Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Frugal Momma Challenge: Day #1

a bit of rainy day fun!

Well, I have convinced myself that it is time to step up as my own personal trainer! I am now having a personal challenge this month of June (I know. I couldn't wait to get started!) to see how little money I can spend. Today's total is $1.96. I bought two diet cokes. I know. I shouldn't, but that is my downfall. Maybe this challenge will encourage me to reduce the intake. I am striving to learn other ways to deal with stress than to shop. Mind you, I shop frugally and mostly at Goodwill and Hobby Lobby. But how many miles of yarn do I have by now? If it didn't take so long to measure it, I would. Maybe I'll photograph it as I pack it up. At least it is less than I used to have and at least I am actually finishing things now! 

Back to the frugal challenge. Part of the fun of this will be calculating how much money I save by planning my meals and cooking at home. I have cooked the last three nights! It has felt good. I just wish the dishes didn't have to come with it, but I am going to listen to a book while I deal with the cleanup so it'll be ok. 

I am trying to decide what a good estimate is for how much money I save everytime I cook. I know it varies based on what ingredients I use. But rarely do we get out of a restaurant for less than $40. I think I am going to figure based on $5 a head. I know very few places I can still eat a healthy meal for $5. That will usually come to $30 for us or $35 if Nick is home, too. That should work out about right because I will need to subtract the cost of food from the total saved and I don't want to get really picky about the accounting part of this. I am not going to figure breakfasts because we don't usually eat out then. 

So this week the running total of money saved by cooking at home for three dinners would be: $95. Not bad!

On Monday night I cooked Mexican food for Malachi's birthday. I spent about three hours in the kitchen that night but I cooked everything from scratch except the tortillas and chips. 

I made:

  • refried beans from the pintos I had cooked in the crock pot on Sunday
  • garlic, corn and rotel rice (improvised recipe)
  • homemade guacamole
  • coffee cake
  • and white cheese dip
Then Sunday night was leftovers of all that Mexican food! No prep time but warming it up!

Tonight I took the leftover rice and added it to turkey link sausage in a skillet. I also prepared green peas and grilled cheese sandwiches. Everybody seemed to like it fine!

I still have two sinks of dishes to wash, but I am rejoicing in my new challenge. I have pressed my apron until I have the time to make me a new one out of the book A is for Apron that I bought last week on one of those "shop to make me feel better" excursions that I am not doing this month. LOL! I even have a sage green tablecloth on the table and we have been eating on the nice plates! Did I say I am ready to turn this wagon around? I think it is time. I did really well at all this when we lived in Booneville and were homeschooling. I guess I took a bit of a vacation this year. We eat together more than most families I know, but we have been eating out a bit too much for my tastes lately because of the move! 

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