So, how is your month going? We're one week into Frugal February and I'm starting to feel it. I've been doing really well with saving and actually made it up to yesterday (the 7th) without purchasing anything. Before we get into what I've spent, let's talk about how I've saved! The temptations have been real!
The weather here has been really warm, like summer, which basically means one thing: iced coffee. On the third day of Frugal February my daughter wanted to go to Barnes & Noble and use a gift card from Christmas. Freshly indoors from the hot Saturday afternoon rays, I found myself eyeing the B&N cafe, daydreaming of sipping (okay, guzzling) an iced coffee. Well, I resisted and made myself an iced coffee once we returned home. It tasted great and it felt great having that self control but I'd rather not put myself in that situation for the rest of the month.
Another way we've saved money is to find free things to do for entertainment like go for walks and hike. The amount of walking/hiking I've been doing lately prompted me to think about investing in a fitbit so I could see how many steps I take (feels like hundreds of thousands, honestly), but then of course, that's not frugal is it? I'll remain in the dark as far a that goes because what would I really do with that information? Like I really need to know how many steps I take in a day? No, Courtney, no.
A couple days a week I work outside of my home and on those days I'm generally desperate for food by mid-afternoon and today I almost caved for a smoothie bowl because the smoothie place had an advert on the window for a limited edition pineapple lime bowl (omg) and I felt hearts forming in my eyes the moment I saw it. But, I ran to my car and ate an apple I brought with me and waited until I got home to make a smoothie for free.
So, what's the thing that made me snap and spend money yesterday? My daughter needed Valentines for her class. I took her to the dollar store thinking I was going to get away with being frugal but they ended up costing me $9.54 because kids these days can't just have Valentine cards. It seems they need candy too and bags to put them in. I think it probably would've cost more at Target so I'm feeling pretty good about it.
I'm spending more money today, though, and I'll tell you why. Like I said at the beginning of the month, the challenge doesn't include regular necessities like bills, gas, and food. I did go to the grocery store with my family and we saved money by going to Winco, which has amazing deals on all of their food. One problem with that is the low quality produce. As a vegetarian, I'm kind of a produce snob and I really can't eat a half brown avocado for the sake of saving 50 cents. So we only purchased the fruits that can withstand somewhat rough handling like bananas, apples and oranges.
After spending a week eating at home with minimal fresh produce, I've started to feel pretty gross. This is also why I gravitated toward that smoothie bowl sign today. I've just sent my husband off with $25 to buy us Subway for dinner. If you haven't had their veggie chopped salads, I highly recommend them. Subway is one of my favorite places to get a takeaway salad.
Anyway, so I've learned from this past week that I just can't skimp on quality food/produce. I'm going to have to make more time to get to my favorite grocery store (and the farmer's market!) for fresh produce. I also think it will be highly likely that the rest of my $60 budget will be used on food on the run but hey, we'll see!
I believe we either invest in our food or end up investing in medicine and I'd rather invest in food. I'm still planning to keep to my budget for the month so we'll see how that goes with three weeks and half the budget left! I guess that's what happens when you buy things for other people as well.
C'est la vie.
Let me know your progress?