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Woman explains how she reduced her monthly grocery budget to under $100 while living in New York

She takes up the challenge of capping off her budget under $2000 a month and judging by her grocery bill, she passes with flying colors.

Woman explains how she reduced her monthly grocery budget to under $100 while living in New York
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @mariaspends

Budgeting is a challenging task for many people in the world. Though budget management is a vital aspect of the future, at the same time, many feel that it takes away the joy of life. Due to the latter reason, it is hard for many individuals to stick with a number to their spending habits. Maria Spends—who goes by @mariaspends on TikTok—is here to assist people in gaining that aspect in life, especially if someone lives in a big city such as New York. She records herself on social media, living in New York on a tight budget. In one of her most popular ones, she shared how she manages to do all her grocery shopping for under $100 each month. It is safe to say that with more than 1 million views, her method is garnering eyeballs and opinions.

Image Source: TikTok/@mariaspends
Image Source: TikTok | @mariaspends

In the video, she lists the items she bought with their price. Her objective is to get things that are long-lasting and easy on her pockets. "Starting off with rice. I love this. I make so much rice at home and I find it affordable per cost of meal," Spends said. The price of rice was $3.29. Then she put some "bananas and eggs" in her shopping cart. The bananas cost her $1.14 and the eggs took out $1.49 from her budget. She then went ahead and "stocked up on pasta." It is something she loves to eat and bought in different "shapes and sizes." For all 3 of them, she spent $3. Though the pasta did not cause a dent in her pocket, the sauces managed to do that, but she still decided to purchase them. The 2 jars of Alfredo Sauce cost her $6.98.

Image Source: TikTok/@mariaspends
Image Source: TikTok | @mariaspends

Along with money, Spends also focused on her dietary needs. "I got tuna to diversify my protein sources. I also got olive oil," she added. She squeezed in some of her favorites, like pears, which she enjoys with hummus. The last items were "ground turkey, tortillas and milk." Her total came at $40.57. It was $60 less than what she had allocated, so she was quite evidently very proud of herself. But she reminded others not to feel frustrated by comparing themselves with her. She said, "My grocery budget might look different than another person's. I only shop for myself. I also had some other food items at home that I'm gonna be making food with." In 2024, she plans to push her grocery budget to $125.

Image Source: TikTok/@alyssaaclarkee
Image Source: TikTok | @alyssaaclarkee
Image Source: TikTok/@taliatravels2
Image Source: TikTok | @taliatravels2

The comment section did not hold back on their views. @0808blaze was impressed by the prices and commented, "Wow, that's so cheap here in Canada that would be like 80$." @pierceofme2 shared why this method might be impossible for them to follow and wrote, "This really isn't possible for me because I eat a lot of protein, like 100g+ a day. But Trader Joe's has amazing cheap options if you know how to shop!"

Image Source: TikTok/@mariaspends
Image Source: TikTok | @mariaspends

Maria Spends began her "budgeting series" to show how she caps off her expenditures under $2000 every month. In another video, she shared four pointers regarding her budget. She began the video by saying, "The first thing is that my budget includes everything from rent, groceries, going out on the weekends, transportation and everything in between." The second one she used to clear a misconception about herself. She added that she "makes more than $2000 a month." The extra money goes towards "savings and retirement." 

The third point was that she does not "take it too far" with her budget. "I do not skip meals. I just want to be really intentional about every single thing that I buy and I don't buy anything that's not necessary. But I do eat three meals a day." In the last point, she requested people not to consider her suggestions as professional advice since she does not have a "finance background." She aims to share her journey with folks like her, trying to build a future for themselves in an expensive city like New York.

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