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Stick Figure Blog

Stick Figure Blog

Most Exciting News:

I have some extremely exciting news to share with you all today. I just gave birth. Not to a human (that would just be weird), but to a new blog. Stick Figure Blog to be exact.

While the goal of Punch Debt In The Face has been to financially educate those dumber than me, I have to face the facts. And the fact is, very few of you read this blog to learn. You only stick around (pun intended) for my silly stick figure drawings accompanying each post.

In an attempt to bring even more smiles to your sexy (or ugly) faces, I’ve gone ahead and created Stick Figure Blog. It’s a pretty straightforward site. I’ll post one stick figure cartoon per day. If you think it’s funny you can comment and tell me. If you think it’s stupid you can go milk a goat.

The ultimate goal for Stick Figure Blog would be to begin receiving reader submissions (submit your stick figure cartoon here), that would then be posted on the blog for all to see. That’s right, it would be a community art project, for all the sucky drawers of the world.

If you want to be my bestest friend in the whole wide internet world, you’ll head on over. Comment, subscribe, follow SFB on twitter, and submit your own drawing. Oh, and don’t worry, I’ll still be doing cartoons here related to my posts.

Pretty exciting news:

Well, I’m not dead, which means the PF bloggers meetup was a success. I rocked my ninja mask the whole time and spoke in a really creepy low voice so no one would be able to identify me. As my Friday post indicated, I was pretty nervous about the meetup. Wasn’t sure if people would like me, or if I would like them. But I can honestly say, PF bloggers are nowhere near as dorky as I feared they’d be. In fact, they were pretty dang cool. We did take a group picture, but I am yet to receive it, so I did my best to recreate the picture with photoshop….

Personal Finance group

Links to those that attended. Len Penzo, Go Banking Rates, Bucksome Boomer, Money Funk, Money Ning, Hope To Propser, Wealth Informatics, Erica, and the newest PF blogger Bruce Bucks.

Very UNexciting news:

Wife Ninja and I sat down and went over our spending in September. We had set our budget (new budget coming soon) allotment for dining out/groceries at $400/month. After reviewing Quicken, we were surprised to see $550 went towards food last month. We were $150 over budget. We spent $200 dining out and $350 on groceries. This leads me to believe one of three things…

1) We suck at finding deals and we are paying too much for groceries.

2) We sucked at setting our budget and the $400/month allocation should be more like $500/month.

3) We are pigs.

I’m convinced #3 is not the right answer, so it only leaves us with number 1 or 2. My guess is it’s a little of both. We can definitely be more intentional in buying things that are on sale or have a coupon. I also think $400/month was probably a little too low for our lifestyle. We buy most of our meat fresh and our produce from the farmers market which, as you all know isn’t cheap.

I need some help from you budget nazis out there. How much do/did you and your significant other spend on groceries/dining out each month? Is $500/month insanely high? Any inside tips to save money on our grocery bill? And lastly, have you subscribed to this blog and stick figure blog yet?!

Love you all like my mom loves making fun of me 🙂

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  1. Hahaahha, I love that “you can go milk a goat” bit.

    Well, I’ll be submitting a few stick figures of my own soon 🙂

    About budgeting for groceries, I always buy with the end in mind, and shop weekly or once a fortnight. When I buy, I always plan what I want to do with them. For example, if I plan to make storfry/steak/mashed taters, I’ll make sure I only get those stuff. I used to just buy whatever but found that this doesn’t work for me coz stimes I hv no idea what to do with them! So now I buy what I plan to cook for that week. Of course this only works if you’rre like me, who does groceries once or twice a month.

    My mom would buy stuff like milk, sugar etc once a month, but fresh produce once a week. This keeps her to her budget and the foodstuff remains fresh and not icky by the time she gets around to using em!

