Finance Friday: January, Part Two

We’re nearing the end of the Uber Frugal Month Challenge, and my budget is well in line.

Wins for the past two weeks:

Frugal foods: I stuck to my meal plan for all my meals, including breakfast and lunch at work each day.

Snow biking!

Frugal fitness: I walked around the lakes with a friend. I walked to the drugstore for a prescription (2.1 mile round trip). I walked to the grocery store (4.5 mile round trip) and carried my groceries in my hiking pack. My shoulders could tell I hadn’t carried more than dog treats, small snacks, and water for quite some time 😉

Frugal friendships: Walking the lakes with my friend is something we both try to do whenever we see each other, but this time we avoided coffee shops and I brought my own tea.

I saved money by planning ahead — since I’m not spending on wants instead of true needs, I didn’t have the option to pick up a juice at the grocery store if I was thirsty. I took my water bottle and dried nuts everywhere. I planned all my meals, prepared them on Saturday, and just reheated for meal time. I bought only what I needed for those meals: 2 dozen eggs, carrots, celery, 2 grapefruit, one package of kiwi, cheese, and cream. A year ago this method would have made me crazy, having to eat the same thing days in a row. When my son first moved away for college, I found it very challenging to start cooking for just myself without getting bored. After nearly a month of eating this way, however, I’ve found it much easier than I would have imagined. Streamlining my food saves me cash, but more surprisingly, saves me a lot of time and decision-making energy.

On to my Challenge progress!

Six months from now I’ll be eating these with gusto

Eliminate spending entirely on:

  1. salon visits – $0
  2. alcohol for home consumption (currently $20-30/month) – $0
  3. bath/grooming products other than bar soap, toothpaste/floss – $0
  4. DRIVING unless I’m on call – erm, not so much. Driving less overall, yes. Not driving at all on my days off and walking instead, yes. Commuting…..noooope. 
  5. buying meals at work – $0
  6. buying coffee out just to buy coffee – $0
  7. going to shows (music) – $0
  8. clothing that wasn’t directly related to winter biking necessities – $0
  9. haircuts for the kiddo – $0
  10. mindlessly shopping at spendy food stores without making a meal plan for the week – $0


Reduce spending on:

  1. Groceries – so far my total is $38.09
  2. Utilities – I’ve reduced gas usage, but won’t know how much my bill is affected until next month. My electric usage may be the same due to using an oil-filled electric radiator in the living room for part of the day when I’m home. 


Say Yes:

  1. Completed: 2 day trip to take my son back to college – assumed spend of $300 including all gasoline, lodging, and food. $228.12
  2. Completed: snowshoe rental and hike with a longtime friend – assumed spend less than $20 (website doesn’t list rental rates and I’m unsure if my address qualifies for free admission to nature area) – $0 – walked around the lakes instead
  3. Completed: monthly outing with longtime friend(s) – usually a cafe – assumed spend less than $10 – $8

    Sunset ride last summer (yep it’s that time of year that I need reminders summer DOES exist)


I’m still happy with my progress.  The occasional temptation to “pick up something on the way home” is completely gone, which I hadn’t realized until I needed to wait for a prescription at Walgreens and didn’t even think about picking up chocolate 🙂


How is your Uber Frugal January going?

Happy Friday!


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