City Budget

It’s no secret that Adam and I love traveling. It’s also not a secret that traveling is expensive. And while Adam and I are very lucky to have good jobs, it’s still a stretch sometimes to pay for these trips. But as we say – we work so we can travel. Here are a few ways that we say money in other areas of our lives so we can put more cash in the travel fund.


Adam and I have recently become much better about cooking at home and bringing our lunch to work (or having lunch options for me at home). I’ve written about Emeals on my blog before, but we’re currently getting the Paleo recipes (not practicing full-on Paleo eating, I just find this to be the most healthy option that Emeals offers).

On a typical week, I’ll visit 3 different grocery stores – Stanley’s Fruit Market, Aldi, and Trader Joe’s. For those of you in the Chicago-area, you KNOW Stanley’s Fruit Market. For those of you who don’t, it’s a small store that’s almost exclusively produce and the prices are insane. Like a case of 12 packs of blueberries for 99 cents. It’s crazy. I try to stick to their organic selection as much as possible which is still hella cheap. Then I drive on over to Aldi and take advantage of their large organic selection, too. This is not the Aldi of yesteryear (and I know cause I’ve been shopping there since I was a kid with my mom). They have organic produce, milk, meat, snacks, pasta, cereal – you name it. Finally I go to Trader Joe’s for the items Aldi doesn’t have – namely their delish cold brew coffee.


Luckily Adam and I live in an apartment building with a free gym, so that’s automatically a cost that we don’t have to incur monthly (I mean, I guess we’re paying for it in our rent). I have been dying to get a personal trainer, but they’re crazy pricey, so instead I found a workout app called Skyfit that’s essentially a personal trainer on the cheap ($9.99/month). You can choose from lots of different workouts (elliptical/treadmill/cycling/strength training/yoga) or even just an “outdoor running” workout if you don’t have access to a gym. They play the music (my faves have been the boy band and Miley Cyrus-themed workouts) and an actual personal trainer talks to you and tells you when to sprint, cool down, etc. It’s actually very motivating and I’ve never sweat more at the gym!


That’s a picture of our actual library – jealous?! I’ve loved going to the library since I was a kid, and now that I live in a major city, I’ve hit the jackpot of libraries. Usually once a week during lunch, I’ll walk the mile or so it takes to get to the Harold Washington Library and peruse their miles of bookshelves. With Adam and I both in book clubs, getting books at the library is a major cost saver. We also get travel books, cookbooks, and the latest best-sellers. And as Adam can attest to, my interests change so rapidly (he calls them my “flavors of the week”) that it’s best to get free books at the library about my latest interest (like composting), than spending the bucks at amazon.

Dollar Store

Get thee to a Dollar Tree – that’s my advice to you. There are certain things that you should never buy at a dollar store (we can all use our best judgement for that) but then there are some crazy awesome deals you should definitely be taking advantage of! Here are a few of my fave things to get for one dolla – craft supplies, trash bags, tupperware, storage bins, party supplies, gift wrapping supplies, light bulbs, first aid supplies, socks, cleaning supplies. Seriously, the options are endless. And don’t be tricked into going to a dollar store where stuff costs more than $1 – Dollar Tree is where it’s at.

Well, those are the items that Adam and I save on so that we can travel! Nothing too crazy but it definitely saves us money in the end! We’re getting ready for our big trip to Italy in October, so I’ll definitely be looking for more ways to save!