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.
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!
Eliminate spending entirely on:
- salon visits – $0
- alcohol for home consumption (currently $20-30/month) – $0
- bath/grooming products other than bar soap, toothpaste/floss – $0
- 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.
- buying meals at work – $0
- buying coffee out just to buy coffee – $0
- going to shows (music) – $0
- clothing that wasn’t directly related to winter biking necessities – $0
- haircuts for the kiddo – $0
- mindlessly shopping at spendy food stores without making a meal plan for the week – $0
Reduce spending on:
- Groceries – so far my total is $38.09
- 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.
- Completed: 2 day trip to take my son back to college – assumed spend of $300 including all gasoline, lodging, and food. $228.12
- 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
- Completed: monthly outing with longtime friend(s) – usually a cafe – assumed spend less than $10 – $8
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?