May 21, 2013

Budget Challenge Week 4 – Meal plan and shopping trips, May 22 – 31

Meal-planning-Budget-Challenge

We are heading into our last week of our big budget challenge and cutting back what we spend (read about our budget challenge here).

Our goal is simply to reduce our out of pocket expenses this month by making the most of what we already have in the freezer and the stockpile.

I can’t believe we are rounding the corner to the last 10 days of our budget challenge! This weekend I’m actually flying up to Alaska for the weekend to spend it with my mom and sister (girls weekend thanks to a $5 mileage ticket!). So my husband will be fending for himself and the kids. My meals will be excluded from the budget challenge (mentioned in my original post) – since I have been planning the weekend getaway for a few months and I’ve already budgeted for it. But I do have a plan to be frugal, I’ve saved two $100 American Express gift cards to spend on food. Hoping to stay under that for the four days.

As for my husband and kids – I have an easy menu plan for them (husband-approved) and I plan to hit the store for some convenience foods – to make it easy on my hubby. He’s actually very handy in the kitchen, so I’m not worried at all.

May Budget Challenge WEEK 1 – See what we ate week one and how much we spent.
May Budget Challenge WEEK 2See what we ate week two and how much we spent
May Budget Challenge WEEK 3 – See what we ate week three and how much we spent

Our breakfasts are usually eggs (thanks to our chickens), toast, hot oatmeal or homemade granola with yogurt. I let the kids pick what they want each morning, so as part of the menu plan, I’ve listed out all the possible options, we won’t eat ALL of that everyday.

Here is our tentative meal plan:

[Read more…]

May 21, 2013

May Budget Challenge Week 3 – Spent $78.02 on groceries, $53.50 on eating out (ouch)

BUDGET-CHALLENGE

If you are just tuning in, we are doing a major budget challenge this month. We are trying to spend as LITTLE as possible out of pocket on groceries and eating out this month.

Week three did not go as planned. We ended up spending a lot more out of pocket than expected – mostly due to last minute plans, that meant we ate out more than I would have liked. We were also down to the bare minimum in the fridge, so we did spend more on groceries this week (which I expected). Monday was also my husband’s actual birthday, so I splurged on a cake and some fancy beer on Monday – which I was happy to do, he deserves it. 🙂

SHOPPING TRIPS MAY 16 – MAY 21
Here was our original menu plan and expected shopping trips.

Here’s what we ended actually ended up spending this week:

[Read more…]

May 15, 2013

Budget Challenge Week 3 – Meal plan and shopping trips, May 15 – 21

Meal-planning-Budget-Challenge

We are heading into our third week of our big budget challenge and cutting back what we spend (read about our budget challenge here).

Our goal is simply to reduce our out of pocket expenses this month by making the most of what we already have in the freezer and the stockpile. It’s been going really well and we are really making good use of old freezer items and pantry items.

As we head into week three, we still have lots of staples on hand – like rice, pasta and meat. We definitely need to do a bigger shopping trip this week to get some dairy and vegetables into the house. 

May Budget Challenge WEEK 1 – See what we ate week one and how much we spent.
May Budget Challenge WEEK 2See what we ate week two and how much we spent

Our breakfasts are usually eggs (thanks to our chickens), toast, hot oatmeal or homemade granola with yogurt. I let the kids pick what they want each morning, so as part of the menu plan, I’ve listed out all the possible options, we won’t eat ALL of that everyday.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 15
Breakfast:
Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Grilled lemon pepper halibut, we had the halibut in the freezer from a recent visit from my parents

THURSDAY, MAY 16
Breakfast
: Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches / Salad for mom
Dinner: Baked potatoes in the crockpot, served with chili and toppings, with salad

FRIDAY, MAY 17
Breakfast: 
Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: 
Something with Kale and sweet potatoes. I have a lot of both. Any ideas?

SATURDAY, MAY 18
Breakfast: Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Taco salad

SUNDAY, MAY 19
Breakfast: Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch:
Leftovers
Dinner: Chicken Fajitas

MONDAY, MAY 20
Breakfast: Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Grilled pizza with homemade pizza dough

TUESDAY, MAY 21
Breakfast:  
Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner:  Barbecue chicken sandwiches (freezer), with salad

Snacks and extras for the week – Apples, bananas, hard boiled eggs, fruit smoothies, cheddar cheese (sliced), and stove-top popcorn.

