Author Topic: Uber Frugal March  (Read 10852 times)

frugalkristen

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #50 on: March 01, 2017, 04:52:28 PM »
Day 1 - $52.03 at Aldi.  I'm completely fine with this because I haven't stepped foot in a grocery store since Feb. 11th!  I did get a few leftovers from work, and my bf bought and prepared a dinner (with leftovers for lunch).  I could get my food budget down but it's actually not bad.  And considering that my bf and I hardly ever go out, cooking is entertainment for us.  So far this year, I've only gotten take out once (my son stopped by and I wasn't prepared to feed him...) and haven't eaten out at all.  Haven't even bought anything at the vending machine at work (which is not even the least bit tempting).  I never go out for coffee.  So, all my meals are made at home. 

I will spend a little next week as my daughter is coming to town for a visit.  Nothing fancy but we will probably go out.  She's very frugal too so it won't happen much.  But then I'm back to my plan.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2017, 06:31:49 PM »
Day 1 - $52.03 at Aldi.  I'm completely fine with this because I haven't stepped foot in a grocery store since Feb. 11th!  I did get a few leftovers from work, and my bf bought and prepared a dinner (with leftovers for lunch).  I could get my food budget down but it's actually not bad.  And considering that my bf and I hardly ever go out, cooking is entertainment for us.  So far this year, I've only gotten take out once (my son stopped by and I wasn't prepared to feed him...) and haven't eaten out at all.  Haven't even bought anything at the vending machine at work (which is not even the least bit tempting).  I never go out for coffee.  So, all my meals are made at home. 

I will spend a little next week as my daughter is coming to town for a visit.  Nothing fancy but we will probably go out.  She's very frugal too so it won't happen much.  But then I'm back to my plan.

Good plan Kristen! Sounds like your priorities are in line for you!

PJ

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #52 on: March 01, 2017, 11:03:24 PM »
Oh dear, SisterX and Road42, hope dog and kid both are ok and medical expenses not too extensive.

And a warm welcome to those joining us for the first time :-)
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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #53 on: March 02, 2017, 06:10:17 AM »
Well, I already had a pretty costly trip to Target, but it's all stuff we really needed.

~$90 for Diapers, Wipes, and a Child-Safety Kit (Cabinet locks, outlet covers, etc.).  The 2yo is starting to explore cabinets, and is often seen walking out of the kitchen with his arms wrapped around a box of cereal and a huge grin.  Although the cereal isn't a concern, it's the under-the-sink door that I really want to keep closed.

I really didn't need two boxes of diapers, but there was a cartwheel for a $15 gift card if you spend $75 on kids stuff.  So, I guess it really only cost me $75 total, once I use the gift card on my next visit.
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Mongoose

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #54 on: March 02, 2017, 07:17:11 AM »
Finally made it to the grocery store. $163 for our big beginning of the month restock of staples. We should be good until sometime next week when more milk and vegetables will become necessary.

Time to go pack lunches and snacks for the day and double check our readiness for dinner.

ketojenn

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #55 on: March 02, 2017, 07:35:54 AM »
Day one was good.  No spending and I even made $2, woo hoo!  lol
Day two is grocery shopping, and it will be spendy, but my kids insist on eating, so there's that.

Pushkina2

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #56 on: March 02, 2017, 09:04:05 AM »
3/1 $0 spent
3/2 TBD


LindseyC

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #57 on: March 02, 2017, 09:57:43 AM »
I'm about to spend $45 I didn't budget for.

My SO (live separately) and I both use Nellie's laundry soap. Well Costco has the big 16.6kg tub on sale for $20 off - so $90 with shipping and taxes, which is an awesome deal. We split the tub and it usually lasts us each 2.5 years each!!! We still have some left from our last tub, but this sale rarely happens.

So dang good deal, I have the money, I just didn't budget it, so I might be over my $2000 monthly goal. That's just annoying :)

Road42

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #58 on: March 02, 2017, 03:54:46 PM »
Oh dear, SisterX and Road42, hope dog and kid both are ok and medical expenses not too extensive.


Thanks, PJ! Well, he very narrowly avoided needing surgery so yay! But he is in a cast for three weeks on his dominant hand, so boo. Honestly, I'm so relieved about the no surgery (he's only 7, so it would have needed to be general anesthesia), that I don't care at all about the $.

We celebrated with candy bars - on a Target gift card.

frooglepoodle

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #59 on: March 02, 2017, 06:06:58 PM »
My month is not off to a great start. I paid for dinner out with friends I was visiting, ate lunch out with my kiddo on our drive home today (we needed food but I could have bought sandwiches at a grocery store instead of going to a restaurant), stopped at Starbucks twices (long drive, and I didn't get fancy coffee, but there were certainly less spendy options), and bought a pair of jeans.

