February NO SPENDING challenge! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-05-2006, 08:34 PM
 
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We went a little over our grocery budget last night but dh cooked up a HUGE pot of gumbo, another HUGE one of chili, and bean enchiladas... most of which is going into the freezer for quick and tasty post-partum meals. (Is he nesting too? ) He's a great cook and he hasn't been inspired to do anything like this in weeks/months so I'm pretty psyched! I don't think we need to buy any groceries except milk/OJ/etc for the next 2 weeks.

And today he's making bread pudding with leftover bread...
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Old 02-06-2006, 02:54 AM
 
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Didn't do so great today (went out to lunch & had to buy a birthday gift), but did good yesterday. However, I did resist spending 20.00 on a fancy water bottle and bought three very nice little things that Dd's friend will enjoy (saved about 10.00 by going online) We had my nephew overnight and babysat for friends, so went from a child free to a child full evening in less that 24 hrs. Instead of throwing up our hands and ordering out we decided to do a make-a-pizza project. Kids & I made pizza dough, dp made sauce and we set up a mini pizza assembly line, so dinner was all in house, and I think nephew especially enjoyed doing some quiet 'family type stuff. tomorrow I plan on spending nothing, and then tuesday is grocery day.
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Old 02-07-2006, 01:18 PM
 
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OK, I really, really want to do this. I am BAD at impulse spending, and then I feel horrible and end up returning half of it...

Sooo, going grocery shopping today, and will FORCE myself to stick to my list!

I love this thread!

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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Old 02-07-2006, 01:23 PM
 
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Well, I am doing better than I have in the past, but I did buy a couple of baby things from co-ops. I haven't really bought too much yet and have been controlling myself pretty well on the diaper purchases so I thought it would be nice for the baby to have a couple of new things to go with the tons of stuff I have from dd. Having said that, if this is a boy I will have to buy more stuff once we get past the newborn stage. We didn't know dd's sex so all the newborn stuff is gender neutral...from 3 months on we have way too much pink
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Old 02-07-2006, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Holly-I'm with you on the Chinese. I broke down Saturday, I was so tired and I was also craving Chinese so we ordered. It did give us lunch the next day so I felt better, and we are eating a pan of black beans-two meals so far. We will get a few more in with a casserole and burritos I'm freezing I'm saving meat. I haven't spent any money except groceries which are at about $61 per week right now. I know the next two week pay period I can keep them down to $50.

Birth Photographer mom to four blessings
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Old 02-07-2006, 07:31 PM
 
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My only cofession so far is that we chipped in on ordering pizza at the in-laws on sunday night. It was just to close to dinner time to be able to make the half hour drive home AND make dinner. The had a AAA discount though so it was only $16, which dh agreed to do OT to cover. Other then that we have spend nothing!

Sarah knit.gif married to Micah, mama to dd1 (9), dd2 (7) and ds (2). We love to homeschool.gif h20homebirth.gif goorganic.jpgchicken3.gif
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Old 02-07-2006, 09:45 PM
 
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Well, I did it. I know it doesn't sound like much, but for me it's a big deal to go grocery shopping and ONLY get the stuff on my list! It's the least I've spent on groceries in a LONG time - $69.83...and will probably last us about a week and a half.

I think if I read this thread every day, I'll be able to stick to it!

Now, I just have a couple return trips to make for impulse buying from last month (thank goodness I save my receipts)

I even got motivated by the decluttering thread to sort the mountain of paperwork by my desk, tonight while DS sleeps (hubby is away for a couple days)...


Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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Old 02-07-2006, 09:54 PM
 
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Hello,

I am new to this thread----I love it---very inspiring.
I have been trying to be frual lately--and have been trying to get my DH to be the same.
Its hard----I love Starbucks---but I just keep telling myself--you can have one next week.
I have had to go on unemployment insurance for a bit due to medical reasons, so we really have to watch our money.
We are also trying to pay off our line of credit which has gotten embarrasingly high.
I'm glad others are trying to be frugal too--I'm very grateful for this thread.
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Old 02-08-2006, 02:39 AM
 
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Ok. we are in the midst of trying to buy a new house...so this is going to be close to impossible..but I'm going to really try to stick to the necessities! It will be good for me!
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Old 02-08-2006, 11:25 AM
 
