Well, it is now December, and I am finally feeling some relief from finals time at my university.
Today is the first day in a long time I have managed to not drink any soda - I drank just water all day. My strategy has been to think about how I will feel later, usually disgusting, and that helps me. I was excited to tell my husband, and he then suggested we possibly try quitting together. I was shocked by this, but I have come to realize after quitting McDonald's that when you live with someone else you tend to embrace a similar lifestyle - voluntarily or involuntarily. I noticed John commented on my earlier post on quitting soda that he is having trouble quitting coffee or caffeine. I have managed to quit caffeine myself, to the dismay of my fellow colleagues, and really it should be a process that should be weaned down gradually. Caffeine is a drug (more specifically, a stimulant), and like any drug, you shouldn't just be quitting cold turkey, otherwise you will experience withdrawal symptoms. I've had friends who have experienced some bad headaches for withdrawing from caffeine, so my advice is to be sure to do it gradually, until a point where you can go without it.
I also think though drinks like coffee can be a "morning routine" type of thing. Sometimes its also helpful to find a substitution like non-caffeinated coffee or tea. I know a strategy suggested to me, but I haven't tried it yet for quitting soda, is to drink carbonated water. Speaking as someone in the field of psychology, it will probably benefit your mind to have that substitution as well. Good luck John!
Onwards and upwards, I have been finding myself spending less and less on groceries every week! I used to spend $120 a week on groceries for two people, prior to having a meal schedule and shopping list, and this past week I spent less that $60. I'm finding it to be a fun competition with myself, since I have been spending less and less it seems each week for the past couple of months. The shopping list is the KEY to saving money. Stick to your list, avoid all the temptations in your supermarket, and you cannot go wrong.
In addition, finding good staples in a weekly menu can save a lot of money. For example, every other week, I cook a roast chicken. It may sound complex, but really all I do is take it out of the packaging, rinse it off, put it my baking pan, and sprinkle some pepper and salt over it. It goes in the oven for an hour and half, and its ready to eat. Afterwords, since my husband and I usually can't eat a whole chicken, I then take the remaining meat off to use in a soup to prepare the following day. I also make a large batch of soup, and put them in Gladware or Rubbermaid serving containers, and then I have my lunches prepared for the week. Talk about getting your money's worth!