Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

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alliesmama4
Posts: 2763
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:57 pm

floridacatlover wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:22 pm
alliesmama4 wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:15 am
floridacatlover wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:00 pm


Janet, in case you don’t know, you can earn Amazon giftcards by using the Bing search engine when you sign up for Bing Rewards. Bing is owned by Microsoft. I have a very old msn email address that I use. I’m not sure if you have to have a Microsoft email (msn, Hotmail etc.). Bing has three bonus tasks to do each day (usually click on a website, do a quiz and answer a poll) to earn bonus points plus points for searching. I earn a $5 Amazon card every three weeks or month. So not a lot but easy money for me.

Florida Cat thanks for the information but I am already doing BING and that is where I received the Amazon gift cards from.. Janet Alliesmama
Janet, I’m glad that you are already using Bing. It’s my favorite way to earn giftcards. I used to do Swagbucks but quit when they made it much harder. I still do MyPoints.
Florida cat.. I gave up on Swagbucks too.. I also do My Points.. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

alliesmama4
Posts: 2763
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:25 am

Momof2Still wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:09 am
Janet- thanks for the well wishes, my ears are not aching as much, but I am taking my allergy meds which I hate due to making me groggy and just drained of energy. It sounds like you did great with your shopping on Amazon. I do the same thing. I will buy items off Amazon when I have a gift card, or when it is a better price than I can get around here (or I cannot find the item locally).

Like you, in addition to keeping a well-stocked pantry, I also make sure I have a few meal items that can be made quickly. While I do very much enjoy cooking, I sometimes just do not have the time to spend to make the planned on meal (this happens more during the school year when I am working all week) or just do not feel like cooking a meal from scratch.

Yes, I do feel the need to have a stocked pantry, and when I think of the times that money was very tight, it was a relief to not have to go pick up groceries, or just spend very little and not worry about having something healthy to eat. There are also times when I am just insanely busy and do not have time to grocery shop for the week. I also think a lot of my having a stocked pantry comes from my parents and grandparents. I was raised in a very rural area and we not only grew most of our food, but my dad also raised the animals for the majority of our meat. He also would go hunting. Now, I am not about to raise my own animals for food (I have no issues with those that do, it is just not something I am or will ever be able to do), go hunting, and I do not have the space for a garden, although I am thinking about trying to grow a few items next spring/summer/fall. My parents and grandparents had huge gardens for fruits and veggies- plus there were also nut and fruit trees (walnut and pecan). Both homes had large chest freezers with a variety of meats and veggies/fruits, my grandmother canned, so the pantries were well stocked, and when things were purchased, it was bought in bulk. I remember my grandmother always bought large bags (I think they were probably 25 lb. bags) of flour and would use the cloth to make dish-towels. Nothing ever went to waste and every little bit and piece was used in some capacity.

I was totaling the money spent for groceries so far this year, and the average RM and I have spent is $54.00 a week which puts us $34.00 below the USDA’s food plan cost for the Thrifty category and we eat very nice and healthy meals. I cannot even imagine spending $176.00 a week for food which is the amount listed under the liberal plan. I am very happy with the amount we are spending and still am maintaining a very well stocked pantry and freezer- just downsizing to make it more feasible for one or two instead of four people now that my children have families and homes of their own. I still need to use up lots of items so they do not eventually go to waste, so still plugging along at that.

Used up the one lonely hamburger bun yesterday to make a sandwich and opened the new pkg. for one bun to make another sandwich. Rabbits finished off the container of spring salad greens. I used up some of the red potatoes to make roasted potatoes to go with the pork roast we had for dinner. It was the type already seasoned, and I cooked both the meat and the potatoes in my roaster oven. Also steamed a pkg. of broccoli florets (in the microwave) to round out the dinner. We have left-overs of everything for a meal later in the week, and enough pork for two more meals. I am going to use the rest of the red potatoes to make a potato salad to have with lunch tomorrow- need to go ahead and do that before it gets too hot. I am making lunch to share with a friend. She likes to eat out, and I like to eat in. This way it works out for both of us. RM and I did go grocery shopping yesterday and spent $57.00 (still within the thrifty amount) and bought a huge pkg. of ground beef to make cheddar-bacon burgers to grill on the 4th and to put some pre-made patties in the freezer for later. Much more economical to make them myself than to buy the pre-made “gourmet” patties, and they taste just as good. The ground beef was a large chunk of the total of the shopping trip. I also bought a pkg. of herb-garlic chicken breast to replace the breasts I am planning on using this week for lunch and dinner. I have a butternut squash that needs using, so I am going to use my spiral cutter (I bought the spiral cutter several years ago when the spiral fries first became so popular to make fries for my family) to make “noodles” to go with a Parmesan-mushroom sauce (mushrooms already sautéed and in the freezer). I will toss a simple salad and make garlic bread to round out tonight’s meal. Lunch will be left-over pizza for RM and a lettuce wrap for me, to use up some of the left-overs as well as some of the Boston lettuce.