  2. i pull out 225 each paycheck (every other friday) for groceries and eating out. So we just spend 225 * 26 / 12 = 487.5 per month for all things eating. and keep in mind im feeding my wife, 2 kids and I. So i would have to suggest that your groceries are way high. We hardly eat out at all and that might be why

  3. Five hundred smackers seems like a lot for two people. We budget $350 at the grocery store and probably another $50-75 for eating out, and that includes Little Boy Beagle, who at 16 months is responsible for a fair amount of that expense. To me, the eating out budget for you two seems pretty well on tap but I think you could do better on groceries, especially since (theoretically) you don’t need as many groceries since you eat out more often.

  4. I realize that I live in Tennessee, so our prices are probably lower than yours. That being said WHY DO PEOPLE SPEND SO MUCH ON FOOD?! My coworker recently told me she and her husband spend $500 per month on groceries. For two people. $500 FOR TWO PEOPLE! I said, “Are you guys eating steak every night?” Geez!

    Mr. Red and I didn’t buy our groceries together before he lost his job, but we will be now. He thinks he spends less than $120 a month on groceries, which is what I spend. So I would guess we spend $240 a month on groceries, and that might be overestimating. Then we go out to eat once a week. So let’s say $120 for that, which is also an overestimation because sometimes our dinners out only cost $12, not $30. (Hellooooo, Cracker Barrel!) That’d be $360 for food in a month. And we could always get that number down to $300 or even $260 by not eating out.

    So, yeah, your number is high compared to ours. I would suggest meal planning. Actually planning your meals for, say, a week at a time will help you to shop for only those things that you need for your meals. That might save some cash. I usually overspend when I don’t have a plan. Also, glad you weren’t killed! When are y’all bringing the party to Tennessee???

  5. I’m in Canada so your mileage will vary. We’re three adults (me, husband and 26-yr-old daughter) in this house and we spend about $450/month on everything from the grocery store and drug store (except prescriptions). I find everyone defines groceries differently so I’m saying that’s what we spend for 3 on food and toiletries and over-the-counter medications and paper towels, etc. Dining out is usually $75 to $100 on top of that (seldom spent together).

    Prices vary across the country (and from country to country) and depend on whether or not you have access to supermarkets or just small convenience-type stores. I shop the flyers (and try to go to only the best store by flyer each week though I’ll sometimes go to 2 different ones if I need the groceries in 2 flyers) and stock up my pantry and freezer when there’s a great sale. Sales repeat, though, so there’s no need to go too hog-wild on stocking up. I’ve also learned how to cook frugally (e.g. cheap cuts of beef and pork are fantastic in the crockpot). I used to be a lot more frugal and I know I could get our costs down a lot more if I had to.

    • Very interested in your comment, Tracey, as I am a fellow Canadian. I define groceries the same as you do, and I lump “eating out” in with the groceries budget as well. Mind you, I am feeding a family of 7 (Myself, two teenage boys, and four other children). I budget $1500 and usually come in around #1350 – #1400.

      • I’m in Canada too! We spent on average about $250-300 a month on groceries. Dining out would be $100 a month on top if we decide to do so (but that is rare!). I also lump toiletries into the groceries category because they are cheaper to buy at the grocery store than the pharmacy for the most part. If I do spend some at Walmart on toiletries, I put that in the grocery line too. 🙂

  6. Hi Ninja dude,

    Just subscribed to your website, and this first post is great. Good idea separating your stick figures out. A community blog is always the next step for most bloggers.

    As far as the food budget goes I think $400 should be and stay your MAX.

    Without trying really hard I usually end up spending $200 a month on food which includes eating out.

    Couple tips:

    1. Eliminate all drinks besides water from your diet, including bottled waters. Drinks are outrageously priced, especially when you are eating out. I bet you would save at least $50 right now if you did just that. I know you don’t drink alcohol but I would recommend it for all the alcohol drinkers too.

    2. Budget further down inside your food budget. What exactly are you spending money on? Is one day costing you $5 and the next day costing you $20? Yep, budgeting is a pain, but once you’ve done it a few times you will be able to do it easy.