Planned shopping trips: I plan to go to QFC and Safeway this week. I need to find some marked down produce and dairy to get us through the next week or so.  I need to find a good deal on tortillas, for fajitas on Sunday night. Or I wonder if I can make my own. . .

Posting our meal plan is new to me – so be nice, I don’t want any negative commentary on what I’m feeding my family. I reserve the right to change things up if I find a good bargain or we feel like something else. When I post next week’s menu plan (on Wednesday or Thursday) I’ll update you on how we did this week!

What’s on your menu plan this week?

May 15, 2013

May Budget Challenge Week 2 – Spent $16.72 on groceries (see what we ate)

BUDGET-CHALLENGE

If you are just tuning in, we are doing a major budget challenge this month. We are trying to spend as LITTLE as possible out of pocket on groceries and eating out this month. I can’t believe it’s been two whole weeks already. We are still doing really well. This week we spent only $16.72 out of pocket, bringing our monthlong total to $58.72.

SHOPPING TRIPS
Here was our original menu plan and our planned shopping trips.

Here’s what we ended up spending this week:

Grocery_Outlet-Bargains

Grocery Outlet – I spent $17.77, but I had a $30 gift card, so I’m not sure how to count this. Technically it isn’t out of pocket, and it was for my Queen Bee review post, but I’ll still keep a tally of it.

Tillamook-Safeway-399

Safeway – I spent $3.99 on a block of Tillamook cheddar. This is a stock-up price and we were nearing the end of our loaf in the fridge.

Uwajimaya-shopping-trip

Uwajimaya – While we were in Seattle last weekend we went to one of my favorite grocery stores, Uwajimaya. It’s an Asian-specialty store with all sorts of international goodies. Our total was $12.73 – we bought four packets of “tea rice”  at $1.89 each (only three are pictured). My husband loves to have this for breakfast – mixed with rice and hot water – and we can’t find it locally. I also got some noodles and spring roll wrappers to make homemade spring rolls someday soon.

MEALS
Just because we are being frugal doesn’t mean we can’t eat well. We are making full use of the foods we have in our freezer and our stockpile.

Here are some of the meals we ate this week:

roasted-quarter-chicken-recipe

Last Wednesday night we roasted a quartered chicken that we had in the freezer for a long time. It turned out awesome.

Smoothie-Budget-challenge

Thursday night we ended up grilling hot dogs and burgers. We sautéed onions for the burgers, since we didn’t have much for toppings. We had fruit smoothies for dessert.

Friday night we all just ate what we wanted. I made stove-top popcorn for the kids. They had some Miso soup (packaged) and we snacked.

Saturday night and Sunday morning we were in Seattle to celebrate my husband’s birthday and this was one of the weekend’s excluded from the challenge. But we still managed to be incredibly frugal – eating happy hour at Dragonfish where you can get sushi as low as $1.50 per half roll and cocktails only $3.95 (reg. $8). We had a lot of fun!

Late Sunday afternoon we went to my in-laws for lunch/dinner to celebrate Mother’s Day. Later Sunday night we went and got ice cream and milkshakes.

Crockpot-Corn-Chowder-recipe

Monday night I made corn chowder in the crockpot. I made it because we have a TON of frozen corn in the freezer and we still had some whipping cream in the fridge from the Rhubarb Custard Cake. The chowder turned out amazing and I served it with homemade rolls.

Tuesday night we had leftover chowder chowder.

I think we did pretty awesome this week! I’m happy that we didn’t eat out last Thursday on soccer practice night. We did go out for ice cream cones and milkshakes on Mother’s day, but I was happy for this splurge (and the kids were too).