Off to see what else I can do while I have the will and the energy (really dislike having to take allergy meds).
Momof2 Hope your ears are vastly improved by now? I always look forward to what food you have and what you have made with it.

I am a little bit ticked off at Teddi. He will not eat his new dog food. The first day he took a few bites and then would not eat anything until late the following night. Then he went on strike. He went two days without eating his kibble. I will not give him treats when he does not eat so he just had water for two days. So out of concern for him I mixed some of my chicken in with his kibble and he scarfed it all down..The chicken and kibble are free with survey money and gift cards but at the same time he is wrecking my plans and budget. I cannot afford to buy him chicken all the time and it is not healthy for him to just eat chicken..I have a call out to his Nana.. She is in Texas and his Mom is on a ship in the Navy somewhere.

I made tuna salad with free tuna fish and baked beans with free canned pork and beans. Both bought with survey money/gift cards. I opened a canister of Maxwell House coffee yesterday. It is free. My caregiver bought it. I offer her coffee every morning and some days she does drink it and some days not.. So she brought me a canister "for the house." That was very thoughtful of her but not necessary..I have used up all of my cottage cheese, lettuce, and homemade ranch dressing. Ate the last fresh apple yesterday. Stopped at Dollar Tree on the way home from the DR and bough some kaiser rolls 8 for $1.00 and some Pringles and Stax chips. All bought with slush fund money. I am gluten intolerant and should not eat products made with wheat but there are times I do go off of my restrictions.. I used the rolls for tuna sandwiches and a tuna melt.Also for toast with peanut butter and jelly. Not bad 8 servings for 1.00 but I do need to get back to eating gluten free. Have I mentioned I am a Carbaoholic? lol. I had planned to use the rolls for my shredded BBQ chicken sandwich for the holiday but Teddi is now eating the chicken..

On the way home from the DRs office we also went to a branch of my bank in a different town. That saved me gas since I did not have to drive in to town to go to the bank here. The Dollar Tree and bank are on the same road on my way home from the Drs office.

I have used up more things but as time goes on I forget what. However I am doing well with the not buying any food until Aug 1st.. as I have said I can only use survey money or slush fund money to buy food with so even though I spent 3.00 at Dollar Tree I am still on target. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

Momof2Still
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon May 14, 2018 10:05 pm

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by Momof2Still » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:47 pm

alliesmama4 wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:25 am


I am a little bit ticked off at Teddi. He will not eat his new dog food. The first day he took a few bites and then would not eat anything until late the following night. Then he went on strike. He went two days without eating his kibble. I will not give him treats when he does not eat so he just had water for two days. So out of concern for him I mixed some of my chicken in with his kibble and he scarfed it all down..The chicken and kibble are free with survey money and gift cards but at the same time he is wrecking my plans and budget. I cannot afford to buy him chicken all the time and it is not healthy for him to just eat chicken..I have a call out to his Nana.. She is in Texas and his Mom is on a ship in the Navy somewhere.
Janet, yes my ears are better. Thanks. I am taking allergy meds about every 3 days and it takes about 2 for me not to feel groggy and tired. I took a tablet Wednesday night and am just now feeling like getting up and doing something other than read.

I am sorry Teddi is being stubborn. You may need to wean him off the “people” food by mixing a small portion with his new food and slowly reduce the “people” and increase the kibble. I know that is a pain, and you will need to refrigerate the mix until it is back to all kibble, but hopefully that will work. Good luck.

I too enjoy reading about what you are cooking and doing to save money. It motivates me to stay on the path. I had to buy a new printer that I did not plan for, but at least I had the money for it in large part to the no-spend challenge. I do not plan to go to the grocery store this weekend and just use what is in house. That will also assist with replacing the money I needed to use for the printer as well as use up most of the items that can spoil quickly. I want to reduce the amount of items I have in the fridge and keep it organized so that it is easier to clean and see what I have in there that needs using.

