"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Frugal, Not Poor

I really tightened the purse strings in January and this will continue through to April.

I haven't given up on the 'pantry method' of shopping, but am combining it with another technique. Now, I'm stocking up the pantry and not doing a 'big' grocery until it's completely empty. Until then, I'm stocking up on a few items that will encourage me to finish what I have at home. For example, last week I went out and bought some cheese and a package of chili spices to make chili, using up tomatoes and beans from the pantry. I know that all these 'systems' I'm trying out seem silly, that this shouldn't be a big deal. But I've never wrapped my brain around it. Perhaps one day I'll make my peace with grocery shopping. :-S

Yesterday, I went to visit a friend and passed a grocery store that I otherwise would not go to. I happened to have a 5$ gift certificate for that store. So, I went in and decided to stretch that 9$, plus another 4$ I had in change, as far is they could go. I will be eating out with my colleagues once this month and probably going to visit my family, so I want to tighten the grocery budget at least as much as I did in January. Therefore, my 9$ had to go for 'necessities', not treats.

Problem was, that grocery store is insanely expensive.

What I got for my 9$:

-2 oranges;
-1 loaf of good bread;
-2 lbs sugar;
-1 can tomato soup
-1 package pasta

I desperately wanted to get some fish, but I could not justify spending 6$+ on one meal when I got things that would give me several meals. The can of tomato soup might sound silly, but combined with the pasta and the cheese I have at home I can make three to four meals out of it!

The whole time I was shopping and trying to figure out how to combine what I had in my basket with what I had at home, I had to keep reminding myself "Raven, you're not poor. You're frugal. You can buy anything in the store but you choose not to."

Looking back on almost a year's worth of posts, I'm proud of the changes I've made, of going from poor and barely frugal to comfortable and more frugal, but I see how much further I need to go.

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