saving-money-by-being frugal and living frugally

Getting back to frugal living

March was a setback on our journey to frugal living, and our checkbook took the brunt of our neglect.

In my line of work, the first 5 months of the year are our busiest.

I’ve used this fact as a scapegoat for our excessive spending, because of course, how could I cook at home, or pinch pennies, when i’m working so many hours?

But let’s be real – I could have done better.

I have to do better.

I knew it would be bad, but checking in on our Mint account really put it all into perspective.

Bad frugal food habits

Those who followed along with our case study on the MMM forum know that food – eating out, groceries, and take out – were a big spending point in our pre-frugal days.

In March we fell back into those same bad habits.

Below is our Mint breakdown for March.

frugal living grocery and food-budget mint


$2,800 is a lot of money.

Our entire mortgage, energy bill, garbage bill, internet bill and phone bill combined! (and then some)

We are actively trying to get this back under control again.

Dinners at home. Very little take-out. No restaurants.

PS, has anyone tried Optifast? I’m seriously considering it.

Online shopping was another frugal failure

Amazon made a tidy sum off of the Beatles family in March.

As did Target, JCPenney’s online and a few others.

The really bad part? I don’t remember much of what we even purchased…

frugal on amazon and online shopping

The “we know money is coming” syndrome

I have another theory for our bad March.

I’m sure there is some fancy name for this, but I call it the “we know money is coming” syndrome.

It means exactly what it sounds like.

We know that money is coming, via the rental property sale, and we are spending like we already have it.

But the thing is, we shouldn’t be spending it even when we get it!

It’s meant for bills, and an emergency fund.

Not for Taco Bell and Amazon.

Need. To. Get. This. Under. Control.




4 thoughts

  1. You already know you need to get this under control so I won’t yell at you too much. But seriously STOP SPENDING MONEY. My husband and I recently sold our first home and walked away with a nice $60k check. That very night we made a spreadsheet of all big purchases for the next 6 months, paid off the 401k loan we took to have a downpayment on our new house and then dumped the remaining $10k towards our current mortgage. For me, I can’t spend money if it’s not in my bank account so I get it sent to it’s proper place before I can do something stupid. That might work for you guys too, good luck!

    We’re also doing 60 days of no going out to eat. It’s been a bit of a challenge but by making casseroles on Sunday so we have all of our meals ready for the week it helps tremendously. 30 days in and we haven’t slipped up once so that’s another idea for you guys to try!

    1. Hey YoungGranny! I like your spreadsheet idea. I think we should do that. “Spend” it on the spreadsheet. I also love the no going out challenge. We did really well in January and even a lot of February. But March … bad.

  2. What is the breakdown of your food spending, groceries vs eating out? I love to eat and shop and cook and am having a hard time imagining spending that much. Is some of it wine or booze?

    1. Zero alcohol. It’s mostly pick-up. We did a lot of ordering from restaurants and picking it up, on top of our usual grocery spend (Around $1400 right now).

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