Author Topic: UPDATE: Newbie to Mustachianism's Exploding Volcano of Wastefulness, 1st Month  (Read 16239 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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annajane83 and I.P. Daley, thank you for the recommendations. After deliberating for several hours (that's how I roll), I just signed up for Ting. Based on our usage the past week, when we were trying to use only Wi-Fi for data usage stuff when possible to project data needs, we should save at least $40 a month. Whew!
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 06:28:07 PM by kittenwhiskers »


  • Stubble
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I highly recommend cutting back on all the meat and dairy, you're really spending a ton on them.  How about challenging yourselves to cut back to eating meat to only a couple times a week?  Vegetarian protein sources are way cheaper.  My boyfriend and I spend approx. $300 combined a month on groceries!  I'm vegetarian, and he eats meat but not all that often (since we share a lot of the food anyway).  Things like beans/chickpeas, peanut butter, protein powder, eggs, etc are all super inexpensive sources of protein.  Even things like oatmeal and whole grains contain protein.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 53
Thanks! I will try that. For this upcoming week and the week after, we have some meat/carbs in the freezer that we can use up. Produce, dairy, and a couple of straggling condiments for $120 grocery spending this upcoming week. I found a coupon for a 3-lb bag of apples for $2!


  • Handlebar Stache
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  • Posts: 1027
  • Location: SF Bay Area
You should check out this thread. 

6 pages of really good advice and the original poster has made impressive progress!/


  • Magnum Stache
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  • Posts: 2709
  • Location: Florida
One thing that helped me the most when I was still learning how to shop effectively is this:

Meal planning for five to seven days - here is how and why, you decide on 5 to seven dishes and then check your pantry to see if you have all the ingredients for them.

If you already have all ingredients - no shopping required.
If you do not - then all you are allowed to purchase is the missing ingredients.

Forgot something? No problem - but also no buying! You now challenge yourself to come up with a different dish or play around with the one you had in mind.

If it isn't on your list - you do not buy it, force yourself to make do and challenge yourself to some creative cooking!

What this does is ensure that you are not stockpiling a bunch of stuff that was randomly picked up while you were out shopping and never gets used. It reduces your inventory and keeps you focused. If you are still learning to cook some of these dishes and you liked them - try them again. Next time you will be faster and it will turn out better - you build your confidence that way.
You may find that you like the creative side of cooking or you may be the type that focuses on efficiency and quickie meals - this strategy works for both.
In the beginning repetition and a solid routine are your best friend - then you go on to play:)

I'm an old hand at cooking and I still like to try out new things to the point that Mr. R. has to remind me to cook him one of his favorites again - it may be months before I cook it a second time. Keeps me entertained:)

Stashing Swiss-style

  • Bristles
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You are so good at dealing with all the advice being thrown at you!  Not easy to do and I think your attitude rocks.  I've turned around my grocery spending over the past 12 months (it takes time to change habits).  Now I cannot understand what the hell I was doing before!  I'm feeding 6 people - 3 adults (2 parents and an au pair) and three kids who never stop eating - and I live in one of the world's most expensive countries (Switzerland - eg $8/lb for mince, $8-10 per steak, 60 cents per egg, $4 for a loaf of bread.....)  Per head, I'm at max $300 per month and you're at $500 per head!!  Take the advice, but do it step by step.  You will continue to eat really great, healthy food (maybe even more so than now because home-made beats pre-made everytime) and be able to accelerate paying down debt. 

One thing that works well for me is to have at least one week per month when I spend as little as possible on groceries and then I get much more creative with what's in the fridge/freezer/larder AND I use up stuff much faster. 

Keep posting!


  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 377
iowajes: She signed up using my husband's SSN and since I manage all our finances I pay the bill. MIL knew we were really poor at the time and could not afford it, so it was dirty pool. That's how she rolls...

Yeah... that's called fraud.

I guess it's up to you if you want to accept it.

Yeah.  That's identify theft and it is a crime.  But, I can understand not wanting to turn MIL into the police.  I do think you might need to have a discussion with your husband about how you are going to handle MIL going forward.  Such behavior is NOT OK and as difficult as it can be it is important to establish appropriate boundaries.


  • Stubble
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  • Posts: 168
  • Location: United States
For home phone, I recommend you try Ooma. It's a VOIP service. Once you buy their box, you pay no monthly service fee, only taxes, which are generally significantly under $10 in most areas.

For cell phone service, if you want to keep your phones, you can download the RingTo app. You can even port your number. It lets you make and receive calls and send and receive texts for free, but only over wifi. It WILL NOT work without a wifi connection, and as such, isn't for everyone. Otherwise, you might try a service like Ting. It's basically a pay-as-you-go service. You pay only for what you use each billing cycle, and it's pretty reasonably priced. Fwiw, I'm not affiliated with Ting in any way. I use T-mobile with a developmentally disabled phone.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 58
Ok, sorry I'm hijaking this post, but I just want to enthusiastically endorse the idea of the "family cloth" or whatever it was called (pee rag) that jengod suggested. I just spent 6 months hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and used a bandana for #1 (I'm a lady) and it makes so much sense. I would rinse it out every day if possible, then run it through the laundry in town. This idea is pretty "out there" for our civil society, but most of we female thru-hikers do something like this already. Maybe I'll transition to this method at home :)

(p.s. don't leave TP in the wilderness. Pack it out for Christ's sakes!)