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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Frugal Living, week 2

I spent $45.72 this week
OK, this wasn't my best week for being frugal. Bad habits are hard to break. The reason I hate to go to the grocery store is because I impulsively purchase items. It is rare that I leave a store without spending $100. This is the reason I just hate to go shopping.

If I purchased the items I needed, the cost would have been $11.66 with tax $12.36
Overspent $33.36
I am happy that I didn't spend $100 --- but am discouraged that I didn't keep my shopping to the things I needed for this week.

It is even hard for me to coupon shop and lately I haven't been opening the newspaper and browse the ad's - because I spend money when I do it. If I don't look at the ads or coupons, then I don't shop - which means I don't spend money. I know that many people purchase items with coupons for free, but with my small family, I have found that most of the items purchased on bulk sales/coupons don't get eaten and expire quickly. I do use coupons for items I regularly purchase, but that is it.

I am also a brand name shopper. I like certain brands and that is what I purchase. I know that I CAN be more frugal and that is why I am doing this exercise. Day by day I can achieve my goals.
One way to motivate me to stay on track is pulling out this book, "The Tightwad Gazette". It keeps me on track when I read and think about it daily. I also like to read Dave Ramsey's book or listen to his program on the internet when I have time.

I started reading The Tightwad Gazette at the beginning again this week. When Amy (the author) was a young bride and mother, she watched daytime TV that said:

"Nowadays, a family has to have two incomes to make ends meet."
"Nowadays, it is impossible for a young couple to get into the housing market."
"Nowadays, families cannot afford to raise more than two children".

She says she raised her fist and shouted back at the TV: "It is not true, it can be done." And so her quest began.

Personally I know it can be done. I've been doing it all my life. I have always been a single mother doing it on my own. I was married for a short time, but I still was the main support for my family - actually it felt like I had another dependent instead of another bread winner. If I can raise a family on my own - then why does it take a husband and a wife? I have a different perspective, because I've done it, and Amy Dacyczyn did it too.

Amy said her challenge in life became how low could she get their food budget and still have a varied, healthful diet. She made it her personal mission to see how much she could save. In 7 years they saved $49,000 and were debt-free on an income of less then $30,000.

Basically it's not what you make, it's how much you save. What can I do to save more money - not make more money to spend. I've been pondering this a lot this week. I want this!  I want to purchase a gently used car with money down. I want to be debt free, including my house. I know I can do it if I am wise about the money I am spending.

I like this quote: "The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket" - Frank McKinney Hubbard (1868-1930)

2nd week into my frugal living, I am more committed than ever. I am sure that I can make it through the rest of November without going to the store for groceries. Everyday when I come home from work, the first thing I do is build a fire to cut down on heating and electricity.

The menu that I made last week worked out well. This weeks menu:

Breakfast: Cereal

Lunch: Sack lunch for Brady and leftovers or soup for me.

Monday: Leftover Sunday dinner which will be meat loaf.

Tuesday: Wild Rice Soup

Wed: Chicken Enchiladas

Thurs: left over Chicken Enchiladas

Friday: Chicken Broccoli Fettuccine

Saturday: Leftovers - wild rice soup, enchiladas.

Sunday - Leftovers.
Brady flies to Pocatello to spend time with the cousins before I can leave for Thanksgiving. The airline ticket was purchased last month. He flies into Idaho Falls one way for $114. School is out for the week and I thought about taking a week off of work. However, when I don't work - I don't get paid. I decided to work - because I know my clients want a clean house for the holiday and family visiting. I will be pulling in houses and working Monday, Tuesday and half a day on Wednesday. They will be hard intense days to get the work done and bring 5 days into 2 1/2, but I will be taking 4 days off to rest and see my family. I am excited for a break and to see my family.

I will need to purchase some Christmas presents before I leave for Thanksgiving. I am committed to be frugal and not get carried away this year - because I really don't need to.

I'm motivated to keep on track. I have been able to save money during the past week - and I feel like I am on track. I just need to stay motivated.


Garden of Egan said...

I love that book too.
So true, it isn't how much you make but how you spend it.
I think that if you spent 50.00 at Winco then you are OK.
You would love Kimmies adventures of her not spending over the summer. It was fascinating.

Good luck. I'm going to enjoy checking and seeing how you are doing it. I need the lessons as well.

Zoey said...

You can do anything that you put your mind to. If you need more motivation, you can always email me. Also, if you think about it right after Thanksgiving, you can always see if you have anything to eBay or Craig's List. That will help you earn a little extra money!

Cherie said...

I bought that book years and years ago when I was young and newly married. Ha Ha I still have it somewhere. Personally I think they are a little too frugal - most people cannot live like they do but somewhere in the middle is good.
This is the most expensive time of year for us - when we have company and all the kids home for the holidays, etc...this is the time of year when the food bill goes up for us.
My whole married life though I have made a menu and stuck to a budget. I don't know how people can even grocery shop without those two things.
Good for you working on being frugal - You have done well for yourself Sondra!

Tigersue said...

I'm not a coupon shopper. I found I spent more because I bought stuff I really didn't use much or wouldn't buy without the coupon. This has become more true as I shop around the isles mostly, (only buy fruits/veggies, fresh meats, eggs, dairy, ect.) I occasionally will buy canned food but not like I used to. I rarely go down isles unless we need cereal or replace food storage items.

Parag said...

This is just the start. I am very confident that as time passes, you will definitely learn the art of Frugal living.


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