mike's Hard Limes and that was it.  Everyone we hosted was not a drinker. 

I skipped our work Xmas get together because it was at Turtle Yaks.  I hate that place and while I like a sit down dinner or house party, going to Turtle Yaks after work for an hour to get heartburn isn't my idea of a good time. 

I managed to spend $250 on food in December and that included hosting a small New Year's Eve get together (we had lasagna, Swedish meatballs, salad, and dessert) and contributing to Xmas Eve and Xmas Day dinners.  I'm not sure how I did it actually, but it happened. 

Hey It's Me

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2015, 07:52:32 PM »
That still sounds like a lot to me.  Not too bad if you only eat at restaurants/drink at bars, but even then it's not good.

Food is expensive here.  Sit down restaurants are more expensive.  $40-60 minimum for two.  While my coworkers are getting the 3 dollar coffee at the convenience store, I'm sucking down lemonade powder and leftover MRE instant coffee.  I bring in my lunch about 4 days a week which is a 10-15 savings, but hit most of my splurging on the weekends.  Last Saturday I took an MRE to the range because I know we usually have lunch out either at McDonald's or the grocery store deli.  One change I'm working on is cutting back on weekly shopping for 100-180 a week and buying ingredients closer to when I need them.  I'm hoping it cuts the waste from moldy ingredients even if the store by my work is more expensive.

If I could get my total food spending under $1,000 that would be a big accomplishment.  The big challenge is the other person in this house is less willing to eat rice, beans, and MREs more than necessary.

What? Where is "here?"

My parents spend $1000/month on food, which includes dining out (LOTS of take-out) and groceries (junk food for my teenage siblings). They're shopping/eating for 5 in NYC, and I think THAT's madness. Where could you be that's more expensive than New York??

Don't explain, please. Just accept the facepunch and let's work on improving that ridiculous number...
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 07:54:23 PM by moe_rants »

Lia-Aimee

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2015, 06:05:12 PM »
Perhaps s/he's from Nunavut, Canada. Food there is definitely more expensive than NYC (think a $200 Christmas turkey.) Otherwise that IS a lot.

@MrsPotato I feel you. I became vegetarian when I lived in Victoria, just way too expensive there otherwise.

PtboEliz

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2015, 06:49:51 PM »
I just did a spending recap for the year and there always seem to be expenses that add up unexpectedly.. especially during the holidays!

As for grocery tips, I think Superstore would do price matching to other grocery flyers (you can get the flyers delivered or try Flip app?). Looks like you don't have a No Frills on the island.

Not sure whether article below would help...

The fact that you're tracking so closely is awesome in itself.. good luck with meeting your goals for 2015!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/home-cents/how-one-victoria-family-is-coping-with-soaring-food-prices/article11964443/


Pooperman

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2015, 05:31:07 AM »
We failed our December too. Typically we aim for 300 in groceries and 50 out. This time, it was nearly $500!

Back on track though. Our grocery bill for the first week of January was about $50, and we had our $50 meal out as well.

Oh, two adults for this by the way. We eat lots of veggies, beans, rice, potatoes, and chicken/pork for meat. Our grocery bill includes household items though, so it's a bit less than $300.

MrsPotato

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2015, 12:14:44 PM »
I just did a spending recap for the year and there always seem to be expenses that add up unexpectedly.. especially during the holidays!

As for grocery tips, I think Superstore would do price matching to other grocery flyers (you can get the flyers delivered or try Flip app?). Looks like you don't have a No Frills on the island.

Not sure whether article below would help...

The fact that you're tracking so closely is awesome in itself.. good luck with meeting your goals for 2015!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/personal-finance/home-cents/how-one-victoria-family-is-coping-with-soaring-food-prices/article11964443/

Thanks for this link! Very interesting! Superstore is great for their prices and I love shopping there. But the nearest one is a 20 minute drive away, whereas Save-On-Foods is just 5 minutes away. So we only go to Superstore if there's an errand we have to do in that area. Sigh...

MrsPotato

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2015, 12:16:10 PM »
I spent a lot too
- holiday ham, other treats
- eating out with co-workers for holiday/retirement get together so
- had folks over for New Year's Eve
     - bought $85 in cheese and a few other things, likely will eat more than half of this ourselves, but it all fit in one grocery bag!
     - 5 bottles of sparkling wines (used 4 at party)
     - made several other appetizers and snacks including chicken wings, meatballs, prosciutto pinwheels...

