Author Topic: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?  (Read 9240 times)

dj

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 243
Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« on: January 24, 2018, 07:56:34 AM »
I've been following this forum for awhile now, and am slowly picking up good habits. For example - in October, I had next to nothing in my savings account. Right now, after my check this Friday, I will have just short of $1000. This takes into account that I have paid over $800 off my car loan in the last month, otherwise I would have more. I did that because I want to get closer to downsizing and buying a $6k-9k vehicle. I currently have just under a $500 balance on my only credit card. I like keeping it at 200-400 to maintain a good credit score. I try to keep my checking pretty low, just enough to easily accommodate my spending habits which aren't very bad at all.

I want February to be my most frugal month ever in terms of percentage of income saved. I'm going to try to put in a few hours of overtime to achieve this. I get paid $16 an hour and am making small strides to build up an emergency fund and then start paying off higher interest student loans. Ultimately I want to start investing and build up my retirement fund. One thing that sucks is that I haven't been paying off my federal student loan at all the last 2 or 3 months.

But for right now I just want to focus on February.
I hope to post an update every week outlining my spending and reflecting on it.
I have a significant other so she better be on board with this (I've spent too much money on her). But she's pretty cool so I can get over that.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2018, 08:04:04 AM by dj »

nosythecat

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2018, 09:54:46 PM »
Count me in for Frugal February, I'll post a weekly total as well as challenge myself (and whoever wants to join) to see how many days I can go without spending anything, I'll shoot for 10 days.  That might be a walk in the park for seasoned (and mustachioed) frugal ones, but I'm repentant former member of the consumer culture now seeking to be debt free.

CrustyBadger

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 443
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2018, 07:28:32 AM »
I am in!  I just started tracking expenses in Uber Frugal January, and now that I have a sense of what I am spending would like to challenge myself to maintain or reduce in each category!

Also February is the shortest month so it should be easier, right?

Malkynn

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1013
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2018, 08:19:48 AM »
Hell yes.

We built up some great habits in January, but spent a damn fortune stocking up on things and redoing our kitchen counter.

Iím aiming for Febís spending to be more reflective of the work weíve put in.

MrsWolfeRN

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 701
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2018, 08:27:53 AM »
dj, you don't have to carry a balance on your credit card to keep your score up, just pay it off each month after the statement posts. Why waste money on interest?

I am in for Frugal February. I spent a lot of money in the January sales (most of which will save me money later e.g. clearance kid shoes and a major stock-up on cat food at 0.31/lb), but I feel like I went on a big binge.

So for February I am allowed to buy: produce and milk at Aldi as needed, a USED baby carrier if I can find the specific one I want for a reasonable price, diapers/formula IF they go on sale for a major stock-up price (I have enough to last the month otherwise). That is it!!!

better late

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 227
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2018, 08:34:04 AM »
I'm in.
We spend too much when we travel and we've been traveling a ton. I need a reset

westtoeast

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 344
  • Location: East Coast City
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2018, 10:14:06 AM »
I'm in, per usual.

This month I won't be working with exact numbers. I'll have a few goals instead.

1) I have a very stocked pantry right now, so I'd like to see how far below $250 I can get my food spend.
2) I'd like to reduce/eliminate all non-necessary spending for the month. Before I make any purchases I will ask myself:
--Do I need this or want this?
--Is there something I already own that can fill that need?
--Can I find an alternative on Buy Nothing or thrift-ed?
--Can I find a cheaper alternative?
--What would happen if I walk away from this purchase?
3) Purchasing a bus pass, only using Uber/Lyft when there is a true time constraint that makes it necessary

Brother Esau

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 272
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2018, 04:44:38 PM »
Let's go!

I'm already committed to no clothes spending or bike parts/maintenance for 2018.

