How we save over $5000 on food

2012121110654.jpg

Are you tired like N-dog here, of constantly finding yourself stressed out while standing in the grocery store, not knowing what you`re going to have for dinner? Do you want to save more money on food?  Are you tired of eating industrial, un-healthy food? Then keep on reading!

So.. this is embarrassing, but a couple of years ago, when BF and I moved in together, we both lived in small spaced dorms and shared kitchen with a lot of random (and semi-crazy) people, so we didn`t like to spend much time in the common room, which means that we didn`t think about how much money we wasted on food. We went to expensive grocery stores because it was more convenient, we bought easy expensive industrial food,  and shopped every day. Neither of us thought about how much we were really spending.

But then we moved into a house together and I started paying attention to what I ate due to my Fibromyalgia. That was 3 years ago, and I`ve had a steep learning curve and saved so much money! Approximately $5300 a year! That`s A LOT of money. We used to spend more about $900(!!) on food a month. I know, I know, but I did warn you, it was not my finest hour. …Continue reading

Be SMART about phone use and SAVE money

In September 2012 I had finally saved enough money to buy a smart phone. But then there was the choice of choosing a reasonable cell phone plan. What`s usual in Norway, is to have a plan which has a lot included. At that point, there was only one I thought fitting to my cell phone use, a plan that cost me $35 a month. And it included 600 texts, 600 mms, 600 minutes and 1000MB, which I thought was a great deal!

6 months later, I find myself realizing that I never use the phone that much, so I don`t get the value of the monthly cost of $35! So I went online to my cell phone plan contractor, to see if they had something that would suit my phone use better. That`s when I discovered a new cell-phone plan! Sure it only included 150 texts, MMS, MB and minutes, but that should be sufficient for my use. And it only cost $17.50! That would mean cutting my cell phone bill in HALF!

By changing my phone plan, I`ll now save $210 a year!! And!! Another genius thing I intend to do, is instead of adding that extra $17.50 a month to my spending money, I`m going to save the money. I intend to make an automatic transfer of $17.50 to my Vacation savings account each month! This way I make sure that I really do save money by cutting my phone plan in half! 😉 So be SMART and start SAVING money! 

ImageA Dublin snapshot, one of the places I`ve saved up months in advance to visit!

What about you? How are your cell phone bills? Is there anything you could cut back on? Is there anything else you`d rather spend the money on?

Budget Friendly: Stocking up

Whenever I`m visiting my parents in the Canary Islands, I always make sure that I`ve got an extra suitcase to bring back home. Living in Norway is very, very expensive, especially when you`re living on student loans and grants. Which is why I usually stock up on things when I`m in the Canary Islands, as there are practically no taxes there, with the price level being generally very low. Take the cans of sweet condensed milk for instance. In Norway, these would cost me 9$ per can. When I bought them on the Spanish Island it cost me 1$/can. That`s a 8 dollar difference! The amount of money I save each year just by buying some products with me is rediculously huge!

This time I stocked up on sweet condensed milk, honey, my favourite chocolate, a jar of peach jam, two boxes of sprinkles, some luxurious goat cheese, Serrano ham (Spanish version of the Italian Parma ham), and some  bio-degradable garbage bags.

I love being able to stock up on things that I use, but only  to a fraction of what it`d cost in Norway. This is one of the ways I save a lot of money each year, as everytime I visit I always make sure to buy certain food items with me.

Image

Image

Image

What do you like to stock up on when you got the chance?

Spending some birthday money

Image

I`ve had some birthday money that`s been waiting to be spent on something pretty since October, and today was the day to make that a reality. I bought a blue sequin top that I can use on Christmas Eve, but also on other occasions; a knitted cable stitch cardigan for everyday use; and a pair of black jeans. to top it all of, my mom gave me the most perfect jacket for cold winter days. I also found a very pretty hair clip that I intend on wearing a lot! The total cost was 115$ which I think is a very acceptable cost especially when I know it would`ve cost me about the double to buy the exact same things in Norway. I rarely go shopping, mostly because I don`t have any money to spend, so the last time I went shopping was in May. In other words, it`s been a while.

Though it was fun to go looking around in all the shops, I did behave very calm and thought thoroughly about how and when I would use every item. I think this is a tactic I`ll be using a lot more in the future! I`ve also started to shop only certain colours so that I can use most of my clothes together in many different ways. I`m really fond of navy blue, dark green, brown and beige as primary colours, and then I like to use a lot of pastel colours, creating a soft and sofisticated look.

How do you limit yourself when going shopping?

My Christmas Goals

Image

  • Finish my take-home exam next week.
  • Spend a lot of time on the beach
  • Be happy
  • Read a good book
  • Have long breakfasts on the balcony while enjoying the view of palm trees
  • Take long walks with our two dogs
  • Visit the island`s capital, Las Palmas and take a walk in the old town.
  • Make some more Christmas sweets
  • Practice my Spanish
  • Play and cuddle with the dogs; they`re just the cutest ever!
  • Spend quality time with my family
  • Go shopping for some much needed new clothes
  • Plan a strictly food-blog project
  • Drink a lot of ice-cold Diet Coke
  • Have long talks with my mom
  • Go to church on Christmas Eve
  • Write more exciting posts on travelling
  • Take a lot of pictures
  •  Eat a lot of Chinese food
  • Donate christmas gifts to charity
  • Make the Christmas-dinner
  • Plan my 2013 budget
  • Try new recipes and share them with you
  • Help my brother with finding an apartment
  • Eat the best ice-cream in the world
  • Order curricula for the spring semester
  • Celebrate new year`s Eve with my best friends

 What are your goals for this Christmas?