December 17, 2009

Because I'm lame with titles...Thrifty Thursday

I thought I'd take a moment to brag on myself...well because its my blog and I can!

Jay and I try very hard to be frugal, sometimes to the point of being miserly.  I hope over all that's not the case, and I think the big year we've had proves it.  We got the thrill of paying off our 5.5 acres of land in less than a year as well as a super-cool awesome trip to California.

Not exactly the "self imposed poverty" that a friend of mine accuses me of.

I suppose, in her defense, we are very weird. 

We don't have cable.  Which honestly this time of year sucks.  All the normal TV is off until January and all the Christmas specials are lame.  So I've been going to sleep around 9 each night - and loving every minute of that extra sleep.

We figured it out, and could rent a Redbox movie every night for a month and still make it out cheaper than cable.  Since the sparing TV choices is an exception, not the norm, we're just fine with Redboxing it for Christmas.

I also don't spend that much at the grocery store.  I stockpile ground turkey when its on sale for $1 lb and do the same with chicken breasts at $1.99 lb.  (I tried the chicken parts thing, and its just not worth it to me.)  I only buy coke when its on sale (I never pay more than $2.50 a twelve pack), never buy chips or cookies, and menu plan so that I use from my stockpile (and replentish the stockpile when things are at their rock bottom sale price).

Our goal is to have the new home paid off in 5-6 years.  Its totally doable assuming our incomes stay the same and we keep our standard of living where it is.  He is 1/3 owner of some commercial property, and if we can get that sold, then we'd probably be able to pay the house off sooner.

The thing about our standard of living is that neither of us feel like we're missing out on anything.  Sure I'd like to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe of clothing, but that's just impractical.  We've set price limits on Christmas ($15 for my sister and $15 for her husband - they are doing the same) not because that's all we can afford, but because none of us need anything. 

Jay and I were talking the other day and I told him the one area that I'd like to branch out in and spend more money (when we've got the house paid off and we're off rice & beans) is our meat selections.  I got some beef cubes on manager's special last year and they were delicious in with stir fry and rice.

Can you keep a secret??

I spent $37 at the grocery store this week!!

I normally spend about $100 or less on groceries for the month, so this was a big splurge (although I've only spent $30 the rest of the month, so I don't think I'll go over budget.)

There were a couple of packages of beef shank something or other on sale for $1.50 each (slightly less than a pound per package) so I figured I would grab those suckers up!  Chicken breasts were on sale, as were the tenders, so I grabbed about 6 lbs of those. 

I was excited that the tenders were on sale for the same price as the whole breasts because i usually end up cutting up the chicken and putting it on the George Foreman grill for recipes calling for cooked chicken any way.  The tenders saved me a step!

I found two 1/2 gallons of milk on manager's special - taking it down to the same price per ounce of a whole gallon.  Since Jay doesn't use milk, a half gallon is the perfect size.  I put one in the fridge for use this week (its sell by date was today) and one in the freezer for later.  I'm sure between cereal and protein shakes I won't have a problem using it up.

Speaking of cereal, I had noticed a $2 off any all bran cereal coupon in my binder that expires at the end of the month.  I figured I check it out, and if the cereal wasn't too pricy I'd go ahead and get a box.  Most of the flavors were in the $3 range. 

Then I noticed an item close out sticker.  The All Bran Yogurt bites cereal was on sale for $2.58.  Which mean $0.58 after coupon!!  Not the most yummy sounding flavor, but for the price I couldn't pass it up.

I also had a coupon for frozen fruit, so I splurged and got some frozen peaches (to be used on oatmeal in the future).  I finished my splurgefest by getting wheat thins and garden veggie cream cheese just because I was craving it.

I grabbed the salad stuff for this weekend's Christmas party and I was headed to checkout.  Mentally it was hard spending almost $40 on one week of groceries, but I keep telling myself that was Money Saving Mom's budget so it couldn't be too frivilous.  (Of course all the while ignoring the voice in the back of my head reminding me that she's a family of 5, and I'm just feeding one and a half people - Jay only eats dinner).

So that's my shopping trip for the week.  Probably the most boring post I've written in a while, but I was quite proud of myself and wanted to share my exictement!!

What's your money saving tip that you swear by?  Is it in your grocery budget?  Clothing budget?  Frugal McFrugalson is always looking for new ideas!


  1. Dude. I am so...impressed. Alan and I do pretty well saving wise, but we are bad about getting whatever we want when we want it (i.e., we have stuff to make dinner but decide we'd rather order pizza). This is something small, but I always extend the life out cleaning products like Windex and a few can dilute them up to half way and they still work fine. I don't do it with disinfectants, though. Also make my own countertop cleaner (my great-grandma used to do this) of vinegar and water. There's my two cents :)

  2. WOW YOU ARE WAY MORE DEDICATED & DISCIPLINED THAN I!!! I wish I oculd be a lil like you!! *sigh*

  3. Um, yeah. I rarely get out of the grocery store for less than $100. We only go every other week, but still. I usually need $20 worth of milk or produce or something essential at some other time of the month. And there's just 2 of us (though I do include dog chewies and cat food in the grocery shopping trips). We have expensive taste in food. I like good food. I'm not sure I could cut down that much. And also, it takes a lot of time to prep for stuff like that. I barely have enough time to get groceries as it is! :)

  4. I am impressed! I have no tips. Actually, I think you should post a few for the rest of us!

  5. That's great! We are the same as you - we don't have cable - not necessarily because we can't afford it but because we choose not to. We also have a really limited grocery budget but not as limited as you. I budget 200 a month, but I try to stick to 40/week so I have some flexibility with the remaining 60 in case anything else comes up (like unexpected company etc). Usually though, the extra $$ just gets transfered to the next month. Since I started using cash for groceries, I've cut our spending in half. It's wonderful

  6. I am very impressed. I use coupons but don't do a good job of menu/meal planning so our weekly grocery bill is probably $150. You should share more of your tips!

  7. You are so disciplined. First I try my best to grocery shop by my self. Second, I try and only get what is on my list unless it is a need like bread that I might have left off the list. But if it's like a gallon of tea just so I don't have to come home and use tea bags to make it then no. You are doing great!

  8. I am impressed at the wisdom you have at such a young age, my husband and I didn't get here that young. great job. GOD BLESS AND MERRY CHRISTMAS

  9. wow...seriously amazed. my husband loves the yogurt bites too...and we always stock up when they are on sale!

  10. Okay, I think I love you! I am a total miser when it comes to groceries. Although we go through too much milk to freeze it, I grew up on frozen milk. I do stock pile just about anything I can get a decent price on. We don't have cable either. We watch very few shows regularly, so I don't think we are missing much. We do get our money's worth out of Netflix 1 movie at a time throughout the month. I LOVE knowing I got a good deal. As I think we discussed we buy a half a cow every year from a friend that essentially lasts us the year and is $2/lb - we know where the meat comes from and the cuts range from T-bones and top sirloin steaks to ground beef; a total deal. We have splurged on things for us in the last few years, but we've been good in the name of the kids for many years. We've been married for almost 12 years, so we are getting to a comfortable point of spending and saving and preparing to splurge that it seems to balance out in the end. But I don't many people that don't


what up yo?