Holy smokes.

Now I am thinking ahead to what is coming up this month: getting alignment checked on my car when I take it for scheduled maintenance (I hit a pothole at 40mph in December and want to avoid costly damage to the car from alignment issues), stocking the deep freezer with an order of pastured meat from a local farm, birthday gifts for two of our siblings, paying a babysitter to attend DH's work event. All the more reason to keep an eye on the day-to-day expenses, I suppose.
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PJ

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #60 on: March 02, 2017, 07:31:41 PM »
My month is not off to a great start. I paid for dinner out with friends I was visiting, ate lunch out with my kiddo on our drive home today (we needed food but I could have bought sandwiches at a grocery store instead of going to a restaurant), stopped at Starbucks twices (long drive, and I didn't get fancy coffee, but there were certainly less spendy options), and bought a pair of jeans.

Holy smokes.

Now I am thinking ahead to what is coming up this month: getting alignment checked on my car when I take it for scheduled maintenance (I hit a pothole at 40mph in December and want to avoid costly damage to the car from alignment issues), stocking the deep freezer with an order of pastured meat from a local farm, birthday gifts for two of our siblings, paying a babysitter to attend DH's work event. All the more reason to keep an eye on the day-to-day expenses, I suppose.

Tee hee. Wouldn't it make more sense to get someone to watch the kids, and you go with DH?  *giggle*
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frooglepoodle

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #61 on: March 03, 2017, 04:26:56 AM »
My month is not off to a great start. I paid for dinner out with friends I was visiting, ate lunch out with my kiddo on our drive home today (we needed food but I could have bought sandwiches at a grocery store instead of going to a restaurant), stopped at Starbucks twices (long drive, and I didn't get fancy coffee, but there were certainly less spendy options), and bought a pair of jeans.

Holy smokes.

Now I am thinking ahead to what is coming up this month: getting alignment checked on my car when I take it for scheduled maintenance (I hit a pothole at 40mph in December and want to avoid costly damage to the car from alignment issues), stocking the deep freezer with an order of pastured meat from a local farm, birthday gifts for two of our siblings, paying a babysitter to attend DH's work event. All the more reason to keep an eye on the day-to-day expenses, I suppose.

Tee hee. Wouldn't it make more sense to get someone to watch the kids, and you go with DH?  *giggle*

Ha! So true! More fun for me, too, than sitting at home while he had fun.
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Mongoose

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #62 on: March 03, 2017, 08:35:50 AM »
Another $24 in groceries: $187 total.

Plus I got coffee and kid drinks out on our long day: $12. Should've made extra and brought a Thermous and stuff for the kids. This weekend I'll plan better.

We also spent ~$50 of our miscellaneous money getting packs of craft supplies for the kids for summer. Should be the only such purchase since it rounds out my stocks. They get to do various art and craft stuff when it's too hot to be outside and we need to work.

I did score a cool freebie. We need some table for our work area so the kids have a place to commit art while we work (and potentially do school while we work some days too). A lady in our homeschool group was getting rid of some furniture and I got two free kids school desks (the steel ones where the table and chair is one unit and there is a cubby for books and supplies). Problem solved with zero cost.

PJ

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #63 on: March 03, 2017, 09:27:29 AM »
Instead of going out to the grocery store last night, to pick up fresh produce, I cooked a bunch of stuff (posted in Eat All the Food) using up some produce in the fridge (limp celery) plus onions and some frozen veg.

This morning, coffee and breakfast at home.  Accepted email rent payment from basement apartment tenants (subletting from me).  The husband had called me in a panic earlier this week - he doesn't have direct deposit at his new job, and hadn't realized they would hold his paycheque.  They are great about paying on time, and will send the money early if they get paid a few days before the end of the month, so I reassured him it was fine.

Anyway, with all money in for the month (I get paid monthly, on or around the 25th) I can look at what money needs to be allocated where, and figure out how much I might be able to squeeze out for debt repayment.  Got to wait on a couple of bills though, to be sure.  Oh, and I should probably think about doing my mileage and reimbursement form for work soon too.
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SquashingDebt

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #64 on: March 03, 2017, 01:22:57 PM »
Ok!  I'm ready for March!  These threads have been a great source of motivation and accountability for me. 

The goals for this month:

1. Continue eating out of my freezer/pantry and keeping my grocery bills low
2. Continue with zero eating out by myself (though I might need to add in a monthly exception for ice cream now that it's getting warmer)
3. Continue being very thoughtful about how I spend my money with regards to all other purchases
4. Continue spending on social activities as needed

March challenge:  The last 6 days of March (and first 9 days of April) I'll be on a combination work trip, then vacation, which is going to require spending more money than usual.  Luckily, my airfare, hotel, and cruise fare are already paid, so the main expenses will be food and drink, activities, and local transportation/airport parking.