Sassociate

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2018, 02:40:33 AM »
I'm in! I'm hoping to use February as a test case to see how low we can realistically get our weekly spending, so that we have a baseline to work from going forward. I'm pretty new to this, so I'm sure those of you who've been at it for longer will see tons of places we can cut back, but you have to start somewhere, right? 😊🙈

blinx7

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 208
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2018, 07:05:12 AM »

One more!!

February is the shortest month of the year so seems like a good start.

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1035
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2018, 07:12:36 AM »
I'm in! And, congrats @dj on building good habits!

Mongoose

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2045
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2018, 07:42:56 AM »
I'm in. We need to do some tracking again to find and plug leaks.

Carrie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 602
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2018, 06:52:26 AM »
I'm in for a frugal month. I want to build savings so I can do a few things around the house (yard/garden and kitchen countertops) in April & May.
- no eating out at all (should be easy)
- no clothes or haircuts (this is for our whole family of 5)
- homemade valentine's for three classrooms
- groceries under $600
- no alcohol spending

We have no large bills in February,  so it could be a very cheap month.

Linda_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3015
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2018, 06:59:50 AM »
I really want to reduce my grocery spend. January was higher than any month in 2017. And DH has also been shopping groceries, that are not included in that high amount. So this needs to go down.

We have the issue of the olympic games next month. This is not broadcasted on our free TV channels. I called one of the channel providers and asked what I would have to pay for 1 month and they told me $50. That is too expensive. Then I found in a new paper that the channel that has bought the rights to broadcast the olympics, needs to offer it for free. It looks like we can use their app for free (you can registered a new subscription with 1 month free use at front). But that means we can only watch it when we are home with a good internet connection. Not at our mountain cabin where we will be on holiday during the second week of the games. Still, we have decided to go for the free app and we need to remember to cancel the subscription on time.

I am also not planning to buy clothes and not planning to buy books.

flyAway

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Age: 39
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2018, 08:02:32 AM »
Iím joining.  I found the January one inspiring to read (thanks!).  Iíve used Mint for a few years.  In January, I finally wrote down every single expense to get a more detailed grasp of our spending.  I thought it would be a frugal month, but no.  Iíve identified areas to focus on and also been rational about what bigger bills are due this month.

Family of four (2 kids middle school age):
No Spend days: 9 (Jan had 5)
Groceries (includes household and pet): <$500 (Jan was right at $600)
Total Spend: <$3100 (Jan was closer to $4k: 3 medical bills + 2 mo of winter heating + Amazon prime annual fee) Februaryís known large bills are quarterly water bill (high sewer rates) and kidsí activities fees.   Really think this might be doable since it is a short month.

Good luck!

LindseyC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
  • Location: Ontario
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2018, 09:36:21 AM »
I'm in! I did really well in January, but want to blow February out of the water.

I currently have $70 in grocery points, plus a lot of pantry/freezer food. I am aiming to spend nothing in February on groceries but the $70 for fresh veggies, bread, milk and eggs.

I am cutting my entertainment / eating out budget to zero and using that budgeted money to buy paint for my house. My boyfriend and I are also doing a no TV/movies month so that is going to make entertainment very interesting. I am hoping to put the time to good use by painting my entire top floor, making art to decorate my newly painted rooms with and refinishing some furniture I have for the rooms.

I also am going to try to make some extra money. By the end of the month I would like to be able to throw $1000 at debt.

As for no spend days, outside of bills, grocery points and painting supplies, I am aiming for an entire NO SPEND MONTH. This is going to be very interesting I think I have set myself up for a number of challenges.

druth

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 331
  • Location: 'sota
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2018, 12:55:09 PM »
Me!

* No restaurants other than my weekly friend outing.
* No random Target/Amazon/Thrift Store purchases. 
* No home purchases unless they are repair related.
* No new dog toys, he has plenty.



My goal is to save enough vs. my normal spending that I can put it towards a new phone at the end of the month.


lthenderson

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1077
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2018, 01:03:32 PM »
I currently have just under a $500 balance on my only credit card. I like keeping it at 200-400 to maintain a good credit score.

