How I cut down on food spending?

I have an income and expenses excel spreadsheet which I created from scratch and have been using it since 2005 (more than 10 years!).  The spreadsheet is very simple which consists of all my income stream and out flow of expenses.

There aren’t that many income stream, specifically, the employment income which I received from my 9-5 9 job, (minimal) interest from bank deposits, winnings from mahjong (if I am lucky that month), credit card rebates.  Then there is the expenses which I categorised into the following:

  • Fixed expenses such as insurance, income tax, household maintenance to my parents, insurance, car;
  • Food;
  • Household expenses such as toiletries, water and gas, town council, cables;
  • Clothings;
  • Travelling;
  • Gifts and other miscellaneous.

I read that in order to increase your savings, the easiest way is to cut down on spending (since my income level will not increase as fast as I want to).  Firstly, I identified “Food” and “Clothings” to ‘work’ on.  Secondly, I set a budget for each category (Food – $300 per month; Clothings – $100 per month).

Let’s talk about my food expenses. In 2013, my food expenses averaged at $450 per month. In 2014, it reduced to $400 per month and last year, it was $350.  In 2013, I felt that I am spending a bit too much on food.  I would go to restaurants or cafes with colleagues during lunch or birthday treats and sometimes we ordered so much that we couldn’t finished the food.  This always gets into my nerves as I hate to waste food.  So I decided to cut down on going to such places.  Last year, I came up with a better system i.e. to limit myself to $10 per day for food and visit a restaurant with my husband once a month.  I make it known to my friends around me so that I don’t have to explain myself if I turn down invitations to places which will blow my $10 budget.  I try to stick to this but once in a while, I still give myself a treat.

Do note that my budget for myself only. I also record my expenses in a notebook and update it into the excel spreadsheet on a weekly basis. 

So the above is how I cut down my food expenses. I hope it is helpful if you are finding ways to save/ reduce your expenses.

Have a good weekend!

2016 new year resolutions

I know I am late but it’s better late than never.

And if you follow me on Twitter, you would know that I am into minimalism.  So my new year resolutions will be all about minimalism.

I can’t remember when and how I became ‘obessed’ with minimalism but I think it’s not a bad obsession. I have learnt from many other minimalists out there from their blogs or YouTube videos and have adapted a few of their ideas.

1. Owning less – I have cut down on buying things based on what I wanted. For e.g. Clothes, shoes, bags. I set a budget of $100 every month last year and I managed to achieve it. This year, I reduce the budget to $50 per month.

2. Declutter – Before being a minimalist, I will go for shopping trips during sale season and will buy things without putting much thoughts into it.  As a result, I have a cupboards filled with shoes, tote bags, clothes. I realised that I have been not wear some of them for more than once and I felt disgusted with myself for all the money that I can save if I hadn’t bought them. I am making it a point to start decluttering (donate, sell or throw) one area each month so that I can get rid of stuff which I don’t use.

3. Recycle and reuse – Zero waste is quite impossible but I am making it a point not to generate unnecessary waste such as papers, plastics, glasses.  I will bring my own water bottle instead of using paper or plastic cups. I will bring tupperware and own utensils for food so that I won’t have to use those plastic utensils.

I hope that by sharing with y’all my new year resolutions will maybe explain my change in behaviours. It may change yours too. Who knows.

My inspirations

Becoming minimalist

Be more with less

Marie Kondo – the life-changing magic of tidying up

November and December empties

November empties

November empties


1. Watson multi purpose solution: see review here.

2. Diorsnow SPF 50+: The price tag at $70 makes an easy consideration for me not to repurchase. Other than that, I like that this product doesn’t give me the itch and it provides a good base for my foundation and also has the sunscreen protection which is lacking from my foundation.

3. Origins antioxidant cleanser with white tea:  This cleanser dries my skin a little but with some moisturiser that will help. Don’t think I will repurchase.

4. Origins anti aging eye treatment: Hmmmm, too small a tube to observe any improvement to my eyes.

5. Loreal ever strong sulfate free fortify system hydrate shampoo: It doesn’t wash off hair products that easily and it leaves my scalp feeling oily. Definitely won’t repurchase.

December empties

1.The body shop honey mania shower cream: Definitely not my favorite scent. It just smell hmmmm honey? One thing good about the shop cream is that it doesn’t cause dryness to my skin. But I won’t purchase it as the scent just doesn’t call out to me at all.

2. Moroccon oil clarifying shampoo: It’s LOVE. One of the best shampoo I have used. It washes product off with just a squeeze of product and leaves your hair smelling so good. It is not the cheapest shampoo but I would definitely repurchase.

3. Ren glycolactic radiance renewal mask: I heard great review about this mask and decided to give it a try. I am not sure I really like this enough for me to repurchase as the price tag just doesn’t coincide with the effects of the mask.

In 2016, I think I should start a new series instead of the empties series of what I  finished up using every month.  I am bored even reading my own blog posts.

October empties! 

This month’s empties is misleading. Only one empty because the Chanel cream blusher is spoilt. I kept it in the bathroom and it became mouldy. Disgusting, I know.

I think I won’t be getting anymore cream blusher as this is the third one that became bad after a while.  I shall stick to my powder blusher.

Clean on me from soap and body – this is my fifth or sixth bottle already. And guess what? I am getting sick of it. I shall try another scent next time I visit Sephora or boots at Bangkok. For now, I will finish up whatever body wash I have with me before I repurchase.

September empties

  Only two empties for the month of September. I love the Bioderma cleansing water to bits. I bought mine from Q10 for $21.50 including delivery charges. As compared from $39.90 from Watsoms or Guardian, I think it is a very good deal. This is a 500ml size and it can last me for about six months. I am onto my fourth bottle already. 
As for Clarins hydraquench intensive serum, I do like it for the refreshing and calming smell and its lightweight. After using 5 bottles of this, I concluded that it is not worth for the hefty price. Especially if I don’t see much difference to my skin.  So bye bye clarins. If you guys have any lightweight serum which you like, do share. 

That’s all folks. Till the next month. 

August empties!

  1. First aid beauty facial wash – i bought this at $20+ from Sephora after setting off a $10 value card which I won in a giftaway.  I only like the fact that it is value for money which lasted me more than a year. Other than that, it’s just another facial wash. 

2. Nivea deodorant – I like the fact that it is very easy to use (just aim and spray) and won’t leave your armpits feeling wet like those normal deodorant roller ball. However, I don’t like the scent of it as it smells like a deodorant. Haha. If you know of similiar product but with a better scent, do let me know!

3. Gatsby hair wax – I always buy this from Watsons. Not that it’s cheaper but it’s fixed price at $9.90. So I might as well use my loyalty card to chalk some Watsons points. I have repurchase so many times reason being it is very easy to wash away the wax and it doesn’t have a weird hair wax smell.  Definitely will repurchase it. 

4. Clarins double serum – My third and last bottle. I don’t see any effect on my face at all and given its hefty price, I will not repurchase it again. Will need to find a cheaper alternative.