PJ

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #65 on: March 03, 2017, 04:04:47 PM »
Anyway, with all money in for the month (I get paid monthly, on or around the 25th) I can look at what money needs to be allocated where, and figure out how much I might be able to squeeze out for debt repayment.  Got to wait on a couple of bills though, to be sure.  Oh, and I should probably think about doing my mileage and reimbursement form for work soon too. 

Gulp.  Well, I am really committed now.  And I should really do my mileage and reimbursement form.

I got out pen and paper, and listed all my expected expenses for the month.  I took a wild stab at estimating my utility bills, and saw that my stretch goal for CC payment was within reach, leaving just over $100 as a buffer, in case I'm wrong about the utility numbers for the month.  So I went ahead and made the CC payment.

Will have to keep things really really lean while I wait to see what the bills actually come in at.  Uber Frugal, in fact!  I've got some cash in my wallet, which should be enough for two partial fill ups at the gas station, and some veeerry select groceries.  Which would be easier if I didn't think that I also need to pick up some cat litter this month.  I think I will try to make my own bread the next couple of weeks, so I only need to pick up produce and a bit of dairy.  Pay day is 3 weeks away!

My reasoning for going ahead, even though it feels too close, is that it will force me to make harder decisions.  So far, I haven't been faced with any huge dilemmas.  Also, it will push me to do a couple of things that will help in the long run - getting in the practice of submitting my expenses more regularly, for one, and, I really should cancel my gym membership, since I don't actually go.  It's not expensive (Planet Fitness) but every little bit helps. 

Also, I figured that even if I end up putting an emergency fill-up of gas in the car on the CC, or even a few emergency groceries close to payday, I'll still come out ahead of where I would have if I'd made a more conservative credit card payment.  I really want this card done (so that I can start work on the next one!) and this puts me within 2 months of getting it paid off.

The biggest challenge will be that there's no room for social spending.  So will have to use my movie gift cards and points, but bring my own snacks, or invite myself over to friends and family's houses, or be able to suggest uber uber frugal options to them...
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Mongoose

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #66 on: March 03, 2017, 04:27:00 PM »
Don't be intimidated by making bread PJ. It's not at all bad and it is cheaper and tastes way better!

LindseyC

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #67 on: March 03, 2017, 05:14:15 PM »
PJ I am completely impressed with your commitment. I absolutely get the driving need to pay down debt and you are really making a serious play to do exactly that.

I dont have the opportunity to make overtime pay in my industry but I do have the chance to work extra hours for the next 17 weeks. Regular hours 42.5 and I could work up to about 53.5. I know I will end up very tired at the end, but I am seriously considering pushing myself as much as possible, so I can pay off a massive chunk of debt at the end of June.

Not necessarily relevant specifically to uber March, but your post inspired me to really bust butt.

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #68 on: March 03, 2017, 05:29:51 PM »
Today was successful. Finally made it to the thrift store. Been putting it off for a few months (okay over a year). I hate clothe shopping at the best of times. But I went in when it wasn't busy, actually I had the whole place to myself. Got to chatting with one of the volunteers, apparently we share a love of hats. 

I came out with 3 brand new pairs of jeans and 6 awesome tops (and okay 4 books, will be part of hubby's birthday present) I think the Thrift store angels decide to take pity on me and made sure there was some fun clothing that fit me, looks good and came from some actual designers. I had to look them up, I'm clueless, but apparently I got some *really* good deals.  Total bill was 36.00. That was because the volunteer was more happy to chat and got bored of looking for price tags so she said: "Oh, how about this much for it?" I had no idea if I was getting a deal or paying more but I figured it was for a good cause. So, I totaled everything up when I got home and it would have been about 56.00 worth. 

PJ

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #69 on: March 03, 2017, 10:09:15 PM »
Don't be intimidated by making bread PJ. It's not at all bad and it is cheaper and tastes way better! 

Thanks Mongoose!  I used to make my own bread in the bread maker all the time, actually.  So it's more a matter of "unorganized" or "unmotivated" than intimidated. 

I don't know what it is exactly.  I moved 3.5 years ago, when I changed from one church to another.  Yes, there's a difference in job responsibilities and the rhythm of life between the two places, but there are specifically things around the bathroom and kitchen that have not translated from one house to the other.  I used to love to take long hot bubble baths as a form of relaxation in the evening (with a book, and a glass of wine or port), but I don't enjoy hanging out in my current bathroom the same way I used to.  And I did a lot more cooking in my old place, which, objectively speaking, was actually much harder to cook in!  I have WAY more counter space here.  But hardly cook or bake at all.  I can't decide if it's just that I got out of the habit during the transition period, or if there's something about the layout that and organization of the kitchen that's inhibiting.  If it's the latter, I'd happily work to change things around!

