1 Monday Check-In: Breaking Bread | The Billfold

Monday Check-In: Breaking Bread

I love food. We all have to eat, but I love the ritual of eating—cooking, breaking bread with friends, putting something comforting in your body after a long day of work, tasting something you’ve never tasted before—for me, it’s something worth paying for.

So, on Saturday, I was excited about going to Pok Pok in Brooklyn, a northern Thai food restaurant that popped up in New York after rave reviews in Portland, Ore. Food & Wine magazine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin started the year by saying that she was excited about Thai food in America, and that Pok Pok was one of the restaurants she was excited about. My two friends who know things about food suggested that we show up at 5:30 when the restaurant opened to skip the 2-hour-plus wait time. We got a table by 6 p.m., and after a round of drinks, our food came to our table at 6:30 p.m.—which was great, because I was worried that I’d eat dinner to early and then eat a second dinner at 10 p.m.

We got ordered the Vietnamese fish sauce wings, the grilled eggplant salad, the minced pork salad, sweet pork belly curry, and Chiang Mai sausage. We unanimously agreed that the sausage was our favorite thing we ordered. I had planned on spending $60 at dinner—I spent $40. Another $62 was spent on groceries, and $10 on laundry.

I had planned on spending $125 this weekend, and I spent $112. How did you do this weekend?


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selenana (#673)

It was an out of town weekend here.
Friday: topping off the gas, 3000 yen, then picking up friends and driving three hours to the beach. They paid the tolls.
Saturday: Breakfast made communally from stuff we’d brought, then lunch at a cafe, 1300 yen. Big shopping trip for dinner fixings, breakfast fixings, and liquor came to 1300 yen apiece. I had prepaid for the lodging and was collecting money from everyone else, but lodging costs were 4700 for two nights.
Sunday: friends paid the tolls so were about even on travel expenses. Coffee and snacks and souvenirs at a rest stop, about 1,000 yen. Total 11,300 yen for a beach weekend with rental cabin.

wearitcounts (#772)

i definitely went over.

i budgeted $60, which i took out in cash with the best of intentions. BUT then i was last-minute invited to a vintage fair in newburyport, and found the COOLEST vintage end table for $36. and as i’ve been on the hunt for the perfect end tables for over a year now, it felt like the right thing to do.

also i had 2 $2 off coupons to CVS that were going to expire, so it felt responsible to use them now for things i knew i’d need later.

all told, i spent about $104. i’m okay with that.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@wearitcounts use of coupons and gift cards is totally essential. I just discovered three different gift cards that I ignored for so long that they expired. I’m not ashamed to admit that I wept for all the lattes that could have been.

ThatJenn (#916)

Well, we didn’t go to dinner OR brunch with our friends as planned, but instead babysat for them (for free) while they went for a bike ride together, which was also pretty awesome because sleeping two-month-old on my lap for two hours and good karma. We’re going out with them tonight instead.
I didn’t get the stuff from Lowe’s that I was supposed to get because I am a terrible landlord. I also haven’t done my grocery shopping because we had enough for all but one meal, which was at Moe’s ($14, cash). We’ll go grocery shopping Tuesday. I like to group my time eating out all together so groceries don’t spoil in the fridge while I eat out, and I’m coming to the end of a restaurant binge.
I did get has and it was $70, as I planned.
My Netflix bill ($9) went through over the weekend and so did my payment for a Kickstarter that got funded ($15).

All told, my damage was $108 instead of the $235 I expected, though some of that will show up throughout the week instead.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

9ell I had good intentions this weekend but they didn’t really pan out. I went to a wedding on Saturday which was lovely but early. Got home around 5 and decided I was not equipped to cook so I summoned some chinese take-away and ate it on the stationary bike (for the sake of irony)$9.50 + $5 tip . I was then invited to impromptu post-wedding drinks and of course threw in for the bride and groom $32.50. Sunday I got some bad news and decided to buy myself some happiness because, #firstworldsolutions. I purchased 4 new sweaters (needed but excessive) $153.47 (on sale at least) amusing sunglasses which I later hated and gave to my roommate $15.40 and a movie (Lawless) $8.50. There was also possibly a fancy coffee of some kinde $4.14. Total: too much, but I feel better about life?

wearitcounts (#772)

@EvanDeSimone i have three pairs of amusing sunglasses that i now hate and plan to give to friends. what IS it about sunglasses???