By maintaining a balance on your credit card, you are increasing your credit utilization (debt/available credit) which in turn lowers your credit score. If you want to better your credit score, a zero balance is best because it gives you the lowest credit utilization.

newgirl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 151
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2018, 01:03:45 PM »
I'm in. I'm SO frustrated with our food spending. We have multiple food allergies so getting some of the specialty foods we need is just a constant drain on the budget. In January I cooked more at home than I think I have at any time in the last year and we still spent over $600 on food. It's so so so frustrating. Every time I go to the grocery store with a plan, a list, no extra purchases, and every damn time my total is $150+ for the week. We don't buy ice cream or junk food or anything like that. ARGH.

EmFrugal

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 141
  • Age: 35
  • Location: DC Metro
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2018, 02:13:18 PM »
I'm in. I'm SO frustrated with our food spending. We have multiple food allergies so getting some of the specialty foods we need is just a constant drain on the budget. In January I cooked more at home than I think I have at any time in the last year and we still spent over $600 on food. It's so so so frustrating. Every time I go to the grocery store with a plan, a list, no extra purchases, and every damn time my total is $150+ for the week. We don't buy ice cream or junk food or anything like that. ARGH.

Keep at it newgirl! It's frustrating for sure, but there is a major learning curve that often takes months to work itself out. Our family of five began with a $1000+ p/mo bill in August and have just gotten it down to about $750 p/month. And that is with meal planning, lists, coupons, weeding out excess, etc. I know there is still room for us to improve but it will take more months of work to figure it out. Good thing I like the challenge!

Count me in for February. I like having the accountability!

newgirl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 151
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2018, 02:40:45 PM »
I'm in. I'm SO frustrated with our food spending. We have multiple food allergies so getting some of the specialty foods we need is just a constant drain on the budget. In January I cooked more at home than I think I have at any time in the last year and we still spent over $600 on food. It's so so so frustrating. Every time I go to the grocery store with a plan, a list, no extra purchases, and every damn time my total is $150+ for the week. We don't buy ice cream or junk food or anything like that. ARGH.

Keep at it newgirl! It's frustrating for sure, but there is a major learning curve that often takes months to work itself out. Our family of five began with a $1000+ p/mo bill in August and have just gotten it down to about $750 p/month. And that is with meal planning, lists, coupons, weeding out excess, etc. I know there is still room for us to improve but it will take more months of work to figure it out. Good thing I like the challenge!

Count me in for February. I like having the accountability!

Thanks @EmFrugal :) It's actually relieving to hear that mastering the grocery spend can take some time... it seems like something that you should just be able to DO, you know? But I'm guessing I have a few blind spots in my grocery spending that I don't even see due to habit. Maybe I should post a copy of my next shopping receipt and let people have at it!

CrustyBadger

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 443
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2018, 04:32:49 PM »
Newgirl, how many people are you feeding with that $600? 

I am so frustrated as well.  I thought I could make it through January spending only $400 on food for a family of 4 (including 2 hungry teens).   HAH!   That was ridiculous.  Right now I think we are at $800!   And.... there are still two more days in the month, and I went shopping today!!

But already I can see that at the very least, I can repeat this month of spending $800 on food.  It wasn't that hard, and its definitely a huge reduction from the way I spent most of the last year.  I'm hoping in February to carve at least $100 off easily, and another $100 off through more making things from scratch and eating up leftovers better.

I could totally believe that reducing your food spending could take many months of learning new skills and techniques (and getting others in your household to sign on, if they are above the age of 2!!)

alewpanda

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 314
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2018, 05:58:25 PM »
Yes!  Desperately needed! 

Will try for 300.00 or less grocery bill (includes household/cleaning/paper supplies).  We don't have a highly stocked freezer or cupboard to work with, so this is more of a "clean everything out and see how exact my planning/buying can be" challenge.

