Budgeting Done Right in the District

By Molly Farrell   

When I first moved into my apartment at WISH, I knew I was going to be doing a lot of cooking because going out to eat all the time was going to get expensive. In my opinion, cooking is so much more fun and healthier because you can make anything you want in the comfort of your own home. All you need is the right cooking tools and the right ingredients, then you’re set to make a delicious meal.

When I grocery shop in the city, I always come prepared with a shopping list so I don’t forget anything. It’s important to bring any coupons as well, so you can get the best deals. No matter which store I go to I look for the best prices, that way I am getting something for every penny I use. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve learned that going to the stores or markets in Woodley Park can be really expensive. Instead I go to Safeway or major grocery stores. But don’t get me wrong the stores near me are nice if I need two or three items to complete a meal I am making. Also, it’s walking distance, so I can get there quickly.

Another point to keep in mind: remember to keep your receipts, so you can reference back to them when you need to – even just to see how much you
spent for the next time you go to the store. I also found out that DC has a tax on plastic bags, so remember to bring reusable bags so you don’t get charged – that tax will add up really quickly.

Even though grocery shopping is a major element to budgeting, you also need to think about shopping and going to different places in the city. There are some great places to shop here, but you need to be cautious of what you buy because little by little it will add up. I suggest you go to different museums in the city instead. Most of them are free so take ad
vantage of them. Learning something might even be more fun than wasting money on another pointless shirt. “Think before you spend” is a line that people should remember while living in a city like DC.

In general, shopping or grocery shopping on a budget in DC is something that’s important and everyone should take note of. Keeping a budget is way more effective and enjoyable to do with friends. So the next time you are looking for a place to eat, or a clothing store to shop in, instead go be with your friends and live in the moment.