September – Low Spend Goal

Let’s start by clarifying the no-spend vs low-spend goal. With a no-spend goal, the goal is to spend no discretionary finances. That means nothing above the monthly expenses. With a low-spend goal, the goal is to limit the spending of discretionary finance.

Monthly non-discretionary expenses would include mortgage/rent; insurances; car payment; utilities; student or other loans; prescriptions and health expenses associated with diagnosed health issues; other items that have a commitment that is not just for our pleasure.

Discretionary expenses would be things like food (we will visit this one later on); car gas; entertainment; clothing; recreation, etc.

I have set, monthly expenses that I cannot change. There are others that I can change. For example, my electric bill will probably go down now that I am not running the A/C. But, it is getting darker earlier so I may have my lights on longer. But, I work 3:30-midnight, so it will only affect 2 days out of the week.

The other expense I can definitely control or change – or both! FOOD. Let’s face it – I love to Eat. I love good food, and I love to cook. I did Sun Basket for 4 shipments and decided it was just not justifiable. Perhaps I could not make these dishes cheaper, but – challenge on!! I also know that I am very susceptible, when in a grocery store, to overspending. I am tempted to buy this, try that, or just see that yellow SALE sticker and throw it in the cart! I will be really paying attention to this for September.

I have a well-stocked pantry and freezer. For a single person, I actually have way too much food. So, time to get to work on the reserves.

Stay tuned for some unique creations!

My starting place for September:

Money on hand – $3837.13

Rent paid – 739.28 (this includes: water, gas, sewer, trash, pest control, parking space, ‘admin fees’)

Balance – 3097.85

I get paid weekly, on Friday. I also get a VA disability check each month. Some of this money will be used to pay off the remaining credit card debt. This is an expense that falls into discretionary expenses before you use the card. It is non-discretionary once you use the card and then owe the money.

Join me on this journey. The goal, by the end of September, is to have no credit card debt. My 4-month-out goal is to have my car paid off. Challenge on!

Happy Frugaling 11824977_10155809976270386_1868582758092607494_n

 

Birthday Supper

I would admit that this is the most expensive meat I have ever purchased. I did get an additional 5% off (.49) but it was still expensive. To justify a little bit, there are 2 meals represented in this one package. But, the rest of the meal had to be Frugal!

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These went into the toaster over (which was a gift 5 years ago). The sweet potatoes were in my June food pantry package.

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The finished meal. The beets were already in my pantry.

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The above picture is the dessert. The gluten free cupcake came from my June food pantry package, and the ice cream (gelato) was purchased.

Okay, I am not an ice cream eater, but June 7th (my birthday) also happens to be National Chocolate Ice Cream Day! Well, why not?! I will get at least 4 servings out of this because I am not necessarily an ice cream eater. This also came from Target.

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Birthday Lunch

Seeing a pizza box is an unusual sight for someone who is a celiac. Pizza becomes a luxury, and unfortunately an expensive luxury. Where I work, there is a locally owned restaurant right next door and most of my co-workers patronize it at least once a week (was it planned?!!). I had visited them on one of my first days on the new job just to see what they did have for gluten free options. Well, low and behold, they have a gluten free pizza crust. And they will work with the customer to make them a perfect meal. Okay, so a month later, I decided to take the plunge.

 

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I had no clue what I would find inside the box, but I ordered a gluten free crust with pesto as the base. On top I wanted chicken, mozzerella and pineapple. I ordered the pizza on Monday (the 5th) which is my Friday. The last 2 pieces were eaten on Wednesday (the 7th) and it was still just as yummy. And the total bill was not as much of a sticker shock – $12.72, which included tax. That’s $3.18 a meal.

Could I have made this cheaper? Absolutely. Would it have been just as good? Probably. But, I don’t go out – ever. So for me, this was a treat, and one that I was willing to foot the bill for. And I enjoyed every bite of it!

Burnzies Kitchen – 3097 30th St SW, Grandville, MI 49418

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Frugal Birthday Breakfast

I am a breakfast eater, and by far my favorite breakfast is pancakes. It used to be pancakes, bacon/sausage, orange juice and other assorted and sundry food items. But with the current gut condition (celiac, IBS, gastritis, hiatal hernia) I have had to dramatically change that. I eat cleaner, which in the end is much more Frugal. And I eat healthier. So, let’s get cooking.

Picture # 1 – The ingredients are a bit on the cheat side, but still Frugal. The blueberries and strawberries were in my food pantry package for June. I already had the syrup. The pancake mix (one of my favorites) was purchased, on sale, at Target.

Picture # 2 – I decided that I wanted as many smiles for my Birthday Month as possible, so let’s use the blueberries for affect. And not bad for flavor either!

Picture # 3 – The completed meal is pictured below. But, there is a story involved. The 2 cards are from my 2 besties – my lifelong bestie (on the right) and my Michigan bestie (on the left). The flowers (barely seen) in the vase were also from the food pantry package. The orange drink is actually carrot juice. Again, from my food pantry package. The tea cup and saucer were part of my Birthday gift from my lifelong bestie. Oh, to finish it out: the vase for the flowers was purchased from a silent auction many years ago; the crock that the spider is in came from a local thrift store, as did the place mat and napkin – rockin’ the Frugal!

Picture # 4 – The devotion for my birthday was titled ‘Be Satisfied’. I am!

PS – my apologies for the pictures being stuck together. I am still trying to figure out this website!!

Happy Frugaling