Other spending needs to be bare minimum.  I will need to think up something free to do with DH that will still feel fun for valentines day. 

newgirl

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 151
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2018, 07:37:16 PM »
Newgirl, how many people are you feeding with that $600? 

I am so frustrated as well.  I thought I could make it through January spending only $400 on food for a family of 4 (including 2 hungry teens).   HAH!   That was ridiculous.  Right now I think we are at $800!   And.... there are still two more days in the month, and I went shopping today!!

But already I can see that at the very least, I can repeat this month of spending $800 on food.  It wasn't that hard, and its definitely a huge reduction from the way I spent most of the last year.  I'm hoping in February to carve at least $100 off easily, and another $100 off through more making things from scratch and eating up leftovers better.

I could totally believe that reducing your food spending could take many months of learning new skills and techniques (and getting others in your household to sign on, if they are above the age of 2!!)

@CrustyBadger we are feeding 2 adults and one voracious toddler. In January we did have many evenings of having friends over for dinner, which elevated our costs a bit. But still it's f&%*ing embarassing to spend that much money on food. This was my first month of using YNAB really religiously, I knew we were spending a lot on food but that number was still a shock.

I like the idea of scaling the budget down a bit at a time. $100 a month less in February seems like a good goal, so $500. There are a few medical things (allergies), and cultural things (DH is a cow-fed Midwestern boy who will look at beans and rice and immediately ask where's the meat) that I need to have a strategy in place for overcoming. The first thing I think I can do is try to sync up our meal planning with DD's daycare menu. I have to provide all her food due to allergies, and the food has to meet certain requirements - the most expensive of which is that we have to provide a meat item with lunch every day. Usually I mirror what the daycare is serving that day so she doesn't feel left out or like she's getting special food. What I need to do is at least take the protein of the day, make a small portion of it for daycare, and the cook the remainder of it for our dinner that same night. It's still expensive eating meat every day but at least it would be simpler and would remove the impact of waste on our food budget - I get tired or forgetful sometimes and I space out on using up leftovers.

Sorry, didn't mean to write a damn novel. This food spending really is driving me nuts. Occupying too much of my mental energy.

Lichen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 276
  • Location: PNW
  • We've got movie sign!
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2018, 08:33:40 PM »
I'm in! My Uber frugal January went surprisingly well, and I need to keep this momentum going! I'm sticking to the same grocery budget as January -- $400 for two adults, two teens. But I have a stretch goal of dropping that to $350 by eating through a lot of the garden produce I put up last summer and haven't been using as much as I should!

I'm going to aim for 20 no spend days and a sub-$100 entertainment budget. Entertainment includes alcoholic beverages, dining out, and similar activities. Historically this has been our kryptonite and we are working hard to overcome it!

So:

Groceries: $400 (stretch $350)
Entertainment: $100
No spend days: 20 (stretch 24)

horsepoor

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2828
  • Location: At the barn
  • I earn it, my horses eat it
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2018, 08:35:37 PM »
Following!

I'd like February to be a month where I just buckle down and focus on work, riding, exercise and cooking at home.  If some work travel gets thrown in the mix, I'll do what I can to minimize eating out and pocket as much per diem as possible.

I want to throw $2,000 at my car loan at the end of February.

BeautifulDay

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 264
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2018, 08:58:54 PM »
I'm in.  I just want to come in under budget.  We can cut back on eating out especially. 

Over the past few months we have been coming in over budget.  So being underbudget will be a huge win.

flyAway

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Age: 39
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2018, 07:38:43 AM »
I have to provide all her food due to allergies, and the food has to meet certain requirements - the most expensive of which is that we have to provide a meat item with lunch every day....
....Occupying too much of my mental energy.
The mental energy required is no joke!  My daughter is a picky eater and for the last few months has had a wacky orthodontic contraption in her mouth.  My mental energy was being taxed figuring out what she could and would eat.  I truly thought she might starve.  If I had to meet certain requirements in her lunch box to boot, I just don't know.  You have my sympathy!