WEEK 2 TOTALS

  • Gift card – $17.77 at Grocery Outlet, but I had a gift card, so this wasn’t out of pocket and was part of my Queen Bee giveaway/review.
  • Grocery stores –$3.99 at Safeway on a block of Tillamook cheddar and $12.73 at Uwajimaya = $16.72 out of pocket
  • Eating out – $9.68 for ice cream cones and milkshakes on Mother’s Day

MONTH TOTALS TO DATE

  • $58.72 out of pocket on groceries ($37 was apples)
  • $17.77 on groceries with a gift card (not out of pocket)
  • $29.68 eating out

Considering I could easily have spent this in one grocery shopping trip, I think we are doing great this month so far. It’s really made us think about our purchases and we are having to be creative about the meals we plan. One thing is certain, we need to hit up the grocery store soon. . .our fridge is empty and we need some produce!

Please note: This doesn’t include all  of our living expenses. I’m only reporting the amount we spend on groceries and eating out – as that is where we are focusing our efforts this month (although we are being more conscious with all purchases!)

I’d love to hear from you! How are you saving money this month!

May 8, 2013

Budget Challenge Week 2 – Meal plan and shopping trips, May 8 – 14

Meal-planning-Budget-Challenge

The month of May we are doing a big budget challenge and cutting back what we spend (read about our budget challenge here). One of the ways we cutting our budget this month is with some serious meal planning.

The goal is simply to reduce our out of pocket expenses this month by making the most of what we already have in the freezer and the stockpile.

As we head into week two, we still have lots of staples on hand – like rice, pasta and meat. And it feels good to be digging in the back of the freezer to use up some meats that we’ve had for awhile. We will need to go to the store for produce  – we’ve been eating apples, celery, carrots and we have an eggplant in the fridge and a bag of sweet potatoes in the garage.  But we will need to pick up some things this week.

Husband’s birthday. Saturday is a wild card. We will be celebrating my husband’s birthday, so I’m leaving that one open. I have some plans, but we will see how they shake out. Since his birthday only comes around once a year, I won’t be worried too much about what he chooses for meals – and I mentioned in my original budget challenge post that it was excluded from the budget challenge (under caveats).

May Budget Challenge WEEK 1 – See what we ate the first week and how much we spent here.

Our breakfasts are usually eggs (thanks to our chickens), toast, hot oatmeal or homemade granola with yogurt. I let the kids pick what they want each morning, so as part of the menu plan, I’ve listed out all the possible options, we won’t eat ALL of that everyday.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 8
Breakfast:
Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Leftover Mango Chicken Curry with rice
Dinner: Roasted herb chicken quarters

THURSDAY, MAY 9
Breakfast
: Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Leftover chicken
Dinner: Healthy Eggplant parmesan

FRIDAY, MAY 10
Breakfast: 
Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: P&B sandwiches (kids) with apples
Dinner: 
Grill burgers and hot dogs with corn

SATURDAY, MAY 11
Breakfast: Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Husband’s choice {celebrating birthday}
Dinner: Husband’s choice {celebrating birthday}

SUNDAY, MAY 12
Breakfast: Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch:
Late Mother’s Day lunch with grandma and great grandma (not sure what this will be yet).
Dinner: On our own, lite snacks

MONDAY, MAY 13
Breakfast: Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Grilled cheese
Dinner: Curried Corn Chowder 

TUESDAY, MAY 14
Breakfast:  
Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Leftover Curried Corn Chowder
Dinner:  Creamy Pork Ranch Pork Chops in Crockpot with mashed potatoes?

Snacks and extras for the week – We have these items already on hand. Apples, hard boiled eggs, fruit smoothies, cheddar cheese (sliced), and stove-top popcorn.

Planned shopping trips: We have most of what we need for our meals this week, but we will still need to make some trips.

  • QFC – I got a store coupon for a FREE dozen eggs in the mail, so I want to pick that up and hard-boil them for snacks (my kids love them!). I also have a store coupon for $0.40 off cottage cheese, making that only $0.60 cents. Also a great snack!
  • Safeway – I want to pick up a Tillamook 2-pound block of cheese for $3.99. They also have corn 6 for $2, which I’d like for Friday’s dinner. Husband can do this on his way home from work, to save an extra trip.
  • Grocery Outlet – I need bananas, more fruit and veggies and probably a bag of regular potatoes ($1.99 for a 5 pound bag of Russets) and some mushrooms ($1.50) for the pork chops. I also want to pick up some yogurt. I have a $30 Grocery Outlet gift card – so this wouldn’t be an out of pocket expense and it makes the most sense to buy it there.
  • Fred Meyer – The Founder’s sale is supposed to start Sunday. Depending on what the deals are this weekend, I might have to make a trip!