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@wearitcounts Yes! Right? I have this problem with hats too. They always look so good in the store but then I get home and my head is weird shaped.

wearitcounts (#772)

@EvanDeSimone clearly all retailers of sunglasses and hats actually exist in a parallel universe where everybody’s head appears smaller and more symmetrical than it does in real life. otherwise nobody would ever buy sunglasses or hats.

EvanDeSimone (#2,101)

@wearitcounts I may devote my life to finding whatever Narnia cabinet leads to that parallel universe.

Aw frig, I don’t even want to check my Friday predictions because I know it was under $100, and I spent SO MUCH MORE than that.

Friday: Really cheap. A friend had people over but I knew I’d go out the next night so I bought a bottle of mineral water for like $2.50 and shared it with a friend.

Saturday: Got groceries and ingredients to make a dish to bring to the potluck for $37. Stopped for beer ($7). Then we all went to an EPIC Rich Aucoin pop montreal show – which was the best night I’ve had in recent memory (ticket $15). Afterward we were all drenched in sweat and not ready to go home so we stopped at a bar for one last pint ($7).

Sunday: OUCH. Brunch as planned ($18). Then broke down and went shopping for some much needed black dress pants (Gap, $70) and a cardigan ($25). Then really went overboard and instead of buying sweat pants at Walmart or Zellers I went to lulu and dropped $90 on a pair. Provided the shape lasts though I think they’ll be good – need them to chuck on over my shorts to walk home after a workout.

Total damage: $266.50

Seriously I need to make a budget :(

breakfast (#633)

This weekend spending started free-rein, but then I freaked out about my budget at tried to control it by the end, so,
Friday: $15 gas, $8 six pack, $22 take-out thai food, which I splurged on because I decided that if I was going to buy food instead of cooking it, it better be good. This is a justification I make often.
Saturday: $20 farmer’s market produce, $11 ticket to see The Master (worth it!) $10 tacos and guacamole after an art opening.
Sunday: $ 3 coffees for me and boyfriend while we walked the dog on a river trail and he had the time of his life splashing in the water, $0 lunch with a friend, because I forgot my wallet like a jerk. I will get her back next time. total: $89

KingCash (#2,095)

$20: Dinner with friends at a Thai place in Silver Spring
$22: A round of “fish bait” shots (very watermelon-y, complete with a gummy worm in each) at Piratz Tavern in Silver Spring, which my friends decided we had to visit after watching its episode of Bar Rescue

$8: Bagels for breakfast with my boyfriend
$47: Paying my internet bill
$40: Groceries at Safeway
$5: Laundry

$5: Bagel and a soda for brunch
$60: Two super flattering skirts on sale at Ann Taylor Loft, which I think will do me well with tights for fall and winter.
$10: Kebabs at the Fiesta DC festival, which were OK but definitely not worth the hour wait. Why do I continue to go to street festivals? They always seem like they’ll be a good time but it’s usually just a lot of milling around or standing in unconscionably long lines.
$6: Awesome glitter nail polish from American Apparel

Total: $223. Why is everything so expensive??

PrettyNicola (#692)

@KingCash Those fish-bait shots sound AWESOME. Caps necessary.

KingCash (#2,095)

@PrettyNicola They were definitely memorable — even after several rounds of “grog” (which our waitress/bar wench instructed us to pour with plenty of ice cubes “because ice is the only non-alcoholic mixer in it!”)



Oh! Which Thai restaurant did you go to? Kao Thai is my absolute favorite in Silver Spring.

Also, seconding the fish bait shots… though for the sake of ambiance and excellent, cheap bar food I must recommend walking across the street to the Quarry Tavern. Best bar in the area.

KingCash (#2,095)

@LibLady88 We went to Kao Thai — it was good! We’d actually meant to eat at Quarry Tavern but we got there a bit late and it was pretty packed. Seemed like a really great place, though!