Mongoose

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2045
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2018, 07:57:02 AM »
Sorry, didn't mean to write a damn novel. This food spending really is driving me nuts. Occupying too much of my mental energy.

I have to provide all her food due to allergies, and the food has to meet certain requirements - the most expensive of which is that we have to provide a meat item with lunch every day....
....Occupying too much of my mental energy.
The mental energy required is no joke!  My daughter is a picky eater and for the last few months has had a wacky orthodontic contraption in her mouth.  My mental energy was being taxed figuring out what she could and would eat.  I truly thought she might starve.  If I had to meet certain requirements in her lunch box to boot, I just don't know.  You have my sympathy!

Food allergies make everything way more difficult than you would imagine. The mental energy expenditure is unreal. It's perfectly normal to be struggling with this! We have multiple ones to deal with as 3/4 of our family has different allergies or restrictions. Just figuring out what everyone can eat is sometimes a nightmare and I have 7 years of experience at this! Plus, having to match/provide school lunches is a challenge. When my oldest was in school, a full 20% of our budget went to lunches and specialty food requested by the teacher. When we pulled her for other reasons, my food stress got better. But it's still difficult and I decided to cut back in other areas so we can have higher food budgets. We have 2 adults and 2 elementary age kids. I don't even try to get under $800 (my budget amount). Allergy friendly food is more expensive. And it is exhausting to plan and think about meals. I dread meal planning so much now. When we had a period of underemployment and my food budget was much lower, it got really grim. It is too much of a drain on my quality of life to try to reduce my budget.

Things that might help:

Definitely consider setting up your meals to be a day ahead of the daycare so you can send leftovers. Do they repeat the menu? Are some of the meals things that could be frozen so you can just pull something out? Maybe batch cook, portion, and freeze the most common side dishes you send? We make and freeze pizza for ours so I can just pull it out to thaw/serve when we need it.

Can your DH help with planning? This is helping me a lot. My DH offered to help shortly after I told him that I hate food and maybe we should consider an extended fast. ;-) My DH also decided to help more with cooking and kitchen clean up when he can. Hugely helpful to spread the load a bit.

Do you eat out much? I personally find restaurants the worst because it's a nightmare trying to figure out what is safe. The good news is that we eat home cooked food a lot. The bad news is that I have to cook all the time. Restaurants take even more mental energy. If you do spend money there, can that be used to pad the grocery budget instead?

Bottom line: for my family, I found that the effort to reduce our grocery bill stopped being worth it at a certain point. When my oldest was diagnosed as a toddler, our bill shot up to around $1500 per month (for 3 people). I got that down to around $800 but any time I try to go lower, my stress gets way too high. That is our sweet spot so I try not to look with envy at the folks posting budgets in the sub-$400 range.

dj

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 243
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2018, 01:46:25 PM »
I currently have just under a $500 balance on my only credit card. I like keeping it at 200-400 to maintain a good credit score.

By maintaining a balance on your credit card, you are increasing your credit utilization (debt/available credit) which in turn lowers your credit score. If you want to better your credit score, a zero balance is best because it gives you the lowest credit utilization.

Thank you. Seems I'm a little uninformed.... whoops

But thanks for joining me everyone. Two more days to go until launch!

I have identified a few goals of mine -
(anticipate an after tax income of about $1750)

1. Get to the gym 4 days a week, no excuses. If this means catching up on a Saturday or Sunday, so be it.
2. Limit my one person grocery spending to an average of $40/week (hope to be under that).
3. Limit eating out to once a week, and share a dish if someone is willing (in an ideal world, I wouldn't eat out once, but I haven't yet mastered the art of resisting peer pressure).
4. Increase my emergency fund by $500 and accept the fact that my net worth can't change overnight....

