Fifty Bucks: The Breakdown

Well, I did not stay under $50 in the Fifty Bucks til Friday Challenge. I did, however, stay under $100. And really, I only went over because I yielded to common sense and did things like filling up the gas tank instead of only getting half a tank. I ate breakfast at home and packed a lunch every day — even the day when it snowed and I overslept and Sebastian was sick and waaaah. A lot of instant oatmeal, yogurt, and banana bread. We ate dinner at home every night except one, when we had pizza out because there was a showing of the house. And hubs paid for that. I’ll spare you the detailed breakdown that I started to write, but it was all gas, a few extra groceries, a little Wawa, my pricey olive oil, and balloons for a school event. It felt good to be so on top of everything, to be tracking everything so closely. So I’m doing it again this week!

(Last Friday night (payday) was a wild rumpus of takeout food.)

I spent some time over the long weekend making a spreadsheet of expenses for the next two weeks. Figured out the bills that need to be paid, what we will probably spend on food, etc. I reupped my train pass and the texts on my phone, and checked that the kids have enough in their lunch accounts (they buy lunch once a week). I went out with friends Saturday night so I had my fun for the month šŸ™‚ We had to get new tires for the van yesterday. All of this was accounted for in the spreadsheet, and I *shouldn’t* need to spend anything else.

We have plenty of groceries for this week and I mapped out a rough meal plan. Sunday night, Gemma, Sebastian and I made brownies from scratch, so we have had some treats on hand. We were treated to pizza on Monday with my family for my mom’s birthday, for lunch. We’ve eaten at home every night since Friday.

Once certain open questions (like the house) get settled, I’ll be able to put these thrifty efforts into a larger context. For right now, the goal is simply to build up savings.

Monday, I finally took a stab at growing herbs indoors. I braved the 17-degree temps and went out to my garden shed to find some good containers. Back inside, I filled them with the soil from the herb kit I got at Goodwill a while back (the pots in the kit didn’t have holes), and planted basil and parsley from my stash of seeds. The pots are on a LEGO shelf next to my south-facing bedroom window. It’s easier for me to control the temperature in here. You won’t find a picture like this on Pinterest but… as long as it works, I don’t care.


I wish I could plan this year’s garden but I don’t know if I’ll be here šŸ˜¦

Now it’s Saturday again and I’m trying to do some cooking and baking. I have a desire to make pasta fagioli again. Gemma and I want to make pizza dough too. I picked up groceries today and I have pretty much everything I need. Just got to… get started. There’s also a good amount of cleaning that needs to be done, and the kids and hubs need to start decluttering a la Marie Kondo. My husband has a lot of clothes that need to be dealt with. For the kids, it’s toys. Again. They have to be gone through… again. But there’s not much else going on this weekend, besides basketball practices for Gemma. It’s a nice quiet time of year and I am glad for it.

Small wins:

  • I found my very last pair of contacts tucked into my travel toiletries bag. This pair will get me through til February 1 when my new and improved health insurance kicks in!
  • I thought I was going to have to pay out of pocket for a doctor’s visit the other day but it ended up being covered.
  • Hubs took a page out of my book and cut his own hair! It’s really… not too bad!
  • Thursday night I was totally prepared to just order food after a really long day at work. But I walked in the door to hubs making spaghetti. It was all just about ready to eat. ā™„

2 responses to “Fifty Bucks: The Breakdown

  1. Recommend borscht with bone-in shank. Add a dollop of sour cream. Read Boris Pasternak. Get under a blanket.

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