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I am going to the HFS and I am determined to stick to my list!
Milk, eggs, kale, kefir, yoburt, black beans (bulk), rice (bulk), crushed red peppers (bulk), peppercorns (bulk).
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Old 02-08-2006, 06:52 PM
 
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Oh I'm so proud of myself!

so the camera issue is fixed. I called Canon to get help and yep, it was the battery issue. I needed to get ones putting out more mm power and they guy suggested rechargeable ones b/c you can get them up to 2500. so off to walmart yesterday (which I tell you I hate going to). I got 8 batteries and the charger, trash bags, sports wash, tap shoes for dd (bigger size), and borax for about $56. I didn't spend anything on impulse just on what we needed! I walked about from the divider plates that I think will work great for camping and the other summery plastic dishes which were cheap. I can get them later.

then went to get the reminder of grocery shopping. I used my palm to add up the groceries. So I spent $55.12 on groceries and am done for the week. I may need to get more eggs, but I have $1.37 left for my budget of $65 and it's Wed!!!! I just can't believe that I really did it.

OH, and I bought some popcorn kernels last week b/c dd wanted microwave popcorn. I noticed the price for really the first time...$3 for 1 box is outrageous!!! so went to the bulk section and it was about .49/#. I just made it today and ummm I've got kernels for about another 3 months b/c I got a ton!

Oh, did have to get a birthday present too on Sunday. Spent $12 for 2 baby doll outfits. We've not done any eating out or extra spending that wasn't needed. Still haven't gotten the tickets and I fear the $163 deal is gone b/c I didn't order them. Stupid I know.

So I have a question then...the walmart trip was $56 and the birthday gift was 12. I did need to get those 2 things. I'm still in right? I did really good and didn't get anything not needed so I am thinking that is my understanding of this challenge right?
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Old 02-08-2006, 07:30 PM
 
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We're in, and doing well!

Our "rules" were to only buy food, gas, pay the bills, nothing else. I am not trying to spend less on groceries, and I got all of the bday gifts/cards out of the way in Jan.

Dh is also going dairy free (dd and I are dairy free) for the month, and we're trying to not drink soda (we have some left, I don't buy any more...)

No eating out, no shopping, not even me spending gift cards or returned items/store credit for the month. I have a few credits I need to use (and I know what I want to use them on!) but I'm waiting until March.

For March (if we make it through Feb) I will focus on lowering the groceries, OR buying better quality foods (more organics), and thinking for 1-2 days about buying other things at the store (nonfoods).

-L

Lisa, mama to Lauren, Elliot, angel Marion, and baby due in the fall.
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Old 02-08-2006, 08:20 PM
 
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I flunked. I found some electric blankets on 1/2 price sale today and bought some for all the beds. Next winter we'll turn the heat down at night and save $ so I see this as a long term investment. But I still flunked.

And while I was at it, I bought some new Prorap covers for Nitara (she's outgrowing the old ones) and some books for Abi for homeschooling.

On the positive side, Nitara is tolerating lactose-free milk so we might be able to get her off Pediasure soon!! That should save us about $100/month.

I got our pharmacy print outs for tax purposes and we spent nearly $1000 on meds last year!! I don't even know what the doctor copays were, she went to the doctor a lot over the last year up until May with lots of ear infections, had ear tube surgery, and croup, etc. Went to ER twice after January. Doctor/ER co-pays don't count for tax purposes do they?

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Old 02-08-2006, 09:13 PM
 
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Returned $42 of "stuff" I didn't need and got credited to my checking account (result of a BAD impulse shopping trip last month, but this is the first chance I've had to get back to that store)...

AND, I turned right back around and walked out of the store instead of browsing and spending!

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:07 PM
 
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So...here's what I've done so far. I quit my old job and moved to one closer to home (like 35 min drive to 10 min drive). I worked my hours so I only have to be gone three days a week instead of four (less driving = less gas, and time, and missing my baby). I carpooled with a friend today to go to playgroup (it's usually in town which is very close, this one wasn't)...so didn't have to spend gas. I've been trying to figure out how to get to new job on my bike safely. There's really only one road connecting my home to this place and it's a dangerous road.