LindseyC, thanks so much for your kind words.  I am so often inspired by the amazing progress other folks here are making on their finances; I'm so flattered to hear that I inspired you.  Having the debt is absolutely exhausting - it's always there.  I feel like I can't make progress toward a better future for myself until I clear it, and in the short term, I can't plan anything fun, like travel, because I *should* be putting the money toward debt.  I've made progress before, but never stuck with it long enough to see all the debt go away - something always comes up to throw me back, or I just generally lose motivation and momentum.  This time has to be different.  So yay!  Let's really buckle down this month, get ourselves a step or two further along the road, eh?

Once this card is done, I have another card (lower interest rate) plus my LOC.  So I'm a long way away from being done completely.  But when this card is taken care of, and I make a bit more progress on the other CC, then I can look into some travel hacking stuff so that I can at least go on trips to stay with friends various places.  That will help keep me going while I work on the LOC!  My best friend moved to Edmonton a few years ago, another very good friend moved to Santa Cruz around the same time.  I've been to see them both, but not for a while.  And then more recently another good friend moved to Florida.  I'd love to go and see her too.  And of course, I'm sure there are mustachians around in all of those places, to connect with!

swick, just a quick note to say congrats on the successful thrift trip!  3 pairs of jeans and 6 tops is an awesome trip, and I'm glad you got something for DH's birthday as well.  Sounds like the clerk gave you a really good deal! 
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westtoeast

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Uber Frugal March
« Reply #70 on: March 04, 2017, 05:17:41 AM »
Ok, I'm going to do updates on Saturdays.

3/1: $65 (bus pass); $20 (bulk bins rice and beans, will last a while); $10 (Udemy course that I've wanted was discounted); $10 (Netflix renewal); $800 (rent, utilities)
3/2: $0
3/3: $35 (groceries for 7 days)
3/4: $20 (I'm going out with friends for my b-day-- this money will come from gift money but I'm still atoning for it here)

$960/$1300

So far I'm pleased with my results. My b-day is an exception I'm willing to make and my other spending has been thoughtful. I also don't have any expenses on the horizon. Thanks everyone for the motivation!


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« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 05:20:35 AM by westtoeast »

Dicey

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #71 on: March 04, 2017, 11:10:47 AM »
I forgot to mention that one thing which might throw us off track: my husband's superpower of Breaking Shit. ...The bike that just needed a new wheel because the chain kicked off and broke three of his spokes a couple of weeks ago.
Too late now, but for future rererence, unless the rim is damaged, spokes are cheap and easy to replace. Not mech harder than changing a tire, which is good, because the tire has to come off to replace the spokes. It's one of those little skills with a high badass quotient.
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frooglepoodle

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #72 on: March 04, 2017, 11:57:26 AM »
I've spent $118 on groceries in the past two days, but should not have to go anywhere near a store for anything but more fruit for my kiddo's snacks for at least a week. I'm now shooting for no-spend days until I pick up my meat order from a local farm on Wednesday.

Swick, that's fabulous thrift store deals! I need to find a time to go deal hunting without my son in tow. Last time I let him pick out a toy right off and it got me a little more time than usual, but his patience for any kind of shopping (other than groceries) is pretty low. It prevents mindless browsing, at least. :-)
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Mezzie

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #73 on: March 04, 2017, 06:12:14 PM »
I need to go to Aldi in the morning to get some meat and veggies. It should be a pretty cheap week compared to last week when I bought saffron. I seriously need to grow my own saffron.
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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #74 on: March 04, 2017, 10:45:37 PM »
This morning, I got a call from the alarm monitoring station from the church.  It didn't seem like the time of day that someone would try to break in, but I couldn't think of who would be there.  I told them I'd go over and check it out, and was getting ready to go.  Then it occurred to me to check with our cleaning person - he often knows who's planning to come by on a Saturday.  Turns out, he was there!  Had just been a bit slow getting his code into the alarm, didn't realize it had triggered a notification.

So by calling to check, I saved myself the gas it would have taken to drive over myself.  Good to have a Saturday where I didn't leave the house, for a change!
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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #75 on: March 06, 2017, 07:01:11 AM »
My Wife and I used to play trivia with some of her friends at a local bar.  Then our little boy came along, and we hadn't attended in ~2yrs.  So, Friday, the friends contacted us about going to trivia, and we couldn't resist.  I definitely could've eaten beforehand, but oh well. 

