Thursday, January 2, 2020

Getting Back to Frugal Living

New month, new year, new decade - NEW CHANCE to get frugal!!
The past couple months have been spendy.  I well imagine everyone spent more money than usual the past few months.  The holidays tend to do that to us!

I always try to start each January with NO SPEND DAYS!
How does that work?
It is simple really.  Yes, we all have regular bills that have to be paid.  Many people have transportation costs due to working.  You still have to get your meds.  BUT, other than that you have control!  You can decide yes or no on all other spending.

No new clothes or accessories
No eating out - unless FREE with GC (prepare ahead and take lunches to work)
No coffee/pop stops
No extra beauty treatments
No extra stops for snacks
No groceries - unless absolutely necessary

I am sure there are those who think this sounds so dreadful!  It is really easy.

I have a house full of grocery items.  Freezer has meat and various other goods.  The pantries are full with store bought and home canned goods.  The frig has milk, eggs, cheese, butter, etc.  I have plenty of pet supplies and I think I am pretty good with wildlife feed.  I have fresh fruit and plenty of canned.  I have snacks both healthy and non-healthy on hand.  I can make snacks if I wish.

If I run out of something, food wise, I will substitute something else.  I will use what I have.
I will try to fix some different type meals.  I will use the oldest first.
I am not a shopper of things - never have been.  So I won't be buying clothes, household items, beauty items, crafts, etc..
My biggest downfall is the grocery store!!!!  I love going to the grocery, but I am going to try to stay away.

You basically set the rules yourself.  IF you see an exceptional deal that is too good to pass up at the grocery - then go for it.  It is savings to you in the long run.
The whole goal is to spend as little as possible for the month.  USE WHAT YOU HAVE.  Try new things and new recipes.  Experiment a little.  Rotate that pantry and freezer.

Along these same lines - I am going to straighten the pantry again (got messed up over the holidays - those darn gremlins!), inventory my home canned food, and straighten and inventory the freezer.  I want to know what I have and I want to use it, so nothing goes to waste.
That is a huge mistake many people make.  They shop and buy up deals, then they don't use them.  WHY?  That is just throwing good money away.  You haven't saved a thing by having to get rid of items.  PLEASE don't be wasteful.

Anybody else willing to try?
Yes, there will be things that come up.  I MAY have to make a wildlife feed run, but I will NOT spending on other things. You may need something that you just can't live without.  Things happen.

We can all try to spend as little as possible and be good stewards of what we have and USE it.  This is a good way of getting your finances back on track.  Did you use your credit cards over the holidays?  Use the money that you don't spend carelessly on paying off those bills.  Save a little.  Prepare a little more for retirement.  Just SPEND LESS.
Every day you don't spend IS a SAVING DAY.

I hope some of you give this a try!  Good luck and happy saving. Have fun experimenting and trying new things.  Let's get creative and get back on that frugal bandwagon!!!!


  1. Thanks!I definitely need the challenge.
    I will still have to go to the store for some groceries and pet supplies, but I'm going to challenge myself to spend as little as possible. I can't think of anything else that I need this month.

    I like your quote, "every day you don't spend IS a Saving Day."

    1. Good for you. Get what you need, but stay home for the most part - that is the way to go. It is true! We ARE saving if we aren't spending.
      Here we come 2020!

  2. Definitely a frugal month here. We will have a lot of travelling expenses as my husband has many hospital appts but food out of freezer, fridge and cupboards will get used before doing any grocery shopping for sure.

    1. Necessary expenses for sure. Travel for doctor/hospital is very important. Hope all goes well for you both.
      Use what you have at home and hopefully that will offset the travel expense.
      God bless

  3. I'm looking at having a no spend year! We have two exchange students living with us and they don't know the meaning of the words thrifty, frugal, etc. They have been a big strain on our budget and we've got five months to go. So definitely a belt tightening year for us. I sure appreciate all your tips and encouragement.

    1. Oh my goodness! Sounds like some spoiled exchange students! I feel bad for you. Stick to your guns and hopefully something will rub off on them. Sounds like they need a good lesson!
      Good luck. Thank you!!

  4. I just took everything out of my pantry and wiped them down with hot soapy water and put everything back all organized. Came here to take a break and read and that is what your writing about. Great minds think alike. We have plenty of everything including cat food, so we will not be shopping for any extras this month. I have auto ins to pay and that takes a lot of my money for the month. Being good stewards of what we have is the best way. Great blog post, Cheryl.

    1. Yes mam, great minds think alike! I have insurance coming up as well and then before you know it, it will be property taxes.
      Here's hoping we can all stick to our guns.

  5. You have read my mind. I have gremlins also, so I am sending mine to your house where they can play together. we have so much food here and we are eating it down!

