Author Topic: Uber Frugal March  (Read 7009 times)

PJ

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #150 on: March 18, 2017, 09:51:23 AM »
Harvey's has just introduced "bowls" to their menu as well, including a rice one.  If they add a special price on bowls to their regular coupon inserts, I may on occasion decide to pick one up since there's a Harvey's between work and home.  But I haven't seen yet what the regular price is - as an introductory special they sent a 50% off coupon.  I don't have the money for any eating out in my March budget, but I was thinking about trying it next month.  Well, not next calendar month.  The coupon is good until March 26 - I get paid on the 25th so that's when my April budget starts.  It would just be good to know if that's a reasonably healthy and tasty option, as there aren't a lot of choices around here. 

Though even as I was thinking about this the other day, I was realizing I could easily make such a thing at home.  The difficulty is when I don't have a lot of the ingredients lying around...
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PJ

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #151 on: March 18, 2017, 11:41:35 PM »
As posted in Eat All the Food, I took snacks with me today when I went out to the National Home Show with a friend (I get tickets from a Real Estate agent friend), and managed to make them tide me over until I got home to eat.

I also drove only to the subway station (free parking) and took the subway downtown for the show.  Transit isn't free, but is a lot cheaper than parking down at the Exhibition Place!  My friend was running late and drove, and parked in the parking lot on the grounds instead of across the street, and paid $18!  Yikes.  Any regret I'd had about my long trip down vanished when she told me that.  Also, she was quite unusually in a shopping mood, whereas I was not at all tempted by most of the stuff I saw.  Much of which was beautiful, or cute, but, really was just "stuff."  Which I didn't need.
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westtoeast

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Uber Frugal March
« Reply #152 on: March 19, 2017, 10:00:55 AM »
It was a spendy weekend...
3/15: $0
3/16: $0
3/17: $100 (vitamins and supplements prescribed by my doctor-- hate to spend it but health is a priority); $25 (charger adapter)
3/18: $50 (groceries)
3/19: $25 (mascara replacement-- I buy pricey natural stuff)

1265/1300 spent. Yikes, it's so hard to stay under my budget-- every month there is something that gets me! But if I can do a very frugal grocery shop next week I think I'll make it, or maybe just go over by a few bucks. I really want the satisfaction of staying under 1300-- I haven't done it yet, but if I do it means I only spend 35% of my monthly net income.

Mongoose

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #153 on: March 20, 2017, 07:02:14 AM »
March ends for us in just 2 days. I'm happy with our efforts...our grocery budget is $200 under for the month ($500 for 4). We did spend some clothing budget money and $100 in miscellaneous as well but are also under budget in those categories. We don't need anything this week. I took some previously made lasagna out of the refrigerator and we will have that for a couple of days.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #154 on: March 21, 2017, 03:47:09 AM »
As posted in Eat All the Food, I took snacks with me today when I went out to the National Home Show with a friend (I get tickets from a Real Estate agent friend), and managed to make them tide me over until I got home to eat.

I also drove only to the subway station (free parking) and took the subway downtown for the show.  Transit isn't free, but is a lot cheaper than parking down at the Exhibition Place!  My friend was running late and drove, and parked in the parking lot on the grounds instead of across the street, and paid $18!  Yikes.  Any regret I'd had about my long trip down vanished when she told me that.  Also, she was quite unusually in a shopping mood, whereas I was not at all tempted by most of the stuff I saw.  Much of which was beautiful, or cute, but, really was just "stuff."  Which I didn't need.

PJ -  I loved reading this. Way to go! How incredibly powerful to not feel tempted.

LindseyC

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #155 on: March 22, 2017, 11:14:56 AM »
So my Uber Frugal March ends today, and it was not frugal!   :(

I blew it in a couple of categories, groceries, eating out and household items.

Despite planning for a very cheap month of groceries I was $150 over! This was due to being sick and requiring some easy on the stomach foods I did not have in stock, also I had quite a few (well wishing) visitors to feed and I also just seemed to lose the plot the last week of the month. I did buy a few expensive items (like ground pepper $16) that will last a significant amount of time, so it will save me future expense.

