Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

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alliesmama4
Posts: 6822
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 »

April 1st, the first day of my really big push to be as frugal as possible. In the past food had been one of the items that I was allowing myself a little bit of "its ok to buy" if it went over budget however I really need to save as much as possible to buy my garden plants, two almond trees, and at least one apple tree. So am going to really be extra frugal this month. My food budget is one of only a few areas where the budget is not a fixed amount. I do set an amount but allow myself to go over if there is a good sale and the money is usually covered by my slush fund or money gleaned from other areas where I was able to cut a few dollars. Yesterday I was working on my food prep for my Easter dinner. I made faux potato salad. Instead of using the whole bag I used part of it and kept one cup from that to make a side salad for lunch today. The recipe called for cauliflower, radishes, and carrots with a vinaigrette type dressing. I have been seeking out new recipes to make things with what I have in the house..I usually planned meals or shopping around loss leaders now they will be planned around what is in the house. Since I am out of baking powder I found a recipe for Irish soda bread using baking soda and buttermilk. The buttermilk was bought to make muffins but need baking powder..the recipe called for raisins and caraway seeds but I left the caraway seeds out to use when I make rye bread and saved the raisins for rice pudding. I have dates that have been way past their best by date forever and a day but they are still good so I subbed them in for the raisins. Since doggie nephew is no longer having home cooked food I am going to make a small rice pudding using the rice that I had cooked for him and some of the raisins I did not use in the Irish soda bread. The rule of the day is substitute, modify, and use it up. Hoping that April will be my most frugal month this year. I was up at at 3:45 AM this morning due to my usual insomnia so I made the Irish soda bread. I had some with day old coffee for a very early breakfast. It was delicious. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

Dgflorida
Posts: 4381
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:10 pm

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by Dgflorida »

Wow. Great frugal use of food, Janet.

alliesmama4
Posts: 6822
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 »

Dgflorida wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:51 am
Wow. Great frugal use of food, Janet.
Thanks DgFlorida.. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

alliesmama4
Posts: 6822
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 »

April 2, Day two of austere April. I have been going over my budget and decided I will have at least $12.00 for groceries this month that I had not planned on. I have recently made $12.00 cash from surveys. I also have accumulated gift cards from surveys for Amazon and Walmart. Have been going over cook books and on line looking for new recipes that will use up what I have on hand instead of buying things.My parents grew up poor and worked hard all of their lives and when they died they had accumulated a fortune. At least by middle class standards. However they did have to work at it. Dad retired at 57 and had a lake house in Minnesota that they went to every year from then until his late 70's.. He and Mom went there for the summers. Mom retired from nursing at 62 and she traveled extensively abroad more so after Dad died. They both worked hard to achieve their goals. I feel sad and angry at myself for the money I have spent and should have been save. However I cannot go back and change a thing. They lived through the depression, WWII, and many up and down economic periods but due to being frugal they came out on top. Dad never used a credit card or borrowed money he paid cash for everything including his last home which he wrote out a check for $50,000. I sold that home 15 years later for $112,000 in order to help pay for my current home.. The money was split 3 ways between my DB and DS. I used my inheritance to buy this home closer to my DB and his children but it was a big mistake. They still did not visit me any more than they did at the other house and even less as time went on.. So this house as big and lovely as it is was a huge mistake. As I said I cannot go back and change a thing but I can try to be more careful and frugal with everything I spend. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

alliesmama4
Posts: 6822
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 »

Forgot to mention that since my baking powder is no longer viable I had planned on buying some this week since a lot of my quick bread and muffin recipes require it. Then I was thinking that it will take a big bite out of my $12.00. I need to keep that money to buy protein, fresh dairy, and fresh veggies..Somewhere I had read you can make your own at home. I looked up the recipe and it is very simple with the combination of cream of tartar and baking soda..woo hoo.

I liked the soda bread a lot and since it is in a loaf pan style, not free form, it will make for a quick alternative to making bread with yeast. I am going to sub rye flour for part of the recipe instead of it being all all purpose flour. Will also use some of the saved caraway seeds to give it more of a rye bread flavor. I am glad I did make the other loaf but it is more like a tea or dessert bread. Now that I know what the taste and texture should be it will be easier to decide if this will be a better bread to make for a quick sub to yeast bread. It was about 45 min from start to finish making and baking it.

Dinner will be a ham, asparagus, onion, and cheese quiche.. I think I am going to use up a lot of the ham from the freezer by cutting it up in to smaller pieces. ie quiche and ham salad. Lunch will be an omelet with some of the ham and the potatoes that had an over abundance of pepper when the pepper grinder top came off and in to my cheesy potatoes. Whatever is left will be made into ham salad. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

Momof2
Posts: 74
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:42 pm

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by Momof2 »

Janet- I know that you will be successful with your big push to be frugal. I understand completely the conflict between buying groceries and using what is on hand. I have such a problem with this. I could save a ton of money by just using what is on hand, but I do enjoy grocery shopping. I am trying to incorporate the two- use what is on hand and allowing myself to buy some things to incorporate with the on-hand items.

I am hoping that April will be a little less busy than the last month or two. I cannot believe that there is less than 8 weeks left in this school year. As for being frugal, I have been too busy to spend too much money. I even managed to stay out of the grocery store the last few weeks of the month, so my pantry challenge was a large success- I did not even spend money on fresh fruits and/or veggies or bread, milk, etc. I went grocery shopping on Saturday although I did not use anything from that shop until yesterday (Easter) which was also April. RM and I had a roasted chicken- we still have turkey in the freezer left from Thanksgiving, and ham in the freezer left from Christmas, so I did not want to add any more of those items to the freezer. We will use the left-over this week. I do not think I can cram one more item into either of my freezers.

Janet, I read your post about how economical it is to buy a rotisserie chicken, and I agree. RM and I get at least 4 to 5 meals each from one. I was thinking that if I lived alone, one would last me the whole week plus lunches for a couple of days- that would certainly cut down my grocery output.

I did have a little food waste last month. I tossed out a partial pkg. of mini bagels I had to take out of the freezer to make room for something else, and we never ate any of them, so out they went. I also tossed out a partial pkg. of both hamburger buns and hot dog buns- they just got really dried out in the fridge. I also tossed out 3 tangerines that dried out and a papaya I completely forgot about.

I did manage to salvage a banana (added some bananas from the freezer to make a Banana-Walnut with Lemon bread- very good), and a couple of scallions (put them in an omelet this morning), two pkgs. Cream cheese (made a cheesecake for Easter), and the rest of a pkg. of Romaine lettuce (minus 4 to 5 outer leaves that were bad) and paired that along with some of the left-over chicken for lunch today. I made a home-made Raspberry Vinaigrette. For a snack, I used up some celery that has been in the fridge for a while stuffed with an herbed cream cheese (used a pkg. of cream cheese some garlic powder, some parsley, and some thyme).
Tonight’s dinner will use up a pkg. of Salmon (Grilled Rosemary Salmon), a pkg. of asparagus (steamed asparagus with garlic and lemon), and some salad greens, mini peppers, some cherry tomatoes, cucumbers (tossed salad) along with more homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette.

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