Author: Cheryl
•9:41 AM

I have posted about all the changes I have made recently to be more frugal and less wasteful in our lives. But what about the things I still need to improve upon?

1.) Grocery budget. Yes, I have been using the coupons and checking out the deals. But I still don't go with a budget to the store. I just list the sales I want to partake in, plus a few items I have to get and what the amount is, it is. So now I have made it my goal to only spend $50 a week on groceries. Before this frugalness I would spend, for two adults, $120-$150 a week. Yikes!! And we never got alot with it cause we just bought what we wanted, or we would just waste it, or go out to dinner. So at $50 a week and a fridge, freezer, and basement full of food, and planning out our meals based upon what we have on stock, it will save us over $4000 a year in food. I know I can do it for $50, as alot of my shopping excursions have been in between the $40 - $70 range.

2.) Recipes using what we have on stock. I just started this the other day. I see what meats we have in the freezer, and then I go online and try to find a recipe with that meat and other ingredients we have on stock. The other day we had taco salad, and then I had the leftovers for two days while the husband was working. Tonight it is a turkey meatloaf wrapped in bacon. I pre-made it last night and we will cook it tonight. It took a whopping 5-10 minutes to prepare and easy to cook tonight. Perfect for a 2 person working household.

3.) Coffee. I am not an excessive coffee drinker. I have a cup like 2 times a week. I also don't like fancy coffee, my favorite being diner coffee. Diner's make the best, most simple and great tasting coffee to me. Most days at work I don't drink it at all. I like to just drink ice water, better for you and keeps my pants fitting. But this week I was dragging. Guess getting up at 4:30am every morning is catching up with me. So I needed a pick me up and I absolutely hate the coffee here at work. I started bringing in my own instant coffee and making it myself, but that isn't too good. Time for me to start brewing my own at home, fill up an insulated mug and bring it to work. I spent $3.90 on coffee this week. I know, not alot but still I could have made it for free at home. I just have to find a brand that is cheap but taste as good as the diner stuff. Any suggestions?

4.) Christmas shopping. This one causing alot of stress this year, so I am doing my best to shave down the spending without getting crucified for my choices. My brothers, my parents and I have done the pollyanna thing for the last two years and set a price limit. So that saves quite a bit. I don't participate in the work pollyanna anymore either. My mother in law said she would be thrilled if I gave her some of my free CVS stuff as gifts. So be careful what you ask for, she and my sister in law are getting a huge basket of my free things. My husband and I are the problems. We used to spend $600 a piece on each other (yes, that much). We don't have kids, so we spoiled each other, and sometimes that was on credit cards (hence my debt I am paying off). Well the cards are shredded now and after much debate I have gotten him to agree on getting each other much less. We are even thinking about a couple gift for the two of us.

5.) Pet food. I think I have said on here before that the one thing I am having a hard time getting really cheap is pet food. The dog is no problem, she is little, she is my only dog, she doesn't eat alot and the food I do get her is not bad in price and lasts a long time. So I have a nice stock for her. As for the cats, I have 6 of them. So that 3.5lb bag of cat dry food I get for $1.50, while a bargain, lasts about 5 minutes in our house. I am going to do a little price comparison this weekend and try buying their food in larger sizes still using coupons so that I don't have to run every week to get them more. Remember time is just valuable if not more than money.

What aspects of your frugal life do you need to work on?
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