Also trying to figure out some smaller side gigs to do...

HERE WE GO!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2018, 01:49:23 PM by dj »

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1703
  • Location: Florida
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2018, 02:50:46 PM »
Let's do it!:)

Main goals:  Stay within budget and on track with my savings goals.
Made big changes in January - now all I have to do is trigger savings transfers and stop buying gemstones/jewelry.

What would you buy?
Won a $25 Publix (grocery store) gift card last night. I'm thinking of blowing it all on - a whole NY style cheesecake - $10.50 and a small, quality beef roast - $12.50 plus Peppermints/breathmints - $2?
I chose the cheesecake for my birthday - not cool to be baking your own cake, right?
 

AmandaPanda

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 91
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2018, 08:55:03 AM »
I think I want to join this.  I've turned it into a game with the husband, so I think we can really get it down in Feb.  The only big expense should be making a campground reservation for the summer, but that's going to be done no matter what, so I won't count that against us.  For our daily lives, though, we should be able to get very frugal.

Temptation is all around!  Our favorite podcast is doing a live show in NYC, and we have a friend who lives there, so free lodging.  We went through the cost of it all and were about to pull the trigger when our friend decided he couldn't swing the expense.  Just because it's an affordable trip doesn't mean it's a GOOD IDEA, and that's what I struggle with.  We live in SC, for reference, so flights were involved.

A friend at work just invited me to TWO concerts!  The only reason I didn't immediately commit is because I am have conflicting plans for one show, and the other happens to be sold out.  I need to institute a substantial waiting period before I make any plans, clearly, or all my saving will be for nothing.

dj

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 243
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2018, 08:19:18 AM »
I hope everyone's ready. Let's do this!

TX2RVA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2018, 08:32:42 AM »
I'll join.  My goal is just to spend according to my budget categories.  Grocery spending is my Achilles heel -- MUST. NOT. EXCEED $400.  I also don't want to spend money on anything non-essential. 

Grocery Budget: $121.07/$400
No Spend Days: 0

dj

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 243
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2018, 08:49:10 AM »
I'll join.  My goal is just to spend according to my budget categories.  Grocery spending is my Achilles heel -- MUST. NOT. EXCEED $400.  I also don't want to spend money on anything non-essential. 

Grocery Budget: $121.07/$400
No Spend Days: 0

I've seen a lot of people concerned with groceries. Luckily, I'm not supporting a family or anything, but gaining weight (muscle and strength) is tough for me. I enjoy lifting weights and want to improve my physique in 2018. Nutrition is a HUGE part of that. And to properly feed my muscles, it's not super cheap. But I'm going to do what I can to limit my spending while keeping my goals in mind.

TX2RVA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2018, 11:26:17 AM »
I'll join.  My goal is just to spend according to my budget categories.  Grocery spending is my Achilles heel -- MUST. NOT. EXCEED $400.  I also don't want to spend money on anything non-essential. 

Grocery Budget: $121.07/$400
No Spend Days: 0

I've seen a lot of people concerned with groceries. Luckily, I'm not supporting a family or anything, but gaining weight (muscle and strength) is tough for me. I enjoy lifting weights and want to improve my physique in 2018. Nutrition is a HUGE part of that. And to properly feed my muscles, it's not super cheap. But I'm going to do what I can to limit my spending while keeping my goals in mind.

I hear you on the fitness front.  I'm on the opposite side right now, as today is day 1 of my cut.  Hopefully I"ll save money by eliminating all the extras and snacks. 

Good luck on your fitness goals!  Are you in the Strength and Fitness thread?

dj

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 243
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2018, 11:28:53 AM »
@TX2RVA I'll head over there and check it out!

TX2RVA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2018, 01:28:14 PM »
I'll join.  My goal is just to spend according to my budget categories.  Grocery spending is my Achilles heel -- MUST. NOT. EXCEED $400.  I also don't want to spend money on anything non-essential. 