I continue to meal plan and feed the freezer. I spent 100 in groceries last week. But my goal tomorrow is to spend less than 50, and then the same for the next two weeks to keep groceries at 250 or less.
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Old 02-09-2006, 02:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USAmma

I got our pharmacy print outs for tax purposes and we spent nearly $1000 on meds last year!! I don't even know what the doctor copays were, she went to the doctor a lot over the last year up until May with lots of ear infections, had ear tube surgery, and croup, etc. Went to ER twice after January. Doctor/ER co-pays don't count for tax purposes do they?
Yes Yes! anything medical if you itemize and it reaches past a certain $$ amount, which I think depends on your income but starts somewhere around 600 or so.
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Old 02-09-2006, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Lots of various medical expenses can be written off even things like contact lenses and glasses and dental work, plus chiro apts. The IRS website has a great list tha's easy to follow. Now you can only write off expenses OVER 7.5% of your income. So say you make $40,000 then you can write off any expenses incured OVER $3,000. So it the amount varies per one's income and does not start at 600.

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Old 02-09-2006, 01:03 PM
 
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Aha! thanks for the clarification. I am sooo not a math person I was helping my nephew with his THIRD grade homework and made a mistake the other day . I'm pretty proud of myself though. Dd needs to size up, and instead of buying a new one, I remembered that we had a daybed stored in the basement of our old house (my sis/parents now live there). I went to get it monday, and it looks like all I will need to do is give it a good polishing/cleaning, build it and come up with some matresses.This was a rather lovely wooden sleigh daybed that I bought for my sister to be able to co-sleep in a tiny room. There's a trundle for it so when she has sleepovers there will be a place for friends. We're hoping that she will sleep in it occasionally. (right now she goes from her castle, to the foot of our bed to taking over my spot in the bed ).
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Old 02-09-2006, 01:12 PM
 
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I'm hopping in late, but as I'm already being accountable for what I eat, I may as well start with spending accountability, too Hopefully I'll have success here too!! I'm a homeschooling mom of 5 and we have got to get out of debt so we can afford more than 1200 square feet for the seven of us! We're exploding!
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Old 02-10-2006, 03:54 PM
 
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Well-- just caved and bought 2 nursing bras (I had only one that fit) and a casual nursing dress from motherwear. Everything was 40% off already clearance prices so it was only $32 total. But i didn't really need the dress :
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Old 02-10-2006, 10:34 PM
 
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I have been doing very good! I have stuck to my grocery list, although today's spending at the commissary was higher than expected because we needed cat litter and toilet paper. We did buy 40 lbs of grassfed beef from a farmer for $110, but I don't consider that frivolous. That will last us a very long time. So far, I have spent $261 on groceries this month (including the beef) and I won't have to buy anything else other than maybe eggs, milk, and some fresh fruit.
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Old 02-11-2006, 01:22 AM
 
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I'm out!

I bought some seeds and pots and soil for dd's garden. And then our oven broke, an electrical problem, so we need to shop for a new one. So we thought maybe by April we would be out of cc debt. Now it's going to be May.

7yo: "Mom,I know which man is on a quarter and which on is on a nickel. They both have ponytails, but one man has a collar and the other man is naked. The naked man was our first president."
 
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Old 02-11-2006, 09:26 PM
 
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well, I spent $12 today on a project that I committed to in January before I committed to no spending, but I found the best deal I could, so I'm hoping this doesn't mean I'm a failure! So far, that's the only thing I've spent on other than groceries and bills....so I feel pretty good about that

Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:48 AM
 
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I suspect that I have one of the easier trials of no spending. We don't have credit cards, so no backup. My husband has been ill, and we just paid a huge hospital bill. This left us with $100 cash for all expenses for two and a half weeks. Much easier not to spend it when we know that the kids literally won't eat if we do...

So...I've been:

Making all bread products from scratch. Luckily we have large bags of flour and a jar of quick rise yeast, etc. This is the fourth week of no bread from the store. YUM!

Eating soup once a week for dinner, and everyday for lunch. Beans, beans, beans. Who knew how many ways a family could turn beans into soup!

Using a lot of freezer food. I bought lots o meat/roasts on sale beforehand (just 'cause they were good prices), and so we have a roast, and live off of it for several days, in many ways!

Breakfast for dinner at least once a week. Almost free, as we have all the stuff to make it, but milk and eggs cost a little. My girlfriend's mom has laying hens that are going crazy laying. So they gave us a dozen eggs a couple of days ago. Really free breakfast for dinner this week!

