Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

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alliesmama4
Posts: 2955
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:43 am

Momof2Still wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:31 pm
It has been a few days since I last posted. While I have not been to the grocery store since the 1st (not planned, just has worked out that way), I have spent some money. I went thrift store shopping with a friend and while I was not planning on spending, I found several items that are on my long term shopping list (a list of items I need or will need soon, but can wait for a really good price). I live in a small condo, and the sofa I had was too large for it, old and showing wear, and too large for sofa covers to fit properly. Anyway, I found a small sofa that matches the colors of my large throw rug, in great shape, very clean, and priced for $37.00 (well within what I was willing to pay for a sofa in good condition) on sale for ½ off. So for $17.50, I have a sofa that is much more suitable for my living area space. RM had found a dining area table a few months ago that is a light wood (I think pine) that seats 4, but the sides fold down easily so that it seats 2 and takes up less space. It cost $5.00. We were just using a couple of fold up chairs that I already owned until I or he could find something we liked that matched the table. I found 2 chairs (there were actually 3) that are white with the seats the pine color that match my table beautifully. They were $15.00 each, more on the high end of what I wanted to pay, but they are very sturdy. And the best part is that the back of each is the same pattern as the bar stools my friend gave me when I first moved into my home. I also found about 10 dresses that I really liked and looked in new condition for $3.00 each. One of the dresses still had the original price tag on it ($70.00). It is a very nice dress, but I would not pay that much for a dress, or not one that is not for a very special occasion.

Janet- I think we should be comfortable in our homes, so if we need to spend a little for that to happen, then we spend- obviously within reason. I mean I could certainly continue to function without buying any of the above, but hey it gives me pleasure for my furnishings to look a little nice and it makes it more "homey." In addition to the above, I also found a beautiful tea set (at a different thrift store). It is not too fancy, but it is quite lovely. I have always wanted one, and for $6.99 the price was right. It has the tea pot, a sugar bowl, creamer, salt and pepper shaker and 4 cups. There were no saucers, but I found 3 that match it beautifully (think silver-gray color pattern) for $.25 each. I will look for a fourth, but since it is just myself (sometimes RM), it is fine. I console myself with it is things that make me happy, and I waited to buy at the most economical price. In addition, it keeps things that I really like and appreciate out of the landfill, and the proceeds are for a good cause (Goodwill and Humane Society thrift stores). At the second thrift store, I also found three more dresses ($6.99 each, but one was ½ off), a pair of pants, a pair of shorts, and a black and white sweater. I wear dresses a lot- at least 6 times a week, and usually 7. I prefer them to pants or shorts (I do like skirts too). Sweaters are a must as it is freezing in my office and I do not have any control over the temperature. I keep a blanket, a spare sweater or jacket, and a pair of wool socks in my office at all times.

Dgflorida, I also freeze peppers. As a matter of fact, I think they are multiplying in the freezer. I am slowly organizing my freezer, and in each section I have found a bag (or several bags) of sliced peppers. When they start to look like they are going to wrinkle before I can use them, I slice them and stick them in the freezer. I used a rather large bag last week in veggie fajitas.

Jackielou- I would love to have a basement. Living in Florida, it is just too hot to keep a large supply of onions and potatoes and while I do have a dehydrator, I do not have a mat so I think the onions would fall right through the grate(s). I also think the smell would completely overwhelm all living breathing things in the house. I am certain RM would not appreciate the smell. I do not think outside is really an option here due to the high humidity. I sometimes use my crockpot or roaster on the porch, but I am hesitant to use the dehydrator.

Janet, I am glad you were able to pick up a few groceries. I am still plugging away at using what is in house, but I will have to go to the grocery store soon, probably Saturday since that is my “normal” grocery shopping day. I have now opened the last bag of all-purpose flour and sugar. The only fresh veggies I have are onions, garlic, and celery (only using this for my rabbit). I am completely out of fresh fruits. I have canned and frozen fruits and veggies, as well as several cans of dehydrated, so no danger of starving in the near future, but for the sake of enjoyment, I want some fresh.
Momof2 you found some great bargains in furniture and clothing..I love going to antique stores and resale shops to find furnishings for my home. I feel my house is my sanctuary and worth investing money in things that I need or want.I have not done that in years since I do have a lot of stuff now. Some inherited from my Aunts and my parents. I do enjoy reading about your accomplishments. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

alliesmama4
Posts: 2955
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:38 am

I am enjoying some lower payments for auto and home insurance. I have a Drivewise computer in my car and it allows Allstate to monitor my driving and they lowered my monthly payments by about $1.77 a month for auto and for some reason home by about almost $5.00..woo hoo...lol. However that allows me to start buying half and half again for my coffee.. The price has gone up by about .20 cents but I can afford that.. I feel life gives us challenges and pleasures and if a little bit of extra for half and half for my coffee makes my day go for it.To me being frugal does not mean sitting around in a dark room eating food that is not enjoyable. It means cutting costs where able and practical to enjoy things in life. I just do not want to buy things for the sake of buying and having something new all the time. I enjoy my things and I am happy with them.