All in all, I spent $33 for the two of us, which was worth it.  We also got 3rd place out of 9 teams, so we won a $10 gift card.  Looks like we'll be going back sometime soon.

Not Uber Frugal, but I'm OK with it, as long as we only do it once in a while.
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StarBright

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #76 on: March 07, 2017, 07:43:13 AM »
I'm in!

Am trying to find more money to throw at Roth IRAs (or taxable investments if the market has a correction) in March so we'll have to make frugal choices to find extra.

Goals:
-Cancel my Sephora Play subscription (my 10 dollar treat to myself - but I can do without for a couple of months)
-Convince DH to take dinners in addition to lunches on nights when he has to work late
- Keep all food spending under 500 for the month (am also doing eat all the food in your house challenge to help with this)
-Keep gas/electric under $90 for the month
- Put off haircuts until April

If I can do all of these things I can find a few hundred bucks to throw at investments.

Sidenote- leftcoastenvy - I lived in Hillsborough for several years and it broke my heart to move. I think it is one of the loveliest small towns in the world!

oof-

Well I cancelled my sephora play subscription - hurray PLUS 10!

But I ended up in the emergency room on March 1st with what ended up being my first ever Migraine which had me passing out and vomiting (hence the trip to the emergency room). So good goodbye thousands of dollars there :)

Also my 9x13 pyrex exploded in the oven so goodbye $75 bucks to the appliance guy to take apart the oven for cleaning. We tried to clean it ourselves but after several hours and still finding shards and not being comfortable messing with the gas line we just paid someone who knew what they were doing.

But back to the positive - we are on track for $500 dollar grocery spending, DH has not bought any dinners out yet this month and the bizarrely warm temperatures mean we haven't turned our heat on for days so we're also still on track for low utilities.

Just because we blew our budget on March 1 doesn't mean we can't still be careful with everything else :)

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #77 on: March 07, 2017, 07:57:55 AM »
We're doing good at keeping our grocery spending low. I'll need milk (the kiddos go through a lot) and a couple of other things this week but it should be a small trip.

Made a turkey yesterday that I bought on sale after the holidays and stashed in the freezer plus a ton of vegetables. Busy week for me this week so I wanted to get ahead on the cooking. Everyone should have sufficient food for most of the week without me having to do much. I need to make pizza tomorrow (from stuff I have) so we can keep not eating out for lunches (the turkey was a small one so it will only do dinners for my super hungry crowd).

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #78 on: March 07, 2017, 08:54:17 AM »
I'm in!

Am trying to find more money to throw at Roth IRAs (or taxable investments if the market has a correction) in March so we'll have to make frugal choices to find extra.

Goals:
-Cancel my Sephora Play subscription (my 10 dollar treat to myself - but I can do without for a couple of months)
-Convince DH to take dinners in addition to lunches on nights when he has to work late
- Keep all food spending under 500 for the month (am also doing eat all the food in your house challenge to help with this)
-Keep gas/electric under $90 for the month
- Put off haircuts until April

If I can do all of these things I can find a few hundred bucks to throw at investments.

Sidenote- leftcoastenvy - I lived in Hillsborough for several years and it broke my heart to move. I think it is one of the loveliest small towns in the world!

oof-

Well I cancelled my sephora play subscription - hurray PLUS 10!

But I ended up in the emergency room on March 1st with what ended up being my first ever Migraine which had me passing out and vomiting (hence the trip to the emergency room). So good goodbye thousands of dollars there :)

Also my 9x13 pyrex exploded in the oven so goodbye $75 bucks to the appliance guy to take apart the oven for cleaning. We tried to clean it ourselves but after several hours and still finding shards and not being comfortable messing with the gas line we just paid someone who knew what they were doing.

But back to the positive - we are on track for $500 dollar grocery spending, DH has not bought any dinners out yet this month and the bizarrely warm temperatures mean we haven't turned our heat on for days so we're also still on track for low utilities.

Just because we blew our budget on March 1 doesn't mean we can't still be careful with everything else :)

Ouch, sorry about your month. I hope you are feeling better

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #79 on: March 07, 2017, 09:18:25 AM »
Alright, I got the gym membership cancelled.

Electric bill was down 30 this month thanks to the changes we made in Jan/Feb (that's 360 annually!!!). I hope it will be even lower this month as our new normal since today begins a new month of all my changes taken into account (no clothes dryer, LED's, and unplugging old vintage freezer).  Keeping heat at 64 and no one still has noticed. I also sold aforementioned vintage freezer over the weekend on Craigslist, so I now have my money for new bedroom curtains! Just waiting on free shipping code to pop up now to order. I think our Ting bill will come I'm at 40 this month total for both phones (a few months ago it was about 90). I think 40 is about the best we can do there.