My daughter turns four tomorrow morning. We've had an extended "party" for her the last few days. I had four of her friends over for a low key "tea party" the other day. We made home made cookies and cake (had all the stuff for them in the pantry), and had herbal tea (four tea bags from my pantry) in my china tea set. They loved it. Sent them home with goody bags containing homemade muffin and cookie (also had the stuff in the pantry). Free. This weekend, we invited ourselves over HIS parent's and then MY dad's houses for "birthday dinners" for the four year old. Not only did we not have to entertain, but we didn't pay for dinner, either. They live nearby, so even using gas to get there, it was a cost savings! Gave her my old "My Friend Mandy dolls" for Christmas. So, as they are all naked (lost their clothes in a flood...trunk w/clothes was separate from dolls), I made them clothes from fabric scraps in my stash for her birthday gift.

Basically don't drive anywhere. I don't mind, though. I hate going out in the winter. I'm not made to handle cold. Funny. I live in Michigan... In the end, it's a good thing. Saves on gas.

That's it for now.

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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Old 02-12-2006, 09:40 AM
 
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so I haven't done as well this month as last...there have been a lot of unforseen expenditures. I quit my job and moved to a different one (I work PT, but use a lot of files) and the back of my vehicle was stuffed full of files. I won't have a convenient place to store them at the new place. So, I had to get some file boxes. I was able to do so for $14.00. Which is a bargain, but still an expenditure.

Since I moved my jobs though I have not had to spend nearly as much on gas! I work 3x a week and before I was driving 150 miles a week for that. Now I drive ~60 miles a week. So more than half that mileage.

I continue to make all our bread products - bagels, loaf bread, and tortillas. I also made pumpkin muffins to put in my lunches.

Dh has had to have some expenditures that were unplanned too. I think I total our unplanned items at $170 total. Leotard for dd for her gymnastics. She was just too big for her last one and despite my best efforts to get one free...they were all too big. I went over $14 at trader joe's. Dh had to buy some thingy for his class (something computer related ). Pizza to celebrate leaving said awful job! $14 (inexpensive in the realm of bought pizza - and super healthy compared to most).

But I continue to do well with groceries and keeping our food budget as low as possible.
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:27 AM
 
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I am going to hop on board, although I can not truly start until next month! This month I have already bought diapers and am waiting on more. I also joined the UTN co-op and EcolandINC co-op. Maybe I should cancel my order with EcolandINC, that one hasn't closed yet! I am going to think about that one! DH and I just got into a rental situation that hopefully works out. We are renting a bigger house that needs a little work. In exchange for doing the work, we get a deal on rent. I hope it works out okay! With the move, our gasoline consumption will go down, DH has been filling up 6 times a month :
I spend too much on little things and we eat out occasionally, I want to not eat out at all! Unless of course, family is paying
So although I have a few spendatures this month, I am not going to add anything to that list!!! I am commited... Sometimes it is just hard when we get the big student loan check or tax refund. Hard to see that if I blow through all that we will really be broke when it is gone because DH only works 25 hours a week!!!!
So, here I am. Ready to commit. No more non-essential items other than the fore-mentioned already commited to things. This makes me wish I hadn't commited to going out to Indian buffet lunch w/ a friend tomorow! I want to start not spending already! Part of me wants to call and cancel, I don't even want to go outside because it is so cold! I better just go...
Does anyone know how efficient hot water heat is? This house we are moving into has radiators in every room and I have never used this kind of heat before, oh I hope it is fairly efficient!
Well, here goes to my half-month of no spending. I like to challenge myself like this, looking extra forward to March when I can go the whole month.
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:55 PM
 
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Well, on Sat. I treated DH to this taco stand I've been wanting to take him to. Then DD talked us into pizza. So, I'm done for, LOL! You'd think you could make it but granted I'm thinking okay this was the first time I've tried this so not too bad. I'm avoiding Target like the plague right now! Trying really hard to do good on the $65 grocery spending but just went over today for the week. I know I got a pie for tonight . I totally suck at making fruit pies and dh loves them. minus that I would have only spent $53 so only going over $3! DD wanted her odawella.

So, I'll keep looking and keep trying really! I'm doing so much better than I ever thought I could
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