I lowered by satellite dish programming to the lowest level and now saving $22.00 a month. I could lower it even more if I wanted to get rid of their recording devise. I like to tape my programs and see them when I want to and can fast forward through the commercials.. Maybe buying my own would be more practical but I like the ease of operation of using their recorder.

I cooked a large quantity of ground chuck last night and will be making small batches of meat for tacos that will be used for taco salad as well as a couple of tacos. Some of the meat is being combined with fresh mushrooms, onion, and cream cheese and will be served over the last of my egg noodles from Italy. I am gluten intolerant but can use products from European countries. I am going to make enough for two sandwiches for sloppy joes and the rest is going in to a hamburger soup made with a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. By cooking in small batches I get variety and a of lot bang for my buck.

I have my latest rotisserie chicken on the stove in a pan of water to heat it through.. The meat is easier to remove when it is warm. I can usually pick enough meat off of the bones to make a meal for Teddi. I combine it with rice. The rest will be made in to enchiladas. I have a packet of enchilada seasoning to use as well as some corn tortillas. I am going to cook some pinto beans and mash them up to add to some of the chicken to stretch the chicken further.

Yesterday I cooked a lb of pork sausage. I used 10 oz to make ketogenic sausage gravy and fried 3 patties to put in the freezer for breakfast sandwiches. I will make almond flour biscuits to go with the gravy. The cost about $1.00 a serving for one week of meals. Some year I need to sit down and really track how much I actually spend making a meal but I am not that nuts right now...lol. Lunch will be tuna salad made with free tuna from Amazon with some pickled jalapeno peppers in a gluten free wrap. I need to use the wraps up.They are left over from when I made fajitas. Dinner will be the ground beef and mushrooms over egg noodles with broccoli on the side.. I have used up all of my fresh apples and have been enjoying fresh blueberries as a snack. I have about 12 days to get through before I can buy any food except using slush fund money.. I should be ok..Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

alliesmama4
Posts: 2955
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:13 am

I made some changes in my menu to stretch things further.. I made hamburger soup with some of the ground chuck and a bag of mixed veggies from the freezer. I had a little bit of spaghetti sauce left from the night before and a small portion of pizza sauce left in the fridge so I threw that in the pot.. I always have dehydrated celery and onion and added them as well. I used the chicken broth that I made when I was heating the chicken up to remove the meat. The soup was really good. I froze several pints for later and kept a container out for lunches for a few days.

I used the last of the chicken to make Parmesan chicken. I had spaghetti sauce leftover from the other day so I put the shredded chicken in a casserole dish with some f the sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and bake it for 20 min. Will not win any awards but it was tasty and used the last of the chicken. I still have a portion left for dinner tonight.

Not sure if I mentioned I am using up the last of my Miracle Noodles? They are low carb and made from a root from Japan. I used one packet to make spaghetti with meat sauce the other day and cooked a package of spinach noodles also.. I ate that with just butter, salt, and pepper since I was eating it with the Parmesan chicken.. Previously I was going to make Parmesan sauce to go with it,.

I made cornmeal muffins the other day to go with my soup. I have just a tiny bit of cornmeal leftover so I will have to find a way to use it up without buying more.

Teddi is becoming a pain again with his eating.. He is now just picking the chicken out of the rice. I was going to buy some chicken thighs to cook for him but have decided to switch over to ground chuck and rice to see if that will inspire him to eat more of the rice so my plans for some of my menu items have changed.. However I do have lots of food to work with for myself.. Teddi it the real problem. I still have 10 days to get through without buying food and it is close to the wire as far as having money to buy things with.. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

alliesmama4
Posts: 2955
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:15 pm

I have been munching my way through the fridge and pantry. Cannot remember everything but have made a yummy pimento cheese spread using canned cheese from my emergency supplies.. I have several cases of cheddar cheese to use up.. Made a batch of pimento cheese using cream cheese, bought on deep discount a while back, roasted red peppers from Dollar Tree. Only used half of the jar of roasted peppers and half of a jar of mayo from Dollar Tree. It was really good and will be making another batch today with the leftovers from the first batch

Used the last of my Jello and found a box of Knox gelatin. Cannot remember why I bought it but looked at the recipes on the box and found a recipe for cheesecake. Fairly simple and since I have a lot of cream cheese, from a sale a while back, thought I would make it.. The texture is a bit slippery for my taste but otherwise decent. It was quick and it did save money not using a lot of cream cheese, just one brick, and the oven did not have to be used. So it will be a keeper for quick summertime cheese cake..