Grocery budget in check. I confess we bought bottle of wine over weekend and even ordered pizzas that cost 25 (but lasted 4 meals).

I need to call Verizon about lowering bundle package. Also put maybe 1 thing on Craigslist or ebay. Those are my only goals this week. Here's to a boring financial week!!!

PJ

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #80 on: March 07, 2017, 11:28:51 AM »
StarBright, so glad you are ok, on both fronts.  Both of which seem like ok places to have spent some money...

But you're right!  Back on track now, on the double!  :-P
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akzidenz

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #81 on: March 07, 2017, 05:05:15 PM »
Goals:
-Cancel my Sephora Play subscription (my 10 dollar treat to myself - but I can do without for a couple of months)

I should do this too! It's only $10.95/mo, but there isn't really an "only" when it comes to uber frugal months, I think! I originally kept this expense because I've banned myself from all makeup/skincare purchases until I totally run out of some product (I have 15 lipsticks, so…I basically shouldn't buy lipstick for the next 3 years, easily)…anyways, I was thinking the Sephora subscription would be a cute little thing to give me some variety in an inexpensive way. But I don't really use the products they send me…

If it helps, I dont look at expenses on monthly basis. It costs over 130 dollars a year for something you don't fully use. Wouldn't you rather save it for a beauty item you want instead that you would actually use?

Thanks for the encouragement. This framing honestly made a huge difference for me. $130 is enough to buy quite a few nice things, too. Canceled my subscription.

What also helped was looking at my Spotify subscription ($9.99/month, but I spend 2 hours/day listening to music)! It's about the same cost but brings me much more joy and utility…

akzidenz

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #82 on: March 07, 2017, 05:06:50 PM »
StarBright, so sorry to hear what's been happening to you. Hope the rest of March goes more smoothly!

Also, I think it's not about "how much did you buy?" at the end of an Uber Frugal Month, but "how much did you not buy?" Continuing to be frugal in all kinds of tiny ways helps too!

StarBright

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #83 on: March 07, 2017, 07:03:41 PM »

Goals:
-Cancel my Sephora Play subscription (my 10 dollar treat to myself - but I can do without for a couple of months)

I should do this too! It's only $10.95/mo, but there isn't really an "only" when it comes to uber frugal months, I think! I originally kept this expense because I've banned myself from all makeup/skincare purchases until I totally run out of some product (I have 15 lipsticks, so…I basically shouldn't buy lipstick for the next 3 years, easily)…anyways, I was thinking the Sephora subscription would be a cute little thing to give me some variety in an inexpensive way. But I don't really use the products they send me…

Yay for you on canceling Play! I have to admit I am sad to not be getting my delivery this month but I've done it for about 8 months and have more makeup than I'll use.

Mongoose

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #84 on: March 08, 2017, 07:39:03 AM »
Another $117 in groceries: $304 total. We may need a bit more milk and vegetables next week but otherwise should be good for the rest of the month...maybe? Is that possible? *  We're currently $396 under budget. $300 under budget would be spectacular as I could use the extra to cover our trip.

I spent $35 on kids clothes yesterday (big sale). I think we may have enough for summer although one or both kids might need a few pairs of shorts. I mainly got a few things in larger sizes yesterday that were marked down to $1 for shirts, $3 for pants. They each did get a bathrobe for $5. They've been asking for one for awhile but I waited for a >50% off sale.

*Edited to add: it occurred to me after typing this that we've been eating a lot of our meat from our freezer stocks which is helping a lot. Plus we seem to be less hungry after switching to meat-vegetables. The kids are still eating the same things though (and eat as much as we do already).
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 07:52:48 AM by Mongoose »

alleykat

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #85 on: March 08, 2017, 09:17:28 AM »
Well, we are 8 days into March and I haven't bought a thing besides groceries and the necessities.  So far, so good.  While my groceries haven't been uber frugal, compared to what I was buying, it is pretty damn good.  I think I am finally gaining a bit control in my spending. It is getting easier sidestepping temptation. I don't really keep track of expenses, but I think I may in April just out of curiosity.

nottoolatetostart

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #86 on: March 08, 2017, 10:14:13 AM »
I need to call Verizon about lowering bundle package. Also put maybe 1 thing on Craigslist or ebay. Those are my only goals this week. Here's to a boring financial week!!!

Done. Even listed 2 big ticket items on Craigslist for $300 total.