Grocery Budget: $121.07/$400
No Spend Days: 0

Ha Murphy's Law... I should have known not to post this until after I talked to the mechanic.  So my car needs about $1,200 in repairs (if all goes well when they open the timing belt cover).  So I need to move $1,200 to my car repairs category in YNAB.  Fun times, fun times... 

Tig_

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 726
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #38 on: February 01, 2018, 01:28:59 PM »
Joining!  I didn't do Uber Frugal January (birthday month) so I'm definitely due.  I haven't done one of these challenges in awhile.

Currently about a week into a Whole30, so I anticipate slightly higher than usual grocery spending to continue, but much more healthy than usual.

Have 6 yoga classes left on my pass that expire towards the end of the month and one cycling class (doesn't expire until next year).

Have a vacation planned at the end of the month to New Orleans.  Flights already paid for (using miles) and the guy I'm going with booked a room/car.  TBD if he'll let me reimburse.  I will at least try to sneak paying for an expensive meal if not.  The week before I'm going to Atlanta for work - this should mostly be reimbursed (going one day early to see a friend).

krmit

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 36
  • Location: Portland
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #39 on: February 01, 2018, 02:10:46 PM »
I'm in, with a focus on grocery spending!

Two weeks ago I put down $375 to reserve our summer vegetable CSA (our second year with this farmer, excellent quality and introduced me to a ton of new and delicious veggies). Our average month is around $250. So this month I'm aiming to spend virtually nothing on groceries and work on eating down the pantry.  Exemptions will be milk and eggs, as our coffee/tea additive of choice and primary animal protein, respectively.

Mr. krmit is totally on board, which really excites me. A couple years ago I proposed a no-spend grocery month (inspired by Erica- https://www.nwedible.com/tag/eat-from-the-larder/) , and his response was along the lines of "why would we act like we're unemployed if we don't need to?" But this time he's totally on board and is even committed to cutting back on coffee/happy hour purchases this month, even though we count that in a separate category than groceries.

Should be fun. Looking forward to some creative meal planning this month.

Linda_Norway

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3015
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2018, 03:54:37 AM »
I hope that February isn't as expensive as January was. I had to pay a lot of bills in January and don't have as much left to invest as in the previous months.

Nancy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 855
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #41 on: February 02, 2018, 04:46:42 AM »
I'm in. I'm saving up for a trip, so I'd like to try out a new/lower budget. Mostly, I'll be cutting back on food spending due to my new cooking hobby.

CrustyBadger

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 443
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #42 on: February 02, 2018, 05:35:40 AM »
I'll join.  My goal is just to spend according to my budget categories.  Grocery spending is my Achilles heel -- MUST. NOT. EXCEED $400.  I also don't want to spend money on anything non-essential. 

Grocery Budget: $121.07/$400
No Spend Days: 0

Ha Murphy's Law... I should have known not to post this until after I talked to the mechanic.  So my car needs about $1,200 in repairs (if all goes well when they open the timing belt cover).  So I need to move $1,200 to my car repairs category in YNAB.  Fun times, fun times...

ARGH!!!

LindseyC

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
  • Location: Ontario
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #43 on: February 02, 2018, 06:02:02 AM »
Day One: No spend AND I earned an extra $40 (Bought $90, Sold $130) on some tables I had purchased to flip, an easy 20 minutes worth of work in total.

I wanted to spend no money on groceries this month and just use my grocery points for fresh foods. However, I have a few offers I could combine that would get me $30 off of $100 worth of groceries and I might take advantage of that to stockpile some consumables. 30% discount is hard to say no too, especially since it is on groceries not mindless shopping.