I am going to slowly organize my freezers. I took everything out of the kitchen freezer on the top shelf and the first rack of the door- I have a side-by- side fridge-freezer unit. I will concentrate on those items first. I tossed a partial bag (about 1/3 a loaf) of low calorie bread, and kept out a container of white gravy, and a pkg. of ham to incorporate into the meals this coming week (scalloped potatoes with ham and ham and cheese Panini(s)). I consolidated several small portions of green, red, and yellow peppers and will use those in this week’s meals too (vegetable fajitas). I made three other lists- one of foods that need using within the month, foods that need using within the next couple of months and also a list to use as an inventory for freezer items that were recently bought or made and frozen, but that were packaged for longer storage.

I cannot even remember all that I used up this week. I know I used the butternut squash to make spirals out of to substitute in the place of noodles to go with the Parmesan and mushroom sauce (used sauteed mushrooms from the freezer)- that turned out really well. I ate that for lunch a couple of days in addition to the original night for dinner. I sautéed the remaining butternut squash with some butter, garlic, and onion and had that as a side one night- still have some left to use with dinner tonight. I used 3 of the 4 plantains- the last one still is not ripe. RM and I had left-over pork loin, the potatoes, and broccoli along with the plantains for dinner last night and there is still enough pork loin to use in dinner tomorrow night (Hibachi style pork). I will just make the recipe minus the meat and then add the cubed cooked pork loin in time for it to get hot. I used the rest of the green cabbage along with a couple of carrots, part of a green pepper, and some onion to make freezer slaw. I am not sure I am going to like it (a texture issue), but I needed to use the cabbage and the recipe was highly recommended. I will pull one of the three bags it made from the freezer later in the week. We used up the chicken from lunch on Tuesday- used some in a salad that night, and then made a wrap that lasted two lunches for RM. I ate the left-over squash with the butternut mixture, so that is gone.

I made 18 “gourmet” burgers on the 4th (bacon and cheddar and blue cheese). I packaged up 13 of them and grilled the rest along with a few hot dogs. We still have a couple burgers and the hot dogs- that will be lunch tomorrow along with the partial bag of fries that were on the top shelf of the freezer that needs using.

Other than the bread, did not waste anything, but had and still have things to use within the next couple of days or I will be throwing things out.

I have my menu plan done for next week- using up lots of freezer/fridge stuff. Tonight is pizza night (at least for RM). I am making Focaccia bread too so that I can better utilize the oven while the pizza is baking. RM and I will use that to make the Panini(s) next week. Well off to place the bread on the baking sheet for the second rise and then to make the pizza. I need to clean the rabbit cage and litter box, so it looks to be an exciting Friday night around here, but that is fine since it has rained all afternoon and is still cloudy out.

alliesmama4
Posts: 2763
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:57 pm

Momof2Still wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:47 pm
alliesmama4 wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:25 am


I am a little bit ticked off at Teddi. He will not eat his new dog food. The first day he took a few bites and then would not eat anything until late the following night. Then he went on strike. He went two days without eating his kibble. I will not give him treats when he does not eat so he just had water for two days. So out of concern for him I mixed some of my chicken in with his kibble and he scarfed it all down..The chicken and kibble are free with survey money and gift cards but at the same time he is wrecking my plans and budget. I cannot afford to buy him chicken all the time and it is not healthy for him to just eat chicken..I have a call out to his Nana.. She is in Texas and his Mom is on a ship in the Navy somewhere.
Janet, yes my ears are better. Thanks. I am taking allergy meds about every 3 days and it takes about 2 for me not to feel groggy and tired. I took a tablet Wednesday night and am just now feeling like getting up and doing something other than read.

I am sorry Teddi is being stubborn. You may need to wean him off the “people” food by mixing a small portion with his new food and slowly reduce the “people” and increase the kibble. I know that is a pain, and you will need to refrigerate the mix until it is back to all kibble, but hopefully that will work. Good luck.

I too enjoy reading about what you are cooking and doing to save money. It motivates me to stay on the path. I had to buy a new printer that I did not plan for, but at least I had the money for it in large part to the no-spend challenge. I do not plan to go to the grocery store this weekend and just use what is in house. That will also assist with replacing the money I needed to use for the printer as well as use up most of the items that can spoil quickly. I want to reduce the amount of items I have in the fridge and keep it organized so that it is easier to clean and see what I have in there that needs using.

