Between Trader Joe’s and Publix, I spent almost $300 on groceries this week! That’s the average of what I spent for the two of us per month before inflation hit. Yikes!
Once the shock wore off, I looked at my receipts:
1) 25% was spent stocking up on meat that was on sale.
2) 25% was spent on a special dinner for some close friends.
3) The remainder was spent on regular groceries.
Mind you, I do a big shop once a month and fill in with perishables (milk, eggs, bread, fruit, veg) as we need them. We do eat out 2x per week (Friday date night and Sunday afternoon lunch). We typically eat the rest of our meals at home or brownbag lunch/snacks with us to work and our Saturday events. Our average monthly spend now on groceries is between $400-$425.
Why is this important? Now that we’re a little over six months away from leaving full-time employment, I wanted to (1) make sure my earlier budgeted monthly cash needs were on track and (2) see if we need to reduce retirement contributions in order to accumulate extra cash with the remaining paychecks. Looks like the grocery budget is good and I’ll reduce my 403(b) contributions since there is no employer match.
Being able to step away from full-time employment earlier than planned is possible because we worked our asses off over the past 30 years, lived below our means and saved/invested like crazy. The health insurance piece is now covered and we’re reworking everything else to meet the goal of living well without having to tap the nest egg for a certain period of time. It did mean foregoing the RV purchase (sorry, not sorry) and delaying the purchase of some high ticket toys (like a new sewing machine for me), but we both think it’s well worth the freedom gained by not having to work full-time. Living my best life means spending time with hubby/family/friends, playing with Sadie, volunteering, travel, quilting, sewing biz, hiking, biking, etc. – not spending my days as an information waitress.