ETA: Cut 150 annually off cable bill by opting out off some additional packages to offset a discount that ended (cable is DH's cable, so no comments needed :0)  I didn't have cable till we moved in together. I am going to try Sling when this contract expires to see if he is up for it with sports).
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 10:19:01 AM by nottoolatetostart »

PJ

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #87 on: March 08, 2017, 10:27:21 AM »
We had an Uber Frugal MMM Meet-Up in Toronto last night.  We met at a downtown office building underground food court seating area after work, and everyone brought snacks to share.  I even brought my coffee in a thermos, and parked at the subway and rode transit down instead of driving the whole way!  I brought veggies to share, but what's left of them from last night (plus the parts I didn't take) will be my fresh veggies for the week - tomato and cucumber and red pepper.

Proof that it's possible to have inexpensive gatherings, as long as you're with like-minded folks!

There had been talk of people bringing games, but we just ended up sitting around and chatting, getting to know each other or getting to know each other better.
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lemonverbena

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #88 on: March 08, 2017, 11:24:35 AM »
3/1: $25 beers at bar (spouse)
3/2: $16.41 fast food (spouse)
3/3: $0
3/4: $0
3/5: $0
3/6: $27.99 printer ink (business expense)
       $166.33 groceries
       $106.16 clothing + snacks at Target
       $11.69 prescription
3/7: $5 groceries

The clothing was four pairs of pants for my husband. We always have trouble finding good pants used and since my husband's time is very limited he went straight to Target instead of digging through the racks at a thrift store first. And, kids + Target = buying snacks, an equation I apparently haven't beaten yet. Good thing I generally avoid going there.
I had to shake off another "wantiness" attack. It all started because I had a couple of items one could say I legitimately need. My daughter cut herself on our hanging shower shelf because the white coating is falling off and the metal beneath is rusted. Seems like a reasonable purchase to replace it. Also, we like to have a lid on our kitchen trash can so we're not inviting critters in, but we've just been using a cutting board as a lid with a cast iron pot on top to weigh it down. This is frustrating to use and it seems like a reasonable purchase to replace it. Sounds like a trip to IKEA is in order. Suddenly, in my mind I start going through all the other "reasonable" and "useful" household items I "need" from IKEA. Oh boy. That list is adding up. Now I can't be trusted to go to IKEA!
Somehow, we managed to live without these things just fine a few days ago.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 09:04:15 PM by lemonverbena »

Mongoose

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #89 on: March 08, 2017, 11:38:14 AM »
I could see replacing a dangerous shower rack. Can you limit yourself to just that?

Vindicated

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #90 on: March 08, 2017, 11:54:08 AM »
I could see replacing a dangerous shower rack. Can you limit yourself to just that?

Yes, replace the shower rack.

I would go for a kitchen trashcan with a lid too.  It wouldn't be terribly expensive, and it'd save you so much hassle.
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PJ

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #91 on: March 08, 2017, 12:56:24 PM »
I had to shake off another "wantiness" attack. It all started because I had a couple of items one could say I legitimately need. My daughter cut herself on our hanging shower shelf because the white coating is falling off and the metal beneath is rusted. Seems like a reasonable purchase to replace it. Also, we like to have a lid on our kitchen trash can so we're not inviting critters in, but we've just been using a cutting board as a lid with a cast iron pot on top to weigh it down. This is frustrating to use and it seems like a reasonable purchase to replace it. Sounds like a trip to IKEA is in order. Suddenly, in my mind I start going through all the other "reasonable" and "useful" household items I "need" from IKEA. Oh boy. That list is adding up. Now I can't be trusted to go to IKEA!
Somehow, we managed to live without these things just fine a few days ago. 

My advice is to go to IKEA at a time when you have a limit to how long you can spend there.  If you only have time to go in, get the 2 things you need, pay and get out, then you are less likely to pick up extra stuff. 

I'm using this technique myself.  Right now, while I'm limiting my grocery spending to mostly produce, it makes sense for me to go to Walmart at 10:15/10:30 at night, when they close at 11.  This gives me only 20 minutes or so before I want to be getting into the line, and stops me from wandering aimlessly up and down all the aisles in search of other good *bargains* that I don't really need.  But gives me *just* enough time that if I need to grab something from a particular aisle, I can do that. 

(Note:  I realize that some of you might do a whole big grocery shop in 20 minutes.  But I am a slow shopper, picking through the apples to find the right one, turning over the clamshells of berries to check for any moldy ones, etc.  A full-on shop, price matching, and especially if I don't have a list, can certainly take me an hour.)
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
Dr. Cornel West

lemonverbena

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #92 on: March 08, 2017, 05:33:04 PM »
Yeah, just coming here and fessing up to my covetousness helps put the brakes on. I will safely only buy my two items now ;)

PJ

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #93 on: March 09, 2017, 01:28:06 AM »
Yeah, just coming here and fessing up to my covetousness helps put the brakes on. I will safely only buy my two items now ;)

Accountability FTW!
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frooglepoodle

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #94 on: March 09, 2017, 05:35:49 AM »
Grocery spending so far has been good. We're at $310 for the month since we restocked our freezer with meat. I originally set a goal of $600 for the month with this in mind, but I'm rethinking that and maybe I should aim for $550 instead.

