How a California Couple with a Baby Spent $433 on Food in One Week

california food diary

The arrival of a new baby tends to zap all the time you used to have to cook a decadent meal. That’s why we asked a self-described “foodie” California couple to chronicle how they manage food expenses with a six-month-old baby. Here, how they netted out.

Day 1: Friday

8 a.m. I wake up to an email about our monthly charge for Door Dash, a food delivery app that I’ve come to rely on ever since I went on maternity leave. The fee gives us special discounts and free delivery benefits. To us, it’s worth it…right now. Total Spent: $9.99

11 a.m. We make a run to Trader Joe’s at least once a week for basics—salad ingredients, fruit, eggs, milk, snacks. We’ve also started to up our avocado quantity since our son started solids. Total Spent: $94.19

1 p.m. Lunchtime! My husband ordered a sandwich and I ate the Trader Joe’s leftovers. Total Spent: $8.35

2 p.m. More grocery shopping at Albertson’s: Baby food, yogurt, ice cream. Total Spent: $26

7 p.m. A new (and walkable) taco spot opened right next door to our apartment, so we invited some friends to join us for a night out. Our son is still young enough not to have a bedtime, so we took advantage and had dinner alfresco. Total Spent: $58.55

Day 2: Saturday

12 p.m. On Saturdays, we always make brunch at home. We have eggs and toast and my husband makes this epic breakfast salad with a ton of veggies. This week, we were able to use the stuff we picked up at Trader Joe’s. Total Spent: $0

3 p.m. I may or may not have snacked on our taco leftovers. The place is so good. Total Spent: $0

8 p.m. Our son fell asleep, so we actually cooked chicken we bought at Trader Joe’s and made another big salad. We even ate on our patio. A parenting win! Total Spent: $0

Day 3: Sunday

11 a.m. A ladies-only brunch with my girlfriends—treated myself to a mimosa, veggie omelette and a single blueberry pancake on the side. Total Spent: $37.03

3 p.m. We decided kinda last minute that we wanted to have steak (we got the grass-fed rib eye—a splurge) and asparagus for dinner, so headed back to the store to pick up ingredients for that. Total Spent: $48.49

Day 4: Monday

9 a.m. I made eggs at home for breakfast this morning and gave my son a few tastes of avocado. He played with it more than he ate it, but baby steps. Total Spent: $0

12 p.m. My husband got lunch out at a sandwich spot while I ate more of our groceries at home. Sometimes it’s all I can do to get out the door and go for a walk, so the days are so much better when the fridge is stocked. Total Spent: $8.29

7 p.m. We got takeout salads for dinner from this delicious farm-to-table spot near where we live. I’ve basically been on a binge/bender with their avocado/quinoa takeout salad. It’s $16, but so so good. Total Spent: $45.63

Day 5: Tuesday

12 p.m. I met my best mom friend for lunch—which actually pivoted into a milkshake run instead. I splurged and got a tiramisu milkshake. I also treated my friend for hers. Total Spent: $21.24

7 p.m. I really wanted to cook tonight, but the day got away from me (again). So, we headed over to one of our go-to pizza spots. You order at the counter and make your own individual pie, so it’s less pricey than the average spot. Total Spent: $19.29

Day 6: Wednesday

9 a.m. Today was one of those days with the baby that I flat out forgot to eat a real meal for breakfast. Instead, I snacked on some fruit in the fridge, but that was it. Total Spent: $0

1 p.m. A friend dropped by for a visit and she brought (and paid for) lunch—salads from a local spot. Total Spent: $0

6 p.m. My husband had a work dinner tonight, so he hit up a poké spot for lunch and picked up an order for me to eat that night that he dropped off on his lunch break. Total Spent: $22.08

Day 7: Thursday

12 p.m. I ate at home for lunch today, but my husband got an acai bowl for lunch. Total Spent: $8.95

7 p.m. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but we went back to that same taco bar for dinner again tonight. We had family in town—my husband’s brother and girlfriend—and it’s just so much easier to entertain when you’re eating out. We skipped the beers tonight to keep the cost down. Total Spent: $25.06

Rachel Bowie Headshot
Rachel Bowie

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...
read full bio