Posting our meal plan is new to me – so be nice, I don’t want any negative commentary on what I’m feeding my family. I reserve the right to change things up if I find a good bargain or we feel like something else. When I post next week’s menu plan (on Wednesday or Thursday) I’ll update you on how we did this week!

What’s on your menu plan this week?

May 7, 2013

May Budget Challenge Week 1 – Spent $42 on groceries (see what we ate), saved $28/mo on cable, plus made $60!

BUDGET-CHALLENGE

I announced last week that we are on a major budget challenge this month. We are trying to spend as LITTLE as possible on groceries and eating out this month. We are off to a great start! I only went to the grocery store ONCE all week and we only spent $42 on groceries ($37 was a 40-lb box of apples!).

SHOPPING TRIPS – $42 spent
Here was our menu plan and our planned shopping trips.

Here’s what we ended up spending this week:

qfc-may-2-shopping-trip-5QFC shopping trip – Eggs only $1 a dozen. I hard boiled a dozen for snacks and salads. The other dozen I used for deviled eggs for Grandpa’s birthday party. Peanut butter is on sale for $1.50 each, I purchased two.Total cost = $5

Organic-Apples-40-pound-box

Olympia Local Foods – A 40-pound box of organic Fuji apples, $37. My kids have been eating at least one apple a day – they love them that much. Buying them by the case is the best price I can find on organic apples. Yes, I could have probably saved nearly 40% off if I would have bought non-organic apples, but I’d rather do without in other areas and stick to organic, local apples. I mean, we live in Washington state, known for it’s apples for goodness sakes – I love supporting our local apple production! I wrote about this in my post – Want to Save the Most? Do Without. Total cost = $37

MEALS
Just because we are being frugal doesn’t mean we can’t eat well. We are making full use of the foods we have in our freezer and our stockpile.

Here are some of the meals we ate this week:

Taco-Wednesday-May-1

Last Wednesday we had tacos with moose meat I had in the freezer.

Thursday night was soccer practice night and we spent $20 at Subway for dinner (we are gone from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Yikes! We are making different plans this week and will either pack meals or trek home to eat.

Pizza-on-the-grill

Last Friday night we had Grilled Pizza with homemade pizza dough.

Saturday we had lunch with Great Grandma and Great Grandpa and then went to Grandpa’s birthday party, so we didn’t have to cook or buy food! I used the $1 dozen eggs I bought to make deviled eggs to bring to the party!

Roasting-Two-Chickens

Sunday night we roasted two chickens that we had in the freezer. Today I have a big crockpot of homemade chicken broth simmering thanks to the leftover bones and meat.

Roasted-Chicken-Pesto-Pasta-Salad

Monday night we had roasted chicken pesto pasta with leftover chicken from the roasted chickens we had the night before.

Mango-Curry-Recipe

Tonight (Tuesday) we will have Mango Curry Chicken because we have ripe mangoes that need to be used and we have all the ingredients on hand.

Here are some ways I’ve saved so far this month:

  • Saved $28/month on cable bill – Yes, we have cable. Yes, we could live without it. But we don’t at this time (we go through seasons of life when we do). My husband likes to watch major league soccer games, I’m a sucker for reality television (don’t tell anyone) and my kids like Disney Junior. So, anywho. . .I called my cable provider and asked about a less expensive package. After a 10 minute phone call they were able to drop my bill by $28/month, plus add additional channels. That will save us $336 this year! 
  • Planted my garden! Finally. I doubt any of it will be harvested before the end of the month, but I did get my plants and seeds into the ground! This is a big savings for us during the summer months, I can’t wait to harvest produce on a weekly basis from my backyard!
  • Heat is OFF. In years past, before we had little babies running around the house, we cut the heat in early, early spring and just bundled up. But this isn’t as easy when you have little kids, so we just shut our heat off this week. Nights will get chilly, but we’ve layered on extra blankets!
  • Made $60 by selling a play kitchen that we took out of my daughter’s room when we did our big clean back in February. We sold it to a family friend for $60.

