No Shopping February, Starting to Slip?

February was kind of a month of reckoning on my journey to spend less.  I continued to work on figuring out exactly where my money was going, and I learned that it mostly goes only a few places:

1. Food
3. Debt

So, all the money that I thought I would simply have if I stopped shopping, actually doesn't exist.  I was shopping on credit, which was what was continuing my cycle of debt, and eliminating that shopping, didn't actually leave a lot of extra money on the table.  So, I've had to dig a little deeper.  So, I have started changing a few behaviors to start saving money in the small pockets that are available.  Here is what I am doing:

1. Making every attempt to spend less than $100 a week on groceries.  Honestly, this shouldn't be hard, but I was spending an absurd amount before.  I eat out a lot, eat at my mom's house about four nights a week, and was throwing away tons of food.  Not only was it a waste of money, but wasteful in other ways as well.
2. Bring my lunch to work four days a week.  I have had mixed success with this.  I think last week I ate out every lunch, which was obviously a failure, but I was also traveling around to do classroom observations.  I also have trouble determining what I should bring, and in the future might try out going home for lunch instead.
3.  Only have "fancy coffee" once a week.  Guys, I was spending soooo much money on coffee.  Like, legit, $7-10 a DAY.  I don't drink milk, so I was upgrading my lattes, and I was sometimes hitting the drive thru in the afternoons as well.  Now I am bringing my own coffee, ordering a plain mug of coffee if I want to work at a coffee shop, and saving sugary lattes as a treat.
4. I have been trying to turn off the lights in my house before leaving.  This has saved me about $20 on my electric bill, and is kinder to the planet.  I also might start turning down my heater when I leave for work.
5. I have been making sure that I connect my phone to wifi when I am browsing.  I'm kind of lazy about this, and I have a cheap loyalty plan that doesn't have unlimited data.  So, I was regularly paying an extra $20 a month for data overages.  Whoops.

I still need to find ways to save more, and I think that eating out is the obvious culprit.  So, if anyone has tips and tricks for quick take to work meals, I want to hear them.  I'm also continuing to avoid last minute Amazon purchases by keeping my wishlist and letting things chill there until I'm sure I need them. Any other tricks and tips for small savings?


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