So spent $150-200 for food/drink for 8 people to ring in 2015 (1 night) plus the other stuff for which I have not yet totaled up the damage

$150-200 for 8 people is great! Definitely beats spending $50+ per person at a restaurant!

MrsPotato

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2015, 12:23:59 PM »
Live and learn.  And share your holiday season badassity a year from now.  :)

I bought two utility turkeys from No Frills in December and I swear...I can not believe how much eating we are getting out of those birds.  Paired with some mashed potatoes, carrots, corn, broccoli that I bought on sale, we've been feasting like kings.  I still have some left from the first bird and haven't yet cooked the second (bigger) one.

Booze would push my spending way high, but I spent less than ten bucks on four Mike's Hard Limes and that was it.  Everyone we hosted was not a drinker. 

I skipped our work Xmas get together because it was at Turtle Yaks.  I hate that place and while I like a sit down dinner or house party, going to Turtle Yaks after work for an hour to get heartburn isn't my idea of a good time. 

I managed to spend $250 on food in December and that included hosting a small New Year's Eve get together (we had lasagna, Swedish meatballs, salad, and dessert) and contributing to Xmas Eve and Xmas Day dinners.  I'm not sure how I did it actually, but it happened.

You did really great over the festive season! Yes, turkeys yield so much meat and make awesome sandwiches for days after. $250 on food is impressive! I managed to do our grocery shopping for the week for $80 this time, so I'm hoping I can maintain that.

MrsPotato

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2015, 12:30:16 PM »
We failed our December too. Typically we aim for 300 in groceries and 50 out. This time, it was nearly $500!

Back on track though. Our grocery bill for the first week of January was about $50, and we had our $50 meal out as well.

Oh, two adults for this by the way. We eat lots of veggies, beans, rice, potatoes, and chicken/pork for meat. Our grocery bill includes household items though, so it's a bit less than $300.

$500 isn't too bad! But it's great that you're back on track. $300 seems like a good range for a couple and hopefully one day we'll be able to get our food budget that low one day. We also eat chicken and pork for meat mainly, and we occasionally treat ourselves to some fish too :-)

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2015, 12:54:42 PM »
Oh MrsPotato, I feel you!!! Those are our major weaknesses as well (especially the groceries and alcohol, but dining out too) and December was definitely bad! And I know what you mean about the $20-30 grocery trips adding up. We are definitely not to the once-a-week level of preparedness/planning, but I am getting better at consistently keeping it to twice a week...

Pooperman

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2015, 01:22:23 PM »
We failed our December too. Typically we aim for 300 in groceries and 50 out. This time, it was nearly $500!

Back on track though. Our grocery bill for the first week of January was about $50, and we had our $50 meal out as well.

Oh, two adults for this by the way. We eat lots of veggies, beans, rice, potatoes, and chicken/pork for meat. Our grocery bill includes household items though, so it's a bit less than $300.

$500 isn't too bad! But it's great that you're back on track. $300 seems like a good range for a couple and hopefully one day we'll be able to get our food budget that low one day. We also eat chicken and pork for meat mainly, and we occasionally treat ourselves to some fish too :-)

We're getting better, definitely. Last year, $500/month was our aim (before finding MMM). Fish is an occasional thing for us as well (mainly frozen salmon, whiting, and tilapia). Super meal planning started yesterday. I decided that we should make all the food for the week and not have to cook more than one day. Took about 3 hours, but 7 dinners (extra for brown bagging) were made. Next week, it'll be easier for us to plan ahead for shopping so that our meals are more complete, healthier, and inexpensive.

MrsPotato

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2015, 01:40:54 PM »
We failed our December too. Typically we aim for 300 in groceries and 50 out. This time, it was nearly $500!

Back on track though. Our grocery bill for the first week of January was about $50, and we had our $50 meal out as well.

Oh, two adults for this by the way. We eat lots of veggies, beans, rice, potatoes, and chicken/pork for meat. Our grocery bill includes household items though, so it's a bit less than $300.

$500 isn't too bad! But it's great that you're back on track. $300 seems like a good range for a couple and hopefully one day we'll be able to get our food budget that low one day. We also eat chicken and pork for meat mainly, and we occasionally treat ourselves to some fish too :-)

We're getting better, definitely. Last year, $500/month was our aim (before finding MMM). Fish is an occasional thing for us as well (mainly frozen salmon, whiting, and tilapia). Super meal planning started yesterday. I decided that we should make all the food for the week and not have to cook more than one day. Took about 3 hours, but 7 dinners (extra for brown bagging) were made. Next week, it'll be easier for us to plan ahead for shopping so that our meals are more complete, healthier, and inexpensive.