PrettyNicola (#692)

$10 for a sandwich, drink, and chips because I did not want to eat the enormous amount of black beans and corn I packed for lunch

$10 for hair dye and gummy bears at Target
$20 Cash at checkout
$31 for fancy dog food (although this went on my credit card, and my husband will pay for it, because he makes more money than me)
$11 for Pumpkin Cider for a house warming gift
$10 for dinner from Sonic for my husband and I (he is working on his dissertation, so I was trying to be a good wife by keeping him supplied with greasy food and Strawberry Slush)

$3 for coffee and a donut for dinner on my way to bible study (after a very generous meal out with my in-laws for a late lunch)

total: $63–not counting dog food–which is still about $20 more than I expected. I do still have $12 in cash left in my wallet, which is surprising. I tend to spend like Logan.

joyballz (#2,000)

Friday: scrapped bowling and met up with my sister on a whim: $15.00 cab fare

Saturday: $11.00 on laundry, $54.25 at Target on detergent, food, and new turquoise flats that I tried to pass up but couldn’t. $6.27 on produce from Aldi.

Sunday: didn’t bring beer and snacks to the softball tourney, but went for a quesadilla and 2 beers in between games, $20.61.

Total: $107.13

ATF@twitter (#1,471)

I spent mostly as I predicted on Friday.

Got my takeout Indian on Friday night but spent $34 rather than the $25 I’d predicted. Entrees were $11.95 and $12.95 respectively plus some naan, an extra rice, and tax and there you go.

Saturday I was indeed a homebody but I did spend $32 at CVS on a prescription and some other things that were needed like paper towels.

Then Sunday was apple picking. I didn’t keep track of what cost what but I started the day with $120 in my wallet and ended with $41 still in there. Which is good considering I got some cider donuts, did a hayride, did a hedge maze, picked a thing of apples (and pears!), went out to a very late lunch/early dinner. I also spent $17 of that at the grocery store getting some chicken, sausages, and windex.

So all that plus $56 on a Zipcar and I spent the predicted $200.

Megano! (#124)

I wound up going over, because I needed to dye my hairs pretty bad.
$40 on Friday for groceries, $32 on Sunday for hair dye and other necessary items (bread, rice cakes, mop thingies, batteries). So now I only have $20 left for the month. Well like $28.

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

I didn’t spend much, because I got sick and spent most of the weekend in bed. However, I also wasn’t up for cooking, so there was a bit of delivery involved.

Friday: Thai delivery for dinner, with spicy food to clear my nose: $14.35
Saturday: Got my roommate to run to the grocery store for me for some basics (eggs, saltine crackers, tea & honey, pasta): $20
Sunday: Feeling a little better, left the apartment to run to Duane Reade for ALL the household paper goods, $13.58. Plus $3.26 on an egg & cheese at Dunkin, and $10.70 on Chinese delivery in the afternoon.

Grand total: $61.89

Dancercise (#94)

Friday I spent $88 on baby shower gifts for a good friend. (A bit overboard, but then another friend didn’t have time to buy something, so we made it from both of us and she’s going to pay me back for half.
Saturday I spent my birthday gift cards at Barnes and Noble (I went a little over, so I spent $3 out of pocket), went to said baby shower and then a friend took me out to dinner.
Sunday I spent the day on the couch watching Once Upon a Time on Netflix and making soup. $0!

Total: $91, minus $44 when my friend pays me back for the gifts.

thenotestaken (#542)

I got out $50 cash optimistically hoping I could make that last throughout a weekend with lots of concerts, but it definitely didn’t happen. Besides that cash there was another $7 on beer , $30 on groceries, and $12 at the pharmacy. So $99. Oooof! However, I didn’t have to pay for a single show thanks to volunteering at the festival, so it definitely could have been a far more expensive weekend!

Pumpkin (#2,153)

This weekend was lame.

Friday went according to plan. An even $30 out for dinner and drinks and a show.

