I missed last week, sorry ... sometimes life just gets in the way of blogging!
I think it might be safe to say the Pantry Challenge is over and done after my stop at Whole Foods and The Fresh Market this past week ... not that I bought a LOT of anything in particular, but I did buy stuff that wasn't for immediate consumption. Oh. Yeah. And the stop at Costco the previous week ... oops. But overall, I think this month I will have spent a bit less than previous months when it came to food ... I'm going to do a quick calculation next Saturday which is the VERY LAST DAY OF THE FIRST MONTH OF 2015. Does that NOT freak anyone else that it's already going in to the 2nd month of the new year? Is it time to stop saying Happy New Year to those you haven't seen or spoken to in the past 4 weeks?? Yikes.
I'm working more on meal planning and even more on Meal Prepping ...basically, prepping stuff in advance so that I don't have to do as much cooking during the week. Not that I mind cooking during the week, but after a long day at the office, sometimes, somewhat unpleasant day, I don't always feel like making anything and will just be happy with a bag of microwave popcorn (thanks Costco) or a plate of nachos with cheese, salsa and sour cream ...but that's really not a very healthy way to end the day, you know?? So I try to avoid it but doing a little more meal prep on Saturday and Sunday ... it was really nice having those 3 day weekends as it wasn't so bad taking 3 to 4 hours one day to prep ... lets see how it works THIS weekend with it only being a 2 day weekend.
Hubby is traveling this week ...so I really need to stay focused and not convince the kids to go out to eat with me, or go shopping (since I don't have to run home and get dinner or something together as no one 'expects' a meal from me other than Hubby) ... BUT maybe I'll hit up the gym, go for a bike ride OR even go for a quick walk/run like I did one night last week. On a side note, that little walk/run I did? I felt so much less fluffy the next day, mentally, knowing that I finally got up and MOVED. Pretty pathetic, isn't it? Only a little over a mile but still...
Ok. Enough rambling ... here's some of the Frugal Activities we did these past 2 weeks:
1. Gassed the hemi up at Costco and paid $2.49 a gallon ... since I have to use premium, I'm still paying $3.50 or so a gallon ... THIS made me thrilled and I was wishing I could have squeezed a couple more gallons in (this was 2 weeks ago and I still have a 1/4 of tank of gas)
2. Planned ahead when I took my dad to visit his girlfriend in the hospital by packing myself a protein shake, apple and water bottle in a small cooler. He, of course, wanted something substantial to eat so I did the drive through at Arbys for him ... OMG it was $10 for his meal! Glad I don't like Arbys myself to feel compelled to order something for myself! (honestly, he had to eat, he's diabetic and his blood sugar drops quick if he doesn't eat within certain time frames).
3. Paid the rest of my bills online for the month. Still need to hop on and get the balances on the cards I have.
4. Even though I say the Pantry Challenge is over, it's not 100% over just yet in that I really want to avoid the stores and keep plugging away with what we have on hand more than ever ... I might try a reduced spending on the groceries for February too just to see how I can do when I reset my mind to believe I'm in the Pantry Challenge mode again ... the way my brain works, it just might work!
5. Did my own nails. Not a huge deal, but definitly saved me $50 as I just can't do a normal pedi/manicure ... I always go for the spa treatment and then I'm disappointed.
6. Held off another week of getting my hair cut and colored. Not sure why I'm doing this as I have a gift card from Hubby that should pay for the cut and color ... however, he gave me the card to do as a day at the spa (massage, facial, mani/pedi, hair cut and style NO color) ... IF I did it this way, I'd probably still pay $150 in addition to the color ... then again, I'm playing around with letting Hubby or one of the kids color my hair ... I need to think about that more as I'm not sure I'm ready to go one color again ;-)
7. Ahem. Tweezed my own eyebrows instead of getting a wax. That saved me about $20 ... this was NO fun and honestly, not sure how much that $20 is worth to me at the end of the day ... and yes, I KNOW, that is NOT a Frugal thought ...
8. Made myself a card to put in my wallet with my debit card that says "debt IS an emergency" in order to reinforce my commitment to reduce spending dramatically and pay off everything we owe money on ...
9. Held off buying beer. Finally broke down and bought a 12 pack of Coors Light on sale for $11.99. I drank them all over the weekend. Held off buying any this weekend so far ...
10. Watched a few movies on cable TV ... I figure if I'm paying all this money for Hubby to watch his car shows, I'm watching chic flicks ... just hate that it consumes 2 hours of my time doing so!
11. Took Uber for a ride to a 50th Birthday party ... granted, it costs $10 each way BUT it certainly was more responsible than driving while drinking AND way less expensive then taking a taxi c6.ab!
And of course, that full disclosure of the NOT so Frugal Activities these past 2 weeks:
1. Out to dinner one night, spur of the moment ... and actually, we only spent $57 so I guess it wasn't so very bad, although the food choices weren't the best that I could have made ...
2. Costco the 2nd time around ... AND I was still out of TP and paper towel (not frugal, is it??)
3. Aldis - should have been frugal but ended up buying 10 cans of black beans and 8 cans of corn, tons of veggies (not bad) and a bunch of other things ... total spent was $102! AT ALDIS!!
4. Emergency vet visit for the little white cat. It wasn't an emergency after all, but I was worried that she might have come down with the really bad upper respiratory infection that is going around neighborhoods right now ... apparently she just has some really irritated eyes, no infection ... AND I suppose the Frugal part would be that I mentioned my name and the attorney I work with and he gave me a discount on the office visit (I didn't do it to intentionally get 50% off but, heck, it was nice!)
5. Bought a couple bottles of water. Yes, glass bottles. You know what that means right? $2.39 a bottle. I drink it in place of booze to make myself feel special. Is there something wrong with that?
6. Bought a bottle of wine for the birthday girl ... caved in and bought a 2nd bottle for ME ... when really, I should have just grabbed a bottle of wine ALREADY in my wine rack and grabbed a recycled gift bag from the guest room ... would have saved me $50 at the end of the trip!
All in all, not a real bad two week review ... but still ... I am aiming to get the debt more under control all around the household, declutter and build up a better emergency fund. However, I keep telling myself, debt IS an emergency!
Looking forward to sharing over at The Money Propeller and The Prudent Homemaker ... go check them both out!