I also ate out a few times and purchased takeout a few times because I was just sick and tired. Blah, easy excuse. My only saving grace was I bought nothing in this category for 6 weeks prior. April, I am back on the nothing at all in this category train.

The last big expense for me was household items but I am stocked up for a pretty long time, so I can't complain too much. I took advantage of sales / coupons so it was long term frugal and short term budget busting.

Luckily I did get a modest tax return this month, plus some additional side job funds so I was still able to throw a chunk at debt. Really my main focus on sticking to a budget is to pay off my debt, so as long as I am throwing as much as reasonably possible at it each month I can not complain. April will be much better, I have lots of extra hours to work, I am feeling much better and because it is such a busy season at my job I won't have time to spend money.

I also brought back a few cheap but healthy recipes from my student days that I haven't really eaten in years. (I have no idea why) I made a GIANT tuna casserole with plenty of veggies for a total of about $10 and it amounts to at least 8 meals for me. Silver lining of the month, tuna casserole is back on the menu rotation. :)

lemonverbena

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #156 on: March 23, 2017, 11:26:00 AM »
3/7: $26.94 son's one birthday gift from us
       $36 drop off at the dump
3/8: $52.27 groceries
3/9: $23 pot (this line item is nearly all for my husband, btw)
       $23.98 grocery store sushi
3/10: $4.77 snack
         $7.20 dessert
3/11: $0
3/12: $0
3/13: $43.98 motor oil and filter
         $33.79 fast food
         $9.75 candles
3/14: $46.04 groceries
         $23 pot
         $57.92 house paint and supplies
         $27.54 pizza
3/15: $103.54 groceries
         $79.99 car battery
3/16: $31.38 gasoline
3/17: $17.67 groceries
         $20.70 fast food
3/18: $0
3/19: $0
3/20: $32.48 fast food
         $74.06 groceries
         $17.46 dessert
         $40.98 swimsuit
         $40 thrift store clothing for children
         $25.18 motor oil
         $21 beer as gift to guy who helped us when our car battery died
3/21: $225.43 groceries
         $23 pot
         $2.99 shower shelf and lampshade (used gift exchange for remainder)

Ok, way too much on convenience foods this month. It's no coincidence that this happened while I was neglecting to update here as often as in past months. Much of it was my husband grabbing food after very late nights at work. Also spent a ton on groceries, including specialty baking ingredients at the fancy natural foods store. Did you see I only spent $2.99 to get that dangerous shower shelf replaced?
So I've been an MMM reader for probably close to 2 years and have done all the little improvements like negotiating bills and breaking our Verizon contract and trying to keep silly purchases down. I, like I imagine thousands of other readers, have resisted the two big changes (moving to a smaller place closer to work and bike commuting. I have a thousand convincing reasons why those aren't options for us (kids need a yard, the housing market has gone insane in the past few years and we're priced out of the neighborhoods closer to school and work, etc., etc.). Well, after all this time being blocked to the possibilities, I looked around and did the math on dropping one car, renting out our house and moving into a studio two blocks from our kids' school (it's a charter school across town and their attendance there is non-negotiable). It turns out we'd save $20,000 a year! Wow. It changes one's perspective to see what it actually costs to keep a house (and our current house is not a fancy place. It's a <1200 sq ft 2 bedroom in a working class neighborhood crawling with homeless people). Now I don't know if I could convince my husband of the switch, but I am discussing the possibility with him of just trying it out as a one year experiment while the kids are still small.
How about you guys? Are you all already badasses on all fronts or are some of you still only dipping a toe in like me?

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #157 on: March 23, 2017, 12:14:30 PM »
How about you guys? Are you all already badasses on all fronts or are some of you still only dipping a toe in like me?