    3. My good friend Jacob at (your choice if you don’t mind a link in the comments) writes a lot about eating on a budget and he usually stays under $100 per month. Now most of us aren’t that extreme but I always say the same thing about Jacob when I recommend him. If we move just a little bit in his direction we will be better off.


  7. Good luck with with the new blog!

    $500 does seem a bit high for 2. My family of 5 wrestles with this cost each month. $1250 for us would not work.

  8. If you can afford it, it’s not too much. It’s just the 2 of us, and we are people spend $5 a pound on humanely raised chicken straight from the farmer, so it adds up- but it’s worth it to us. We give ourselves $100 a week for food (we do brunch every weekend, which leaves about $60-70 for groceries and drinks (do other people not include alcohol in their food budgets? Because beer and wine is a pretty significant monthly chunk for us)). I’m a person who loves eating out, so this is us trying to cut back – a few dinners a month and we’d be easily over $500.

  9. We (husband and I) spend around $700 a month on food–we’re in NYC. That includes groceries and eating out.

    We’re working on cutting back on that amount. Going out to eat here is ridiculously expensive. We don’t coupon as much as we could, and we’re going to start meal planning around the supermarket circular rather than our wants, to see if that makes a difference.

    We don’t have a lot of food waste, though, so I think part of it is simply that it’s expensive to live here.

  10. Groceries is the one area of spending I don’t mind splurging on. I rarely, rarely buy clothes (and I’m a 25 year old unmarried girl), I wear drugstore make-up, don’t spend much on entertainment, etc. but it’s important to me to have high-quality food in the house and to eat at decent restaurants. So I think it’s just a matter of priorities. If you DO spend lots on other stuff like clothes, or if GN spends $$$ on make-up regularly, etc, whereas food isn’t that important to you, then when a budget crunch comes around you know where to make cutbacks. Spend on what’s important to you, don’t spend on what’s not important to you.

    • I’m with Katelyn — your spending should align with your priorities and core values!

      That said, I don’t think $550 is outrageous, by any means.

      You just got married! You’re still celebrating! Things will naturally settle a bit, so I wouldn’t freak out quite yet.

      I spend quite a bit on food and drink but it’s a huge part of my social life, my creative expression, and my sustenance as a human being. WORTH IT.

    • Twin! 25-year-old, unmarried gal in Texas who spends about $500-$600 on groceries/eating out (but that includes ALL my groceries which are toiletries, kitchen stuff like paper towels, etc.).

      I buy organic and free-range/grass-fed proteins so that adds cost to my eating budget, but I feel like what I’m spending in high quality food will help prevent me from paying medical bills in the future. If I prevent myself from getting ill by eating high quality foods and taking care of myself, the budget balances out.

  11. I don’t think its too much if you’re buying organic and if you’re buying from the farmer’s market. I budget $350 for groceries/going out to eat/drink wine in a major metropolitan city for one person (but I also lump alcohol (mostly wine) into this, and as a single gal I go for drinks every now and then…) and I think that is fine. I buy my meats only humanely raised or organic, shopping mostly at Trader’s Joe and the farmer’s market, with minor big chain grocery store shopping. Watch Food inc and it will change your mind about buying your groceries at the chain stores. You are what you eat and your health is important. As far as going out see if you can find deals on and make sure you meal plan, bring your lunch to work, etc. This should cut costs. Good luck!

  12. I have $275/month on my budget for groceries (CAN) and we’re usually right on or a bit under. We do spend a lot of money going out to restaurants but that comes out of my allowance because it’s a treat not something necessary, we can easily stay at home and cook. Mr. Save A lot (my husband) and myself usually stock up on things that are on sale that we buy all the time. So if we see pasta for mad cheap, we will buy 3-4 packages, although we only intend to eat 1 that week. Also, we make use of coupons!! 🙂
    hope this helps.