I am going to slowly organize my freezers. I took everything out of the kitchen freezer on the top shelf and the first rack of the door- I have a side-by- side fridge-freezer unit. I will concentrate on those items first. I tossed a partial bag (about 1/3 a loaf) of low calorie bread, and kept out a container of white gravy, and a pkg. of ham to incorporate into the meals this coming week (scalloped potatoes with ham and ham and cheese Panini(s)). I consolidated several small portions of green, red, and yellow peppers and will use those in this week’s meals too (vegetable fajitas). I made three other lists- one of foods that need using within the month, foods that need using within the next couple of months and also a list to use as an inventory for freezer items that were recently bought or made and frozen, but that were packaged for longer storage.

I cannot even remember all that I used up this week. I know I used the butternut squash to make spirals out of to substitute in the place of noodles to go with the Parmesan and mushroom sauce (used sauteed mushrooms from the freezer)- that turned out really well. I ate that for lunch a couple of days in addition to the original night for dinner. I sautéed the remaining butternut squash with some butter, garlic, and onion and had that as a side one night- still have some left to use with dinner tonight. I used 3 of the 4 plantains- the last one still is not ripe. RM and I had left-over pork loin, the potatoes, and broccoli along with the plantains for dinner last night and there is still enough pork loin to use in dinner tomorrow night (Hibachi style pork). I will just make the recipe minus the meat and then add the cubed cooked pork loin in time for it to get hot. I used the rest of the green cabbage along with a couple of carrots, part of a green pepper, and some onion to make freezer slaw. I am not sure I am going to like it (a texture issue), but I needed to use the cabbage and the recipe was highly recommended. I will pull one of the three bags it made from the freezer later in the week. We used up the chicken from lunch on Tuesday- used some in a salad that night, and then made a wrap that lasted two lunches for RM. I ate the left-over squash with the butternut mixture, so that is gone.

I made 18 “gourmet” burgers on the 4th (bacon and cheddar and blue cheese). I packaged up 13 of them and grilled the rest along with a few hot dogs. We still have a couple burgers and the hot dogs- that will be lunch tomorrow along with the partial bag of fries that were on the top shelf of the freezer that needs using.

Other than the bread, did not waste anything, but had and still have things to use within the next couple of days or I will be throwing things out.

I have my menu plan done for next week- using up lots of freezer/fridge stuff. Tonight is pizza night (at least for RM). I am making Focaccia bread too so that I can better utilize the oven while the pizza is baking. RM and I will use that to make the Panini(s) next week. Well off to place the bread on the baking sheet for the second rise and then to make the pizza. I need to clean the rabbit cage and litter box, so it looks to be an exciting Friday night around here, but that is fine since it has rained all afternoon and is still cloudy out.
Momof2.. Good to hear you are improving. A while back I had a sinus infection and the meds knocked me for a loop too.. Hope you continue to improve..Frustrating when you want to do something but medication does not allow..

Regarding Teddi.. He is a mess..lol. He came to me spoiled and he is still spoiled.. I have tried not giving him anything but kibble and no treats etc..he just would not eat his kibble. This new kibble was suppose to be made just for his breed Shih Tzu's. They have tiny mouths and tiny, tiny teeth so not easy to chew things. I have to cut his baby carrots up in to small slices too otherwise he will not eat them. ..I finally gave him a little chicken with the kibble and he gobbled it down. Now back to not eating anything for 24 hours unless it has chicken mixed in and now he picks the chicken out of the kibble. I would not mind just giving him chicken but I worry about his health just eating chicken..

I need to take things out of my freezer and see what I have. I have a mental list but that is scary..lol.

Keep up the good work and hope you feel better soon. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

Dgflorida
Posts: 2375
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2015 8:10 pm

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by Dgflorida » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:44 am

Janet, I get concerned about feeding unapproved food to my cat. The vet says Friskies is junk food. But my cat likes it and seems ok on it. I offered her some vet approved food(costly) and she refused to eat it. So I understand your concerns. Good luck.

alliesmama4
Posts: 2763
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:31 am

Dgflorida wrote:
Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:44 am
Janet, I get concerned about feeding unapproved food to my cat. The vet says Friskies is junk food. But my cat likes it and seems ok on it. I offered her some vet approved food(costly) and she refused to eat it. So I understand your concerns. Good luck.
Thanks. I know what you mean. When I was at the vet's they sold me a can of dog food for him that was approved.. 3.00 and he took one sniff and walked away.. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

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