Search Frugal Divorced Liz

Monday, January 11, 2010

My non-frugal choices, and how I plan to improve!

Recently, I haven't been as frugal as I should be. Between the Holidays and this persistent cold snap, I just seem to have lost my motivation! Here are some of my non-frugal guilty confessions, and how I plan to remedy the overspending!:P

For the past week, I've been buying breakfast every day at the student union on my way to class. I buy a bowl of grits and some hot coffee. It only costs $2, so I've been able to justify it...So far. I started thinking about it, though and I realized that $2 every school day is $8 a week! You may be thinking, "Why is she freaking out over $8? Lighten up, Liz!" I used to think that way too, but now I only have $500 A MONTH to pay for food, gasoline, and miscellaneous expenses for 4 people! That is $125 per week. $8 is roughly 6.5% of my total money for the week. $8 is a trip to the movies for the kids and I, it could be the difference between us feasting on pot roast, or beans on a given night.
So I plan to start bringing my own coffee to school in a thermos, and maybe even some grits too. I'll have to experiment and see if grits stay good in a thermos. If they don't, I could always bring a baggie of cereal and a thermos of cold soymilk. I could make some muffins and bring one, or I could make some bagels. I'm determined to get motivated again!

The cold weather has made me EXTREMELY reluctant to use my clothesline. Who wants to go outside in the frigid arctic (or what seems like it anyway!) when there is a nice, warm dryer to be used? People who need to save money on electricity! It's not pleasant hanging wet clothes out in the cold, but I still need to get on the ball and do it. My electricity bill went up $30 this month, just from using the dryer!

I just got tired of eating leftovers...But when you've only got $40 a week to spend on food, throwing leftovers away is definitely counter-productive! I need to start planning my meals again, and stop feeding my kids waffles and cereal for dinner.

It's hard to stay motivated sometimes, but I'm not someone who is frugal because I'm saving up for a vacation, or for a nicer car. I'm frugal because I have to be. There are a lot of days when I wish I could just turn up the damn heat, instead of trudging out to the woodshed, carrying a backbreaking, heavy load of wood to the house, picking up kindling from outside, and then finally starting a fire. There are days I just want to order pizza, or Chinese, when I want to go to the grocery store and buy whatever I want. On days like that, I go into the kitchen and try to find something special for dinner. I take my kids to a dollar movie, or to the library. After a while, I start to remember all of the good things about my new life, and I don't feel so discouraged.


Cate said...

I really admire you. I think you do very well with what you have. That said, I totally understand the "what the #$#$ am I doing?!" shock when you realize you've been frittering money away. It's not a good feeling.

Kristen@TheFrugalGirl said...

Ah, I understand. Some days, I want to just buy whatever at the grocery store too.

Hang in there!

annet said...

I can personally attest that quick oats in a thermos with fruit and milk work fine. Just be sure to give it a good stir before you cap it! You can probably do the same thing with grits.

WilliamB said...

Liz, does the student union offer hot water, or cold water and a microwave? You could make 1 min oatmeal in a thermos or covered container with that.

I say oatmeal because I don't know if instant grits are any good. (In fact, just about all I know about grits is from "My Cousin Vinny," one of the funniest movies of the decade.)