  13. We (2 people) try to spend between $250 and $300 on groceries. I am not quite sure what our restaurant budget is because it falls in a few categories. My “eating out” budget includes coffee, beer, restaurants, mid day snacks and ends up being $75 a month while my boyfriend has $25 during the week to spend on whatever (usually food) and $75 on the weekend.
    Coupons and eating a vegetarian meal once a week are the way to go to reduce your grocery bill. I have found a can of beans for as cheap as 64 cents a can.

  14. My husband and I budget $375 a month; $275 for groceries and $100 for eating out. Take into consideration the number of meals you have guests over, because that greatly affects the grocery budget. We like to have friends and family over quite often, so some months we don’t make our grocery budget, but then we don’t go out to eat as often. I’m surprised that as newlyweds that you didn’t get some gift cards to restaurants? We ate out exclusively on gifts cards for our first entire year of marriage.

    Another idea to try: meatless meals. We are both hearty omnivores 🙂 but we always designate two nights a week to meatless meals. It’s healthier and helps us finish the odds and ends in our pantry.

  15. I want to smile next time 😀

    We did our budget review last weekend and ended up going over for food too… Our budget was $350, but we ended up spending almost $500. We are vegetarians so it shouldn’t cost this much. Our main sink is Costco spending, we should just stick with the list. My husband always ends up convincing me why we need that block of cheese. We are bad couponers when it comes to food. I can never find coupons for vegetables/fruits.

  16. I’m in the midwest, so obviously prices will be different for you, but I’d say we spend about $300 per month for groceries, and that’s for me, hubby, and a 18yo girl who is living with us. We are novice gardeners, and we didn’t get much out of our garden this year, but I’m hoping that next year our garden will help us cut down on grocery costs.

    We don’t eat out very often. Maybe $25/month there?

  17. Well, I consider your budget to be perfectly fine, but then again, most everyone here will spit out their drink when they read my grocery/dining budget. We average for the 2 of us about $250/month on groceries, but about $600/month on dining out. This is probably our biggest budget expense after rent. The reason for the huge dining budget is that the hubby is a pilot which means eating out for every meal, typically at airport prices. He gets per diem to help cover this cost, and before the comments start, packing food is difficult when he is gone for 4 days and staying at hotels without fridges. At least half of the dining budget could be cut if I never ate out, but it drives me crazy to have to cook for myself all the time when he is travelling, then cook for both of us when he is home because he wants a home cooked meal. If I don’t treat myself, I never get to eat out.

    Also, we include alcohol into our budget which makes it larger than it would otherwise be.

  18. I spend about 80€ on groceries a month max, my secret here: ALDI and discount grocers. For my weekly shopping which has a lot of fresh produce I would at least pay twice as much. But I always check for sales and shop accordingly, buy bulk when possible. Example: Nutella, a jar here is about 2€ and when they have a sale going on I get 4 jar for 5€. Usually I end up getting enough jars to last me until the next sale.
    My new place of employment has a swell canteen where I leave another 100€/month. Eating out would maybe add up to 50 or 60€.

  19. I too live in San Diego and am also a 20-something in a live-in relationship like you guys are, so I hope my comparison is close. We budget $100/week ($400/month) for groceries ONLY, which includes visits to Trader Joe’s, Henry’s, and the farmer’s markets. We probably actually spend about $80-90, but the extra helps when we decide to have friends over for a BBQ, or end up forgetting things/having items go bad on us before we use them. Some weeks (like this week) we’re so busy outside of work that we barely have any meals planned at home, and other weeks we eat at home 6 nights, so the costs can vary in that regard also. In regards to eating out, we budget $150/month (which is $35/week) for eating out, which includes fast food or sit down. Some weeks we definitely go over that (since one sit down meal will probably cost about $30-40 after tip etc), but we decided that we need to try and keep under that level unless one of us wants to treat the other for whatever reason. For us, eating out together is a nice treat that we really enjoy, so we didn’t want to completely cut it out. Also, eating very healthy, whole foods is a big deal to us, so we do our grocery shopping at places that may be more expensive, but aren’t necessarily Whole Foods expensive. We do not include alcohol in our budget at all, mostly since I don’t really drink and my man loves beer.