I made more tuna fish salad using free tuna from Amazon. Also used 3 eggs .08 cent each and 1/3 bottle of mayo from Dollar Tree so maybe .33 cent for that. Also chopped onion cost was minuscule..I will have that for 4 meals. cost about .15 cents per meal.

I am enjoying free coffee since my aide brought me a canister.. I offer her coffee every morning and some days she drinks some days not and she wanted to repay my kindness. Told her it was not necessary but she insisted.

Used the last of my lettuce to make a salad and made Asian salad dressing to go with it.. That is so quick and easy to make if you have everything on hand.. Saving my mayo and dairy for other things. It makes for a nice salad dressing instead of homemade ranch.

Used a packet of cauliflower rice to make a pizza..I always keep pizza sauce in the freezer as well as pepperoni. I buy the pizza sauce at Dollar Tree and divide it into small jars for the freezer. I saved an Italian sausage link a while back and froze it to use on pizza. When I cut the ends off of an onion or bell pepper I dice them in to a small dice to freeze for sprinkling on a pizza. I always have mozzarella cheese in the fridge. Where I live there is no pizza delivery and even if there were it cost too much. It is so much easier to make it at home and it is fresh and hot. I am sure there are more things just cannot think what they are..Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

alliesmama4
Posts: 2955
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:18 pm

alliesmama4 wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:15 pm
I have been munching my way through the fridge and pantry. Cannot remember everything but have made a yummy pimento cheese spread using canned cheese from my emergency supplies.. I have several cases of cheddar cheese to use up.. Made a batch of pimento cheese using cream cheese, bought on deep discount a while back, roasted red peppers from Dollar Tree. Only used half of the jar of roasted peppers and half of a jar of mayo from Dollar Tree. It was really good and will be making another batch today with the leftovers from the first batch

Used the last of my Jello and found a box of Knox gelatin. Cannot remember why I bought it but looked at the recipes on the box and found a recipe for cheesecake. Fairly simple and since I have a lot of cream cheese, from a sale a while back, thought I would make it.. The texture is a bit slippery for my taste but otherwise decent. It was quick and it did save money not using a lot of cream cheese, just one brick, and the oven did not have to be used. So it will be a keeper for quick summertime cheese cake..

I made more tuna fish salad using free tuna from Amazon. Also used 3 eggs .08 cent each and 1/3 bottle of mayo from Dollar Tree so maybe .33 cent for that. Also chopped onion cost was minuscule..I will have that for 4 meals. cost about .15 cents per meal.

I am enjoying free coffee since my aide brought me a canister.. I offer her coffee every morning and some days she drinks some days not and she wanted to repay my kindness. Told her it was not necessary but she insisted.

Used the last of my lettuce to make a salad and made Asian salad dressing to go with it.. That is so quick and easy to make if you have everything on hand.. Saving my mayo and dairy for other things. It makes for a nice salad dressing instead of homemade ranch.

Used a packet of cauliflower rice to make a pizza..I always keep pizza sauce in the freezer as well as pepperoni. I buy the pizza sauce at Dollar Tree and divide it into small jars for the freezer. I saved an Italian sausage link a while back and froze it to use on pizza. When I cut the ends off of an onion or bell pepper I dice them in to a small dice to freeze for sprinkling on a pizza. I always have mozzarella cheese in the fridge. Where I live there is no pizza delivery and even if there were it cost too much. It is so much easier to make it at home and it is fresh and hot. I am sure there are more things just cannot think what they are..Janet Alliesmama
Teddi also receives one Puperoni stick each day.. Free from Amazon..
Janet Alliesmama

alliesmama4
Posts: 2955
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 10:10 pm
Location: Southern IL

Re: Starting our 2018 No Spend Challenge

Post by alliesmama4 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:13 am

The month of July is soon over.. It went quickly. I am overall pleased with my spending. I did have to buy a new tire for $180.00 due to hitting a curb and it could not be repaired. That really blew a hole in my budget. The only good thing about it was that I did have the cash since I no longer have credit cards.

August is going to be a tight month so my plan is to try not to spend any money on groceries so that money can go towards paying property taxes. I have been fortunate enough to have made money on survey's ($6.00) and on My Points will be getting $25.00 cash payment to my Pay Pal account for points earned. So that will be $31.00 I can use towards fill in for groceries. Also a refund from something returned and that will be $34.94. Any money I can save between budget and actual cost goes in to my slush fund and that too can be used for buying groceries or household needs. So things do not look too grim for groceries. Looking forward to squeezing as much money as I can out of the budget. Janet Alliesmama
Janet Alliesmama

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