You totally sound like me! I did all our meal prep yesterday as well. I made a big pot of lentil soup, slow cooker pork roast and sauerkraut, chickpeas and prairie rice for adding to salads, a batch a sauerkraut, and marinated some chicken breast for later in the week. We usually just add fresh veggies to our meat dishes, so there's not a lot of preparation needed for most of our meals. This took up half of my Sunday but it was definitely worth it! High 5 to us :-)

netskyblue

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2015, 04:16:35 PM »
Hahaha OP!

I saw the title and was thinking, "yeah, I really ate out far too much in December, too."  Then I saw the numbers.  You ate more than my paycheck!

I ate out EIGHT times in December (which really is beyond excessive), and spent $141.43.

That was pizza once, fast food four times, and three sit-down dinners at budget places (like, $8-$9 entrees).  Groceries were only $113, though!

MrsPotato

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2015, 05:22:58 PM »
Hahaha OP!

I saw the title and was thinking, "yeah, I really ate out far too much in December, too."  Then I saw the numbers.  You ate more than my paycheck!

I ate out EIGHT times in December (which really is beyond excessive), and spent $141.43.

That was pizza once, fast food four times, and three sit-down dinners at budget places (like, $8-$9 entrees).  Groceries were only $113, though!

Yikes! Now I feel even worse! $113 on groceries? That's amazing! My hubby keeps saying we should move to the US. Housing and food are so much cheaper. Sigh...

Pooperman

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2015, 04:59:09 AM »
Housing is not cheaper in the US at all. At least where I live haha. It would have been worse but my parents paid for my (relatively inexpensive) 25th birthday dinner that came to $350 for 8 people including drinks. Don't have to do that again for another 5 years thankfully. Well SO turns 25 next year so we'll see :).

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2015, 05:30:49 AM »
Dang!  Pile on!!!!!!!

My in-laws and BIL were in town so we bought groceries, restaurants, gifts, and entertainment for 5 in one of the most expensive towns in the US.  We spent $700 in Dec!  BOOM!  We're better than you!!! j/k!  That was $200 over our goal (40%!!!!!).

Enjoy the face punches.  Remember them next time you're considering appetizers. :D

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2015, 07:45:56 AM »
I have FB friends that posted pictures of the their Christmas trees and all the presents under the tree.  It was a pile probably three feet high and took up a quarter of the room.  They only had 2 kids.

southern granny

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2015, 08:02:13 AM »
We too overindulged in every aspect during December.  Although we don't drink alcohol, so we didn't have that expense, but I spent way more on gifts than I anticipated, plus we were off work for 2 weeks, so we ate out quite a bit and took a weekend trip.  Not only is the money gone, but I gained  ten pounds. But I absolutely enjoyed it.   I don't think it is going to change next year, so instead I am just going to budget for it and put back a little more each month to cover it.  Although, I will try not to gain 10 pounds, but I will probably do that too. 

MrsPotato

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #27 on: January 06, 2015, 09:39:59 AM »
I have FB friends that posted pictures of the their Christmas trees and all the presents under the tree.  It was a pile probably three feet high and took up a quarter of the room.  They only had 2 kids.

Now that is definitely over indulgence! I really don't understand it when parents go crazy with Christmas shopping for their kids. But hey, I don't have kids myself so I can't judge. I just hope to never be that type of parent. My hubby and I both spent around $300 on our respective family members this Christmas (I sent money back home and he bought gifts) and we thought that was excessive. We definitely didn't pile up the Christmas tree :-)

MrsPotato

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Re: Over Indulgence During the Festive Season
« Reply #28 on: January 06, 2015, 09:45:37 AM »
We too overindulged in every aspect during December.  Although we don't drink alcohol, so we didn't have that expense, but I spent way more on gifts than I anticipated, plus we were off work for 2 weeks, so we ate out quite a bit and took a weekend trip.  Not only is the money gone, but I gained  ten pounds. But I absolutely enjoyed it.   I don't think it is going to change next year, so instead I am just going to budget for it and put back a little more each month to cover it.  Although, I will try not to gain 10 pounds, but I will probably do that too.

I'm glad that you enjoyed your Christmas holiday. Nothing better than time well spent with the people you love. I'm pretty sure I gained a couple of pounds too. I only weighed myself recently after a long hiatus from the scale just to see where I am and how much I need to lose to get back in shape. Since you plan on putting some money away each month for December spending, you could also try losing a pound or two each month so that by the time the holidays come around again, you can gain 10 pounds guilt free! LOL! But seriously...