  20. I don’t know how you all can feed two people for $300/month. I was spending $250/month when I lived alone, but that was not eating very healthy and only buying things that were dirt cheap. Now that we eat better (higher quality products) I thought $400-$450 was normal. Guess not! Thanks for everyone’s input.

  21. My husband and I spend around $500 a month on food. We eat out a fair amount and we do buy a lot of groceries. We try to buy things only when they’re on sale, though, and with coupons. He once saved $100 on one grocery trip with coupons! And we love steak so our food budget probably is a bit high for two people but… damn, who doesn’t love steak?!

  22. I’ve found if I buy items when they are on sale and stock up a little, it saves so much. EX: last week mayo was on sale 2 for 1, I had mayo in my fridge, but bought when it was a great deal. You can do this with just about all condiments, and many staples. Once your pantry is stocked, you could feasibly not “have” to go to the store for a while. But why risk missing out more good deals and fresh foods?

  23. We have found that meal planning works great. We usually do one big, expensive trip per month and then weekly grocery store runs for the fresh goodies (produce, milk and eggs about every other week, etc.) I am also addicted to grocery store ads and shopping on sale and stocking up! This really helps the impulse buys and forces us to use what is in our house to create meals. I would say our grocery/eating out budget for the month is about $350. Some months we eat out way more than others and vice versa, so it usually balances out. I would say that $500 is a little high for two people, but if food and good meals are important to you, then you should tighten your budget somewhere else, that’s what we did. We love a good meal so we cut back in other aspects.

  24. This particular topic comes up monthly when I analyze the amount of money we spend on groceries and eating out, much to the dismay of my lovely wife. I have $350 in the budget for these items, but we rarely end up that low. You’re probably asking what use an unrealistic budget is, but I still can’t understand how we spend between $550 and $650 /month on food for two people in the midwest! I’m holding on to my dream…

    Anyways, we shop at Aldi, Costco, and Walmart trying to keep the costs down, to no avail. Everyone says “buy in bulk” to save cash, but we usually leave Costco with $115 less in our pocket and 5 things in the oversized cart. Seriously, why are they so big?

    Just know you’re not alone in this struggle. I only hope you’re more successful at curbing these costs than I have been.


  25. I’m guessing our COLs are similar. We aim for $130 a week. GST just went up though and I’m not sure if we may need to up the budget soon!

  26. It’s just me and Mr. Wookie at home. We grocery shop to the tune of $200 a month. I feel like we’re eating well. I mean, we do eat a crap ton of pasta, but still. It is good pasta.

  27. We budget $900 for Groceries, and $0 for eating out. We are a family of 6 – 2 adults, 4 kids ages 15, 10, 8 and 5. I despise that our grocery budget is so high, but try as I might, I don’t seem to be able to get it lower. We eat normal food – not organic. We eat meat pretty much every day, but not expensive cuts, mainly just ground beef, chicken and porkchops, we meal plan ALL our meals, including breakfast and lunch, we shop with a grocery list and a calculator, we buy store brands rather than name brands, and we brown-bag our lunches on workdays. We order out maybe once every 2-3 months (usually subs or pizza) and rarely, (read: once a year maybe) eat out at restaurants. $900/month covers all the food and drinks that go into our bodies!

    • Replying to my own post – how dorky is that? Oh well, I just wanted to add that my “grocery” budget also includes all our personal care and household items too. If we are just talking about the “food” portion of the grocery budget, we spend $750/month for our family of 6.

      • We’re about where you are for 5 (3 adults, 2 kids). I too beat myself up about it, but then I realized that included cleaning products, diapers, toiletries, shampoo, drugs, vitamins, etc. I’m thinking my food budget isn’t as big a culprit as the “other” stuff, but I haven’t bothered to track it yet.