    1. Sneaky little gremlins aren't they? They just hide out and mess things up when we are sleeping. I do too and I plan on using it. Why should we not? That is why we bought it and it gives us a chance to get creative.

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks. I hope several of us manage and do good.

  7. I pretty much live that way all year long. I hate shopping of any kind, so that makes it easier.
    Today was the first time I went to Aldi's. Bought a loaf of whole wheat bread, 2 pints of blueberries (to add to our daily salads), and 6 lbs of bagged gala apples. The whole order came to $7.85! I'm going back tomorrow with my monthly list to see what I can get before I go to Walmart to get what Aldi's doesn't carry. I go to Walmart only monthly, so it's a pretty long list. Our local grocery (Shop 'n Save) is rather expensive, so I get only things that Walmart doesn't carry there and my weekly produce, though I must say Aldi's produce looks pretty good at much better prices.
    Groceries are our second biggest expense, coming in around $500/mo for just two of us and a cat. This does include vitamins and non-food items. The only higher expense is our health insurance & husband's medicare (@$850/mo.) Groceries are also about the only expense left that I have any room to lower. Unfortunately, my husband has certain dietary restrictions that make it tricky, but I do what I can.

    1. You need to go where it is the cheapest for sure. I like Aldi - our store always has good produce for a good price. I have heard some say theirs doesn't. I guess it just depends on management. Decent prices for sure.
      It is sad that we pay so much for insurance. I know some places have govt. issued insurance - but then there is high taxes. I guess everything is a trade off.
      Do what you can and cut where you can - and still have a good diet for hubs. That is all you can do. I hope Aldi saves you $$ in the future.

  8. Yes, we are trying that here, too. Not that we shop that much anyway, but we are not lacking for anything right now. As well, because my husband gets paid every two weeks, twice a year there is a month with three pay periods. January happens to be one of those. Because we have based our budget on two pay periods per month, most of that extra pay gets put into savings.

    1. Good for you - that is just the smartest thing in the world to do. So many people would just go and blow that money. Love that you have that frame of mind.
      Good luck staying out of stores - hope we are all successful!

  9. I am determined to get a better grip on my finances this year! I have paid all the fixed expenses for January, bought my transit pass and I am allowing myself about half my usual monthly amount for groceries and then giving myself a small allowance for the month. I have a class to pay for this month so that can come from the amount saved on groceries.
    I spent some time last week going through the pantry and freezer and I have plenty! The only items I should have to buy are dairy, fruit & veg.
    I have memberships to the museum and art gallery, I have a ton of books still to be read and I have Netflix so I certainly won't be bored.
    Shopping for "stuff" isn't my downfall - it's more eating out and yes, grocery shopping - love to find new things to cook with! Need to keep it much more simple this year.
    Happy New Year and good luck to everyone.

    1. Good for you. Sounds like you are off to a good start. I think we can all stand to tighten the belt a little.
      I love grocery shopping too. It has always been my thing. Kind of crazy since it is just me now. I have plenty.

      Keeping it simpler will surely save money. Good luck.
      Happy new year.

  10. I try to do the Freezer/Pantry Challenge every year Jan-March. Some years we are better at it than others. This year I really should not have to get much besides produce and the occasional dairy. We've reduced the dairy needs quite a bit since Farmer has become more lactose intolerant in the past few years. (Darn older bodies.)
    As for other buying, I know I don't need any clothes; matter of fact I'm declutter those items.
    Books, I'm reading what I already own or have purchased for FREE on my Kindle.
    So really we should only need to buy a few groceries, our few Rx & OTC meds and maybe cat food for the barn cats and the filters for the house water system and humidifier and furnace.
    I'm looking forward to the challenge.
    PS I love grocery shopping too. :)

    1. I always thought I was a minority in my LOVE of grocery shopping. I guess not! LOL
      Good for you. I hope to really watch it and use what I have for longer than January as well, but I figure I got to start somewhere! Good luck to you and to all.

  11. We are doing a low spend grocery month. We have $100 to spend on eggs, milk, fresh fruit,fresh veggies and any amazing clearance items I see. . We do it every year. The freezers are packed and the pantry is full so we will have no problems with this. It helps rotate my stock and see where I have holes in my supplies.

    1. Good job. That sounds reasonable. We truly do need to rotate our stock and use what we have.
      Good luck.
      Miss seeing your blogs posts!!!!!

  12. I am with you too, tidied the pantry yesterday and will be eating our way through the fridge/freezer over the next few weeks. We have several family members' birthdays so our spending will be high but will get back on track after February. I think it's never too late to start. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You are welcome. You are so correct. Whether today, tomorrow, next month or April - it is never too late to start getting back on track. We all chose our time to move forward.
      I think we are all of the mindset to tidy the pantries!
      Good luck to you.