Week 3: Spending Diet


I nearly folded last night.  It was getting late, I had a plan for dinner, but I was also suffering from some 24-hour bug that left me weak and tired.  What I had planned for just didn’t sound appealing, so my husband took over.  He not only made my requested dinner (boiled potatoes with cheese and sour cream of all things) but then made himself a pretty tasty looking sandwich.  So now we’ve gone 3 whole weeks without eating out; I’m still in disbelief.  We also came up with the idea to splurge once a month on a fast-food like meal that we make ourselves.  I have a few books that will help with this: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes: Creating Kitchen Clones from America’s Favorite Restaurant Chains and Even More Top Secret Recipes: More Amazing Kitchen Clones of America’s Favorite Brand-Name Foods.  I’ve made a few of the recipes out of these books in the past, and I’d say they come pretty close to the originals.  I’ll let everyone know what recipe we decide on for January and will post it (with our variations) in the next few weeks.

So this week had a few unexpected purchases, but as we have money set aside for things just as these, it didn’t hit us like it would have previously.  When I got my 2nd car inspected back in December, we were told that our two front tires were in desperate need of being replaced.  They have been losing pressure at an astounding rate and so with a nice snow storm coming, we finally decided that it was time to have them replaced.  This also meant having to pay for an alignment which I found a coupon for in my local paper.  So the total for 2 NEW tires and an alignment plus all applicable taxes was $290.76.  My sister pointed out that I could have gotten a much better deal if I would have opted for used tires and shopped around, but 1) I had already dropped the car off at this point and 2) My last set of NEW tires lasted me 5 years.  It all worked out in the end, and my tires are no longer going flat.  But that could save a lot of people a lot of money, so I’d definitely do research on used tires before making that purchase.  She also needed 2 new tires and called me the very next day to tell me that she got 2 used tires (70% tread) and an alignment for around $140!! 

Our second unexpected expense was for some much-needed supplies for our hall bathroom.  Now normally, I’d say that as long as the bathroom is clean and in working order, that cosmetics don’t really matter.  Before our spending diet started, my husband and I invested almost $300 in crown molding for our entire house, including the bathroom.  It’s being installed over the next few months.  I really wanted a presentable bathroom for my husband’s parents who are staying with us for 2 weeks in April as well.  I figured since we were putting up crown molding, it might make sense to paint the very beige and dull bathroom and install new towel and toilet paper bars.  (Our towel bar, original to the house, has a habit of falling off of our wall with the slightest movement – not good.)  So after paint, rollers, and new hardware, the total for this mini-remodel was $59.42.  We made enough from selling our things on eBay to cover this.

So here’s our spending breakdown for this week:

Groceries and Household Items: $26.18

Baby Supplies: $25.06 (Using coupons for formula and diapers is a must!  Check out your Sunday paper, the internet, and your brand’s website for coupons and savings programs.  I save, on average, $10 on every can of formula by combining rebate checks and manufacturer’s coupons.)

Mini-Remodel Supplies: $59.42

Car Repairs: $290.76 (Pulled from our Emergency Stash so it isn’t included in our monthly budget – or the grand total.)

Grand Total: $110.66

We did finally get all of Christmas decorations taken down and put away downstairs so that makes me feel much better 🙂  I’m still working on my Freezer Cooking Menu and will have a post about that at a later date.  I’ve posted a few more items on eBay and already have bids on them, so that looks promising too! 

Next Week’s Goals:


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