First of all, knowing you have a problem is the first step of solving it. I am a coffee lover I say “I’ll treat myself today” way more than I should. We all know that all the small expenses add up. So here’s a warm welcome to my new series money diary. I will share my experience with Swedish grocery shopping (e.g. at ICA, Hemköp, Coop). But most of all, I’ll be honest on how much money I spend.
My starting point
I’ve learned from my mom to have a fairly good stocked pantry. This will for sure blur the end result because I always have some essentials (pasta, rice, frozen veggies) at hand. Anyways, here’s what I bought this week (not pictured: some Oatmilk and black pepper I randomly picked up on Thursday):
Tip No.1: Try to only go grocery shopping once and see how many meals you can make (saves money and reduces food waste!)
Monday, 4th of February
This week started off with a 9am class and me trying to be on time. With my usual coffee mug in hand, I ran into the ICA across the street from my apartment and grabbed 2 croissants for breakfast and a salmon wrap for lunch (65 SEK). Although there was a discount on the wrap, it turned out to be way too salmon-y and I had to discard half of it. I helped myself to a small sandwich before heading to Swedish class. Afterwards, I made dinner with some leftover veggies and shrimp.
Tip No.2: Always, I mean always, make enough dinner so it serves as lunch the next day.
Tip No.3: Make coffee at home and bring it to school.
Tuesday, 5th of February
I had some porridge (banana+cinnamon) for breakfast. Afterwards, I got to enjoy my coffee this morning with Donuts a friend of mine brought to our group meeting. What followed was yesterday’s dinner for lunch and I treated myself to some Godis – that’s Swedish for a bag of mixed sweets – in the afternoon when I picked up a just a couple of things I had forgotten while grocery shopping on Monday (72 SEK). For dinner I made beetroot risotto with feta cheese.
Wednesday, 6th of February
Same old story: Porridge for breakfast, a coffee and yesterday’s dinner for lunch at university. Just a small change of routine when some friends and I studied at a café in the afternoon (coffee: 35 SEK). Quick toast again as a snack before Swedish class. Typical German me then made a stew for dinner. My mom would be proud, it’s her recipe.
Thursday, 7th of February
Slower morning without classes so I had time to make some scrambled eggs a la Gordon Ramsey on Toast and yesterday’s dinner for lunch. No snack this time, but a super fancy looking dinner at a friend’s place. We made truffled potato & goat cheese flatbread with a raspberry- capers- spinach salad. Sounds good, looked good. Here’s a picture:
Friday, 8th of February
Busy, boring university day. No pictures for today. I had toast for breakfast, for lunch a coffee and a bun from Jöns Jakob (cafeteria at KI). I met up for dinner with friends. We decided it was still soup weather, so we made pumpkin soup and had some sourdough bread 🙂
– ICA: 65 SEK
– Hemköp: 338,47 SEK
– ICA: 72,72 SEK
– Coffee: 35 SEK
– Jöns Jakob: 25 SEK
– Hemköp: 42,90 SEK
∑ = 597,09 SEK / ≈ 55 € / ≈61$
For me, this was a first try on seeing where my money actually goes each week. In my opinion, this was a pretty good example of a normal week at uni. Still, I will check again when spring comes (and if good weather leads me to spend more).
How is your experience money-wise in Sweden? Do you meal plan? Do you set a weekly budget? Let me know!