Confession, since we are on the subject: I bought a fancy hanging shower organizer last month. It was $40 but very solidly built, fits snugly over the neck of the shower head, has suction cups to keep it from shifting, is adjustable for different size bottles. All three of us share one bathroom and keeping things organized, and out of toddler reach but still accessible was proving to be annoying. I justified it as a BIFL type of purchase, which is silly since it's a shower organizer! Face punch away! :-)
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westtoeast

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #95 on: March 09, 2017, 05:41:43 AM »
Mid Week Update!
3/5: $11 (movie theater, caved b/c friends, but saw Get Out which was def a big screen movie!)
3/6: $0
3/7: $0
3/8: $0
3/9: $0

Woo! On track. This week I've planned out frugal meals for the next few weeks. A mini frugal win has been stretching my natural mascara (my only makeup weakness other than good sunscreen). It's drying out so I let it sit in bowl of hot water then added a few drops of coconut oil. Should last a few more weeks!


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Well Respected Man

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #96 on: March 09, 2017, 07:03:28 AM »
(Note:  I realize that some of you might do a whole big grocery shop in 20 minutes.  But I am a slow shopper, picking through the apples to find the right one, turning over the clamshells of berries to check for any moldy ones, etc.  A full-on shop, price matching, and especially if I don't have a list, can certainly take me an hour.)

RecordScratch.wav

Always shop with a list, and don't shop while hungry are always rules 1 or 2 on every frugality advice source. Although, if you've perfected the MMM middle-finger method, maybe you don't need a list.

LindseyC

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #97 on: March 09, 2017, 10:02:13 AM »
My month starts on the 23rd of each month, so today I am half way through my March and I am $275 over my $2000 budget goal. Some of my overage was worth it.

1. I bought a $90 tub of laundry detergent that will last me just over 2.5 years (as well as my boyfriends household) so that expense doesn't happen frequently and I couldn't pass up a $20 discount even though I still have some left in my last tub. Altogether with the remainder I still have, I'm good for 3 years.

2. I stocked up on 3 months of cat food because of a great sale.

3. Paid for the online software to do my taxes.

4. Where I blew it. $46 on eating out and $118 on household items (none of them were essential)

The good news, I'm getting $235 back on my taxes and I have a few clothing items I am selling that will earn me at least $100. I am also debating selling a MCM credenza I was going to refinish, I really like it but I'm questioning whether it fits the room I was going to put it in. I bought it for $25 (which also included an upright dresser which I have already sold for $100) so it's pure profit.

PJ

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #98 on: March 10, 2017, 01:58:26 AM »
(Note:  I realize that some of you might do a whole big grocery shop in 20 minutes.  But I am a slow shopper, picking through the apples to find the right one, turning over the clamshells of berries to check for any moldy ones, etc.  A full-on shop, price matching, and especially if I don't have a list, can certainly take me an hour.) 

RecordScratch.wav

Always shop with a list, and don't shop while hungry are always rules 1 or 2 on every frugality advice source. Although, if you've perfected the MMM middle-finger method, maybe you don't need a list. 

Yeah, I usually don't have a list because I'll be coming home at 9:30 at night and passing by where I need to turn off to go to the store and remember that I have no fruit, or no bread, or no milk, or no coffee at home.  So I go shopping, cause the grocery store is open to 11.  But yeah  I never said I was perfect!
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Dr. Cornel West

Mongoose

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Re: Uber Frugal March
« Reply #99 on: March 10, 2017, 07:39:57 AM »
Can you keep your list in your purse...like on a little spiral notebook or something. I do that because if I don't have my list, I only buy things that I remember on the list or wander for a bit and buy nothing because I can't remember what I need. No list to shop from = anxiety. I'm more inclined to get "extra" stuff when I have my list; I guess because I'm more relaxed.

Should have a no spend weekend. Spent $20 yesterday on my contacts and $11 on dinner for myself (working late and failed to pack food for myself). I only anticipate needing some milk and maybe a few veggies this month. DH has a short business trip so we'll probably cover the food out for that. Since we're so far under budget, I feel pretty comfortable giving him $50-60. Some of his meals might get covered so hopefully some of the money will return. I'm going to make pizza to take with us to DD's after choir concert pizza party next weekend (she can't eat gluten so we have to bring our own). If I plan well and pack coffee, we might have a no spend week* which would be awesome.

*I don't count gas for cars or medical co-pays because they are constant, regular, and necessary.