A new mom dives into parenthood. Will our heroine survive?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Living on $200 for 3 weeks

For the next three weeks I have been assigned the task of managing our household expenses to the tune of $200... Apparently we have not been as frugal as we need to be as of late and we have get our credit card balance back down to zero.  Fortunately for us, not being frugal doesn't really mean much in terms of money.  My "big spender" episodes usually just include splurging on a Happy Meal and large sweet tea at the mall and then an iced coffee and muffin from the Dunks after church on Sundays!!  But, however small the amounts may be, they DO unfortunately add up.  So hubby wants me to try keeping us under $200 for the rest of month. Can I do it?? YES I CAN! Do I want to????  Noooooo.....

But I will!

Here's the plan:

1. Use what's in the pantry for meals. This is kind of hard when you eat mostly just salads. You can't really store a bunch of lettuce in the pantry. But I'm going to try for some snacks and side dishes out of my canned goods stock. Also, I have a lot of potatoes in my produce bin left over from my last shopping trip, so I'm going to make good use of those as well.

2. Make tortillas and bread from scratch for sandwiches.  One of my recent "splurges" was on a spicy chicken wrap from Chik-fil-a. Let me tell you - it was GOOD.  So I'm going to try and recreate it to replace some of those boring salad nights.  I've been Googling recipes for flat bread, but then this morning I found THIS ONE on Passionate Homemaking. So I'm going to try it!

3. No driving. I'm going to try to stay home this week.  This shouldn't be too hard because I have plenty of work to do around the house.  Plus the weather is unseasonably cool and I don't like to get out in the cool weather.  So that ought to save on gas.

4. No chocolate milk!  Sorry hubby!  We recently switched from cow's milk to soy and it is significantly more expensive.  Our favorite treat is to mix powdered Nesquik (purchased in bulk - a 48.7 oz jug is apx. $7) with Silk.  YUM.  It is so good and it helps to alleviate our cravings for "vitamin chocolate."  BUT for the next three weeks, we will forego this tasty treat and eat something else instead.

5. Use household chores as entertainment.  I am bored a lot.  But I really have no excuse because there is always something that needs to be done around our home.  This is the perfect time to tackle some major projects around our house that need doing.  And since we're not going to be driving as much - this is the perfect time to get them done.

So that's my plan! I have to keep all of our expenses (not included monthly bills like utilities and insurance) under $200.  Here's to living frugally!

6 comments:

Jes said...

This sounds like us every month! My husband gets paid once a month, so we pay all the bills, then what's left is gas and food for the month, it's normally about $500. Seems like a lot, but gas consumes about $200 of that. It's amazing how you can make things stretch!

Debbie J. said...

Sounds like you are going to have a good time meeting this challenge! You should have taken home some food Sunday. At least you don't have to buy baby milk and diapers! You are such a frugal, and great Mama!

The Happy Housewife said...

Sounds like you are on the right track. You have some great ideas for staying under the $200. Those little trips to McDonalds and Chick-Fil-A add up quick don't they!
Toni

rosemary said...

good luck girlfriend! feeding 2 englishmen, i spend that much on groceries every week it seems...

Lyn said...

I bet you can easily do this. I love frugal challenges - they certainly get the frugal mind going!

Best wishes...

Pen Pen said...

Sometimes facing the short term challenges can actually be fun... sort of a game. I'm sure you can do it! I ate out almost everyday for the past two weeks (new job... orientation.... eating with the other new folks) and it really does put a dent in your pocketbook! Good luck!