Carrie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 602
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #44 on: February 02, 2018, 06:49:16 AM »
Frugal day 1: filled up the car w gas using grocery discount card for 0.90 off per gallon (about $10 savings). This one tank will last all month. I filled up at the cheaper gas station on the other side of town but combined it with DS weekly music lesson so it was on the way. During lesson instead of popping by the grocery for misc, I parked the car and walked for 30 m, didn't spend money. Day one was also the beginning of dry February, so we'll see some savings there.

dj

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 243
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #45 on: February 02, 2018, 10:53:16 AM »
Day 1
Zero Spend

Day 2
$50 monthly ECSI loan paid today

We're off and running.

UPDATE
Seeing that 'zero spend' on day 1 has me a little more motivated.
In January I had I believe 8 days of No Spend.

Let's up the ante.... Another goal for February: 13 days No Spend.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 02:13:55 PM by dj »

flyAway

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Age: 39
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #46 on: February 02, 2018, 12:52:11 PM »
As of the 2nd:

Total Spend: $159/$3100 : kid sport fee, parking, and large bag of cat food.  The sales person was promoting this specific brand and gave me an extra $5 off, so it was a decent price and a nicer brand than I normally buy.  The parking, $3, was for an interview and I parked a 1/2mi away for a garage with cheaper rates. 
I really wanted a latte as a treat after the interview, but knowing I'd have to own up to it here, I refrained.  It would also stink if I missed my goal because of a stupid coffee.

No spend days: 0/9 : Hoping for tomorrow

TX2RVA: Ugh on the pricey car repair. :(

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1035
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #47 on: February 02, 2018, 04:51:03 PM »
I'm in. I'm SO frustrated with our food spending. We have multiple food allergies so getting some of the specialty foods we need is just a constant drain on the budget. In January I cooked more at home than I think I have at any time in the last year and we still spent over $600 on food. It's so so so frustrating. Every time I go to the grocery store with a plan, a list, no extra purchases, and every damn time my total is $150+ for the week. We don't buy ice cream or junk food or anything like that. ARGH.

Keep at it newgirl! It's frustrating for sure, but there is a major learning curve that often takes months to work itself out. Our family of five began with a $1000+ p/mo bill in August and have just gotten it down to about $750 p/month. And that is with meal planning, lists, coupons, weeding out excess, etc. I know there is still room for us to improve but it will take more months of work to figure it out. Good thing I like the challenge!

Count me in for February. I like having the accountability!

Thanks @EmFrugal :) It's actually relieving to hear that mastering the grocery spend can take some time... it seems like something that you should just be able to DO, you know? But I'm guessing I have a few blind spots in my grocery spending that I don't even see due to habit. Maybe I should post a copy of my next shopping receipt and let people have at it!
It's taken YEARS for me to unpick each habit & pattern, and we still have a long way to go. And, I love looking at receipts & menus & suggesting alternatives, so feel free to post & ask for help.

MaybeBabyMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1035
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #48 on: February 02, 2018, 04:54:00 PM »
I've spent $0 so far, but I was on a business trip, so that helped. ;-) I left a clear menu plan & a stocked fridge (plus gift cards for my husband and the kids) & the avoided buying any other groceries/meals. So, also proud that the organization & meal prep paid off. It will be hard this weekend, as jet lag makes me lazy & unmotivated, but I can do this!

I also made around $175, so that's a win! Need to mail off my ebay sales tomorrow.

Lichen

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 276
  • Location: PNW
  • We've got movie sign!
Re: Who wants to join me for Frugal February?
« Reply #49 on: February 02, 2018, 05:22:02 PM »
Ug, car repairs. My condolences. We need to get tires, but I'm putting it off until March. No good reason, just because I hate dealing with car stuff like looking for the best deal on tires.

Two days in and no spend. There is a slim chance that I may spend $5 on a pizza slice and drink this evening. It's astronomy club meeting, and if the kid wants to go out afterward with his friends, I won't say no. It'll depend on his energy level and whether he feels like peopling (introvert).

So far:

no spend 1/24
grocery 0/400
entertainment 0/100