  28. When I was first married, my husband and I spent probably close to $500 a month on food. It seems hardly believable now- but we ate out almost every night since neither of us knew how to cook or wanted to learn.

    Currently (with our family of 4) we spend $400 a month on groceries, dining out, and all our toiletries. We doubled in size and are spending LESS. I wish I would have been a little more thrifty when we were just starting out. But hey, that’s life. And as my husband likes to say ‘you only live once!’

    I do a lot of coupons and matching sales prices but I get most of my tips at a couple of blogs like and They make it a lot less time consuming since they’ve already matched the coupons to the sales and I just go where they tell me to go to get the deals I want. Not too bad really.

    Good luck finding a happy medium!!

  29. Spending money on groceries is an investment in your mind and body (if your spending it on quality food). Don’t be frugal on your groceries, or it will come back to haunt you.

    On the other hand, $200 for restaurants is a little outrageous. I cap mine at $100, but do unfortunatly often go over 🙁

  30. This is also a sore point in our finances. We tend to eat out quite often. I would have to say that eating out is probably part of our entertainment budget also. I would guess that we probably spend $500 a month to eat out and we don’t drink alcohol! Because we spend so much to eat out, I have no budget on groceries. The way I see it is the more we spend on groceries the less we spend to eat out hence saving money 🙂

    Ultimately, do you really want to go the route of rice, beans, bread and water? How cheap do you want to be? I cannot live without yummy foods like steaks and sushi!

  31. OMG. Fricken’ hilarious, Ninja. It was good times. I look forward to more meetups and learning cool stuff from all of you.

    Well, my family of four spends $500/month groceries, $260/month Costco every 6 weeks, and we eat out about every 2 weeks at $50. So … $643 for 4 people.

    You could cut back. Eating out always sucks up money. But I don’t think you are being over abundant with food. Food is good. 😀

  32. Here’s our stats:
    1 husband, 1 wife and 2/3 of a 6-yr-old boy (I say 2/3 because over the course of a year, he lives with us 2/3 of the time.
    Location: Central Illinois

    Monthly Grocery budget (Includes food/drink, paper products, laundry supplies, soap/shampoo/toothpaste/shaving, cleaning supplies, etc):

    Monthly Dining Out Budget: $50

    I coupon a LOT. I grow some of our vegetables in a small garden in my yard. I menu-plan and also plan around store specials especially on fresh produce. Yearly I’ll pick my folks’ apple trees & make homemade applesauce. I shop regular grocery stores & drug stores for the deals and next year, I’m hoping to put a little $ aside from the monthly budget to purchase part of a cow. Having a deep freeze has been a huge help in taking advantage of bargains. When I find a great deal on milk, bread, frozen veggies, butter – into the freezer it goes until I need it!

  33. We have a budget of $520 a month for eating out and groceries… specifically $200 a month for eating out either one nice meal a week or a couple lunches out at work and $320 a month for groceries. I find that we might spent a hundred dollars in a week for groceries but then the next week only spend $20. So this seems to be the budget amount that works for us. We try to eat healthly which tends to be a big more expensive than unhealth/cheapily.

  34. […] there was a So. Cal PF Blog meetup. It was great meeting so many of you and we got a great group pic (Punch Debt in the […]

  35. Sometimes, as a single working woman, I spend $400 on food in the month. So you’re not as much of a pig as I am apparently :X

  36. My partner and I spend $500 a month on groceries and eating out. We are buying more from local farmers and more “free range” chicken and eggs, as well as local milk and cream products, so it’s higher than it could be due to our choices.

  37. Our monthly budget for groceries (including paper products, toiletries and eating out) is around $100 for two people. We mostly manage to stay under that unless we are running low on several pantry staples at the same time. When finances were not so tight, we were quite happy with $200-250 per month, which allowed me some space to experiment in the kitchen more frequently than I get to now. That being said, if possible I would spend more on food than I do rent because I enjoy cooking and baking (and eating!) and feel that good food is a worthy investment.

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