Friday, March 12, 2010

Frugal - Yikes

OH MY GOD.  We are on a spend-no-money drive in the Nicholas household. Ug.

Yes, ug it may be, but, also it is empowering. Indeed, I have been empowered - and OH how I am restraining myself from making super-person puns and quips right now. Barely. Holding. Back.

Anyway.

Was inspired by three things.
  1. The parlous state of our budget and the stark realisation that we are going to struggle to register the car (yes the one that is 20,000kms overdue for a service) when its due in a few weeks.
  2. Notes from the Frugal Trenches - and her spend no money days http://notesfromthefrugaltrenches.com/no-spending-days
  3. And its been bothering me for a while, I can see a lot of cash slipping away simply because I'm not organised.
So this week we had our first Spend No Money Week ever.  

Frankly we have done So Bloody Well.  No seriously.  You are looking at a couple with mortgage and kids, that still have trouble believing that they're not DINKs (Double Income No Kids).  And apart from an essential $20 of fuel into the car we have spent no money from Monday to Thursday of this week.  Honestly, it wasn't that bad and holy hell are we pleased with ourselves about it.

We did plan to have a frugal Friday as well, but after yesterday's bread disaster (too much water in the dough - thanks Belinda) we had to go lunch orders for the kids, and then I realised that it made more sense to do the weekly shop on a Friday morning when the supermarket is quiet(ish) rather than tomorrow when its... when... okay I can't find the words.  Beirut comes to mind, Baghdad maybe?  Only the strong survive Saturday morning shopping in Hornsby Aldi, no really. Its that bad.

So, last week (from Saturday until Thursday), I spent $60 on groceries.  From that I fed my family breakfast, lunch, dinner and endless snacks (endless - my children graze) for six days.  The first thing I did (inspired by Frugal Trenches's Frugal food posts) was 'go shopping in my own pantry.'  I could see we were way over supplied with food, so really, to get through the week we only needed essentials such as milk, eggs, cheese and so on.  And took it from there.  

The thing I did the most during the week was make different types of bread and bread products.  Loafs, brown and white, rolls, calzones and muffins.  The bread maker has been used twice a day, though more for making the dough than cooking the actual bread. 

Our usual weekly grocery bill easily makes it up to $300 a week. Easily.  So, not wishing to be milquetoast about it, I cut that to $150.  Honestly I didn't think I could do it.  But I made my list, stuck to it and got everything I want for $159.

Rather chuffed about that. :)

Anyway.  We're going to continue.  Next week Monday to Friday will be Spend No Money.  Exceptions being filling up the cars on Tuesday (cheap petrol day), Hubby's train ticket on Monday (yes lavish I know) and I think we'll get all wild and wacky one day and have a coffee and a muffin - Hubby was begging about it this morning :)

Been harvesting things in the garden as well.

An armload of basil.

And a few other odds and ends.
:)

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Cathryn Brunet said...

I'm planning to test your breadmaker English muffin recipe this weekend. Ta for posting it. Lurve a good muffie.

By the way, I have a minimal knead, slow rise crusty bread recipe that's AWESOME if you're interested.

Email me at cathrynbrunet at gmail dot com and I'll shoot you the recipe. It's a cracker, I promise.

Good luck with the spend-no-money drive!

The Duck Herder said...

milquetoast.

you should be congratulated for your no spendiness and for working this little gem into your post.....!

Olive said...

Congratulations...wish I could do it. I've been trying to live on what we've stored in our pantry but it becomes a little boring after a while.

E. said...

Please keep posting pictures of the thigns you have grown. I am inspired and will one day make the tiem to actually start our vegie garden properly. We have potato plants but I have managed to kill the chives and parsley. Oops!

Mel said...

Good job, Ms. Frugal!! Keep up the great work!!

Olive said...

Congratulations...wish I could do it. I've been trying to live on what we've stored in our pantry but it becomes a little boring after a while.

Cathryn Brunet said...

I'm planning to test your breadmaker English muffin recipe this weekend. Ta for posting it. Lurve a good muffie.

By the way, I have a minimal knead, slow rise crusty bread recipe that's AWESOME if you're interested.

Email me at cathrynbrunet at gmail dot com and I'll shoot you the recipe. It's a cracker, I promise.

Good luck with the spend-no-money drive!