Saturday, my car went psycho. $100 later I have my fluids changed and my car looked at but no solid reason why it freaked out. Worried, I am. I’m hoping it was just something freaky and it won’t happen again.

Then my glasses broke when I got home and took them off. And my purse strap split. Managed to fix my glasses for the time being and ordered a new pair online ($50, we’ll see.

Had already purchased a whole bunch of pumpkin beer ($30) which I drank some of while attempting to fix my purse. It’ll need to be replaced, it’s too old to fix.

Brownie mix and part of my Halloween costume on Sunday ($10.)

So….$190. More than double what I had estimated. :(

LizF (#1,399)

Friday: My boyfriend got take out Thai food and I ate some of it but he didn’t ask me to chip in. 0$ because I also just watched a movie and drank beer at home.

Saturday: This was a BIG spending day because I bought in on half of a used MacBook Pro. Both my boyfriend and I have PC laptops that have seen better days AND we are both trying to start small businesses. We got a good deal on a lightly used machine from a friend of his. My half was $150. I also needed a new bike lock for the bike I got as an early birthday gift last weekend. That was $70. I also spent about 50$ on groceries. Some of these grocery costs went towards a small cookout I co-hosted that evening.

Sunday: I went to a flea market and then to a baby shower. I spent $15 on lunch for my boyfriend (who was working)and myself and $9.50 on my portion of the baby gift.

$295 which is a LOT but is less than a new laptop altogether, so hopefully I can make a couple Etsy sales and cover it.

helloimgreen (#998)

$8.16 KFC. i was feeling like crap so i left work early and tried to seek comfort in fake mashed potatoes and terrible fried chicken.

$6.33 quiznos lunch


total: $14.49! cheapest weekend ever! this is what happens when i choose to be A Boring Person. but i do need to go grocery shopping soon, so i’m sure it will balance out.

Aunt_Pete (#693)

Friday night I did dinner out with friends to celebrate a birthday. $31 including tax and tip which was less than I was expecting. Yay for family style. Later that night I spent another $32 on overpriced gin and tonics. One for the birthday boy, two for me.
Saturday I spent $29 on a few groceries. I need to go back and get a few things later this week. I was just too lazy to carry it all home at once. I dropped another $32 on an amazing bottle of wine that I brought to a friends house. I asked the wine guy for advice. Never do that. They are so cute and earnest, I just can’t resist. I also spent $15 on my share of drunken pizza.
Sunday was $13 for cheese, crackers and a baguette to bring to a dinner party.
So I guess that’s $152 total. It was a really good weekend though, so I’ll take that.

wearitcounts (#772)

@Aunt_Pete i will always agree with a cute and earnest gentleman trying to convince me to drink wine.

ennaenirehtac (#199)

$113-ish total. $25 for a ticket to an orchestral concert, $13 in drinks while there; $23.20 for The Master, popcorn, and drink; free dinner bought by my friend; $31.30 for groceries; and $43.29 for a stupid mattress pad to use on my sofa bed. $43.29!! A rip-off.

kellyography (#250)

I planned on spending a negligible amount of money, but instead went to the grocery store and got a bunch of snacks, and got takeout for dinner one night because of laziness. I ended up spending about $20. The main thing I saved money on was not buying an iPhone 4S because I cannot justify the expense even though my current decade-old flip phone is dying and doesn’t work inside my house for some reason.

TARDIStime (#1,633)

Shopping spree at Zara because I was dead certain I’d get called back for 2nd interview for The Job Of My Dreams and I needed a Blazer. Needed one.
$70 Blazer + $70 for really nice matching shirt.
This is a serious kick in the pants because they decided to go with the internal applicant, after all that. :-(

eagerber (#1,958)

Better than I expected…

Friday: $0
Saturday: $16 for meal out with friends from out of town (though we didn’t plan that)
Sunday: $9 brunch, $6 coffee & bagel break during my part-time job, then $20 for a new necklace for the wedding I’m going to next weekend, and $15 for prescription refill

Total: $66, which is not bad. BUT, just yesterday, I bought myself a new purse for my new job (!) that starts in 2 weeks. I got 10% off, but it still cost $135. Cool/not cool.

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