Sold-a-kitchen-60-bucks

I think we did pretty awesome for our first week! 

WEEK TALLY

  • We spent $42 on groceries ($37 was apples)
  • We spent $20 eating out (yikes, we will try to avoid that this week)
  • We made $60 by selling something we didn’t need anymore
  • We saved $28 by changing our cable plan

Not too shabby! I’m looking forward to another week of saving as much as we can. I’m definitely going to need to stock up on some fresh produce this week, but I’m waiting for the ads to come out so I can pick the best place. I will post a new meal plan tomorrow that will get us through to next Tuesday!

Please note: This doesn’t include all  of our living expenses. I’m only reporting the amount we spend on groceries and eating out – as that is where we are focusing our efforts this month (although we are being more conscious with all purchases!)

Read my first post about the budget challenge here.

I’d love to hear from you! How are you saving money this month!

May 2, 2013

Budget Challenge – Meal Plan and planned shopping trips, May 1 – 7

Meal-planning-Budget-Challenge

The month of May we are doing a big budget challenge and cutting back what we spend (read about our budget challenge here). One of the ways we are going to cut our budget this month is with some serious meal planning. This is my meal plan for this first week of May.

Our breakfasts are usually eggs (thanks to our chickens), toast, hot oatmeal or homemade granola with yogurt. I let the kids pick what they want each morning, so as part of the menu plan, I’ve listed out all the possible options, we won’t eat ALL of that everyday.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 1
Breakfast:
Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Grilled cheese, sliced strawberries
Dinner: Moose tacos, meat from freezer (thanks to parents in Alaska), had supplies on hand

THURSDAY, MAY 2
Breakfast
: Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Leftover tacos
Dinner: $5 subs from Subway. This is a long day for us – we have school, work, soccer practice. We leave the house at 7 a.m. and don’t get home until 7 p.m., so we usually pick up Subway for dinner. Cost $10 – $15. It’s my goal to pack dinner in a cooler – two of the four Thursdays this month.

FRIDAY, MAY 3
Breakfast: 
Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Noodles with butter/parmesan, strawberries/oranges (kids), Smart Ones (mom)
Dinner: 
Homemade pizza. Homemade dough. Mozzarella cheese from freezer, sauce from stockpile, pepperoni in fridge. We also have Lindsay olives ($0.68 at WinCo) and sliced mushrooms.

SATURDAY, MAY 4
Breakfast: Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Invited to lunch with great grandma and grandpa – cost: free
Dinner: Grandpa’s birthday party, will probably bring some kind of appetizer to share.

SUNDAY, MAY 5
Breakfast: Big Sunday breakfast, eggs, bacon, toast, potatoes
Lunch: 
Lite lunch, snacks
Dinner: Roasted whole chickens with vegetables – have whole chickens in freezer
Make overnight homemade chicken broth from leftover roasted chicken bones. Freeze broth.

MONDAY, MAY 6
Breakfast: Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Leftovers – roasted chicken sandwiches
Dinner: Grill Tequila-Lime Chicken (freezer meal), grilled corn on the cob, served with salad

TUESDAY, MAY 7
Breakfast:  
Toast, eggs, cereal, yogurt/granola
Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sliced apples (kids), Salad (mom and dad)
Dinner: Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Chili

Snacks and extras for the week – We have these items already on hand. Strawberries ($1.49 for 2 lbs at WinCo), naval oranges, mangoes, bananas, hard boiled eggs, fruit smoothies, pretzels, cheddar cheese (sliced), string cheese and stove-top popcorn. Picking up case of organic apples on Friday morning.

Things I’m going to make to stretch our budget. I plan to make a batch of homemade granola. We have plenty of bread, so I won’t bake any bread this week.

Planned shopping trips: We have most of what we need for our meals this week.

