Money diary – how much I spend on food each week (Vol. 1)

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):
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:
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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 🙂


My expenses:
– 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$


Conclusion
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!

4 thoughts on “Money diary – how much I spend on food each week (Vol. 1)

  1. Great blog post! You share some great tips too – particularly keeping a well stocked pantry/store cupboard. It encourages you to make things out of what you already have. Buying in bulk really helps too.

  2. […] Some people rely on Lidl, which is one of the cheapest supermarkets while others mix between different chains. I quite enjoy shopping at Willy’s and ICA maxi (Swedish supermarket chains). You can check their websites and get an estimate of how much would spend per month. You can also check DA Anne’s blog on how much she spends on food per week. […]

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