Definitely not badass on all fronts! We have an oversized house, a new car, and spend way more of groceries than a lot of people on the forums. I also opt to work part time in a lower-stress area of nursing. If I were really badass, I would get a job at my nearby hospital, work full time, and bike there. Instead, I get paid less, have a long commute, but also have total control over my schedule. Oh, we would also give up coffee. And when Old Miss Dog passes, we wouldn't get another dog. (But we totally will get another dog. And I have zero plans to give up coffee. Or work more)

Still, we managed a 64% savings rate last year in spite of buying a house and moving, so not too shabby ;)
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Fish Sweet

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #158 on: March 23, 2017, 12:45:28 PM »
Not having the greatest March, unfortunately.  Every time I hang out with family, I end up spending a lot of money (taking my mom out to eat, thankfully one day I was able to cook for her, later buying an expensive plane ticket to see her).  That's just part of staying in touch when we usually live across oceans, and I'm trying to look on it with an open and loving heart, but it's also kind of depressing watching (relatively to me) large chunks of $$$ disappear so I can spend a day and a half with her.

Also I know I have a tendency to stress shop when I'm stressed, and work sure is stressful right now!  So far, I've managed to mostly curb my buying to things I'll definitely use (fancy home made soap....) and stuff I've been planning on purchasing, but I'm definitely feeling the itch to buy things right now.  Also need to make some purchases for my hobby of choice.

Anyway, this is a long winded way to say I've got 8 days left for this month and am already over budget by about $50, so things are only going downhill from here.  Here's to April, I suppose.

geekinprogress

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #159 on: March 23, 2017, 07:15:41 PM »
$150 of $200 spent for food

$239 of $300 for fun & misc

I thought my goals might be too ambitious, but just paying more attention has made it way easier to stay within my budget and reduce food waste.  Feeling good about the last week. 

alleykat

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #160 on: March 24, 2017, 10:24:58 AM »
Unfortunately, I was doing so well and then lost it a bit.  However, comparatively to other months, I did awesome.  So, I am okay with that.  I would say not spending is becoming more easier, however, I am not totally convinced. Some days are great, other days I fight the urge.  So, I wonder if that urge ever goes away.

I have kept track of expenses but I see there is another thread for April and I will start to keep track of expenses for next month.  It will be interesting to see.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #161 on: March 26, 2017, 03:35:50 AM »
How about you guys? Are you all already badasses on all fronts or are some of you still only dipping a toe in like me?

Definitely not badass on all fronts! We have an oversized house, a new car, and spend way more of groceries than a lot of people on the forums. I also opt to work part time in a lower-stress area of nursing. If I were really badass, I would get a job at my nearby hospital, work full time, and bike there. Instead, I get paid less, have a long commute, but also have total control over my schedule. Oh, we would also give up coffee. And when Old Miss Dog passes, we wouldn't get another dog. (But we totally will get another dog. And I have zero plans to give up coffee. Or work more)

Still, we managed a 64% savings rate last year in spite of buying a house and moving, so not too shabby ;)

Lemon - not super badass here but doing pretty well. We did crazily move last year to a cute town 15 min away where everything is walkable. We could bike, but we just walk for now. It has made a positive difference in our life, not just savings. Our quality of life is better. We also downsized from 2500 sq ft to 1600 sq ft (but our house was slightly more....lol). I don't think I could do a studio though, especially with our children.

Throughout this challenge, we are doing 90 day trial of not using our 2nd car. It ends next week so we may go down to 1 car soon (both cars are 9 yr old cars at that).

My grocery bill is my nemesis. I like being able to make almost any dish at any time. But we eat in for 99.999% of meals now thanks to this challenge that it has become second nature.

What I like best about this challenge and doing it for so long that every month I have focused on a certain area - like electricity bill drainers - or other DIY things around house or eating in / reduce alcohol or use clothes dryer that it became a habit, then something we don't think about. The long-term savings start happening there, rather than an uber frugal one-time thing and then I go back to my old ways. So, my advice, pick a couple areas first, find success, then tackle something else the following month. Good luck!