  • Grocery Outlet trip: Produce. Spinach or salad greens, corn on the cob (if it’s a good deal), I have a $30 gift card I plan to use.
  • QFC for their 4-day sale – I want to pick up some $1.50 peanut butter (we are out) and possibly $1 eggs to hard boil for salads and snacks.
  • Olympia Local Foods – I ordered a 40-pound box of organic apples $37. I pick this up Friday morning. Yes, we will eat all 40 pounds in May. We go through apples like water in our house.

Estimated expenses – Hoping $15 – $20 at QFC and $37 for Olympia Local Foods. The $30 gift card for Grocery Outlet trip won’t count as part of our total.

Posting our meal plan is new to me – so be nice, I don’t want any negative commentary on what I’m feeding my family. I reserve the right to change things up if I find a good bargain or we feel like something else. When I post next week’s menu plan (on Wednesday or Thursday) I’ll update you on how we did this week!

What’s on your menu plan this week?

May 2, 2013

May Budget Challenge – Tightening our belts, how little can we spend?

BUDGET-CHALLENGE

March and April were expensive months for us. Between work projects around the house, major car repairs and a 60K check-up, licence/tab renewal, insurance renewal, spring break, dining out too much, and forking over a major lump sum to pay off our students loans, we’ve had a couple expensive months in our household. We still lived frugally – but there were lots of expenses that we just couldn’t avoid (and many we could have), that really added up.

So. . .after balancing our checkbook and finances this week, my husband and decided that our goal for May would be to CUT BACK big time and spend as little as we can on groceries, avoid eating out at all costs, and basically do our best to spend as LITTLE as possible. I have no idea what this number will be, but I’m hoping it’s under $200 for our family of four.  I’d be downright giddy if I could get it under $100, but that might be hard to do since I could probably spend this much on produce and milk.

Ways I’m hoping to accomplish this: 

  • Good meal planning
  • Make the best use of current pantry, stockpile and freezer ingredients
  • Shop only the best of the best bargains each week – mostly produce and perishables
  • Plan ahead to avoid eating out
  • Get my coupons organized again
  • Neighborhood garage sale scheduled this month – hoping to sell extra stuff to make some extra cash!
  • Do without. Sounds depressing, but seriously – the best way to save, is to do without. We’ll be cutting out most of the “extras” this month in an attempt to save more.

We do all of these things anyway – in some way or another – to live frugally, but we’ve been lax lately. So this month we WILL do all of these as best as we can.

I’ll bring you along for the journey:
For the month of May I’ll be reporting everything we spend on groceries. I’ll be posting a meal plan and sharing our budget challenge with you through regular posts. I have no idea how this will all shake out. We are starting the month with a full freezer and a strong stockpile. Please keep this in mind – without a stockpile and freezer foods I think it would be nearly impossible for a family of four to to only spend $100 – $200 on groceries.

Caveats:
We have my husband’s birthday celebration and a trip planned this month – we already have our budgets for these two occasions, so they will be excluded from this challenge. I have at least one “review” scheduled this month for Grocery Outlet – I use gift cards for those and this will not be counted as part of our total since it’s “work” related.

Why don’t we do this every month?
You might be asking – why don’t you just do this every month? Well we do try our best every month to live frugally and I think we do a pretty good job. I don’t generally report all our shopping trips because it’s a lot of work to blog about every dollar you spend. But I’m committed to trying it this month. Also, as we use our stockpile this month, it would be harder to do this next month when our stockpile and freezer foods are in shorter supply. It’s generally all about balance for us – what can we stock-up on, where can we save and how can we make the most of what we have? This month, however, we are going to try and go extreme and get creative to save even more.

Things to consider if you want to do a month-long budget challenge:

  • Are you and your spouse or partner on the same page? You really need to sit down and discuss the plan together. If only one of you is on board, it isn’t going to work.
  • Be realistic about how little you can spend. As I mentioned above we have a strong stockpile and a stocked freezer. This means we will be able to stretch our dollars more this month.
  • Take this as an opportunity evaluate all expenses in your house. Can you cut back cable or call and ask for a better rate?
  • Sell or barter items you don’t need anymore. In addition to cutting back – can you also sell some extra stuff to make some extra money? Or perhaps you can barter with a neighbor for things you might need?

I think that’s it. That’s our May Budget Challenge. Stay tuned for updates . . .

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