Odds and Ends

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

There was a trackback to Endless Simmer posted as a comment yesterday that I looked at and the person had visited my site at the recommendation of a friend and apparently thought this project was my permanent lifestyle.

He (?, not sure, I think it’s a he) thought it seemed like a lot of work, what with shopping every day and buying one can of tomato sauce at a time. Also not much food. And the food didn’t look all that good either.

Okay …. Thanks for your input.

I am working on the week of fabulous, low-cost nutrition and have a nutritionist friend lined up to go over the menu with me to make sure it’s solid.

However before I do that, I need to get some work done for a client who has been waiting patiently for me to finish being a celebrity so I can take care of the things we talked about in February. Which was a really long time ago.

Also I need to do my taxes. And help various friends with their taxes, because that’s one of my special talents in life.

So I’ll do my best to keep posting, but the next few weeks are going to be busy.

6 Responses to “Odds and Ends”

  1. cybele Says:

    I want to thank you for inspiration. Our local news station picked up your $1/day eating, and I challenged my 2 kids to try to eat for $1 a day. $21 buys a lot more groceries than I thought it would! We are ‘cheating’ by using spices, canned goods and leftovers that we had hanging around already, but then that sort of fits in with the Eat Down the Fridge project, too. We began because my husband (a truck driver, out a week at a time or more, doesn’t factor in the eating plan; there’s NO WAY we could do it if he were home) had a couple of weeks with no loads, so this was our attempt to live cheaply when he finally did get work. It’s made him feel as though we’re working to save, instead of just spending everything he earns and it’s teaching our kids (whom we spoil a bit, as we were both raised VERY frugally by single moms) about budgeting and the value of $1. $3 for 6 donuts no longer looks like a bargain to them! Making pudding at home isn’t a big hairy deal! The boxed pasta&sauces are too expensive! Coffee at Starbucks isn’t even an option! Prioritizing eggs and milk as the #1 items makes sense, and pushing cookies and soda to the bottom of the ‘wish’ list (below bananas, popcorn and a pizza kit) was their idea. We’re just finishing Week #1, and about to shop for Week #2, and will see how long we can manage. So thank you, thank you- my husband feels better, the kids are learning something valuable, and I’m clearing out my overstock of canned goods. When I eventually double our budget (to $42- still saving $60/week) the kids will feel positively wealthy. You are my Hero of the Week!

  2. Karen Says:

    Obviously, he missed the point of your project.

  3. lessisenough Says:

    This is so wonderful to hear from people like you who have been inspired by this project to make changes, and that the changes are making a real difference in your life.

    Don’t think of using spices etc. as “cheating” — I only did it the way I did to make it as hard as possible and to help make my point. You should use up what you have and do whatever works best for you. It sounds like you’re doing a great job, and especially getting the kids involved so they have some say in how things go. Then they’re invested and are less likely to feel like it’s some bad thing that’s happening to them. That’s great.

    Another resource I want to make sure people know about are The Tightwad Gazette books, by Amy Dacyczyn, which are based on a newsletter of the same name that she did in the early ’90s.

    I have The Complete Tightwad Gazette and some of the tips are dated but the general concepts are still valid and I think it’s a great book, and entertaining also. She’s a really good writer and smart about saving money and incredibly thorough.

    The book is good for people with kids (she and her husband were raising 5 kids during the time she was doing the newsletter) as she talks about doing cheap birthday parties and how to get your kids on board with a frugal lifestyle, etc. You might be able to find it at a yard sale or thrift store for cheap.

  4. cybele Says:

    I so appreciate your encouragement and the book suggestion. We are on Week #2 now, and feeling empowered. Before we went shopping, we ‘treated ourselves’ to a meal off the Wendy’s Value Menu, each of us on a $3 budget (“That’s three days’ worth,” my daughter said. “Hope it’s worth it!” I told her.) We left a little hungry, and after dinner (cornbread and beans, not their favorite) they commented that they certainly did not feel still hungry after THIS meal.

    We’re playing a game of ‘let’s see what we can make of things we forgot we had.’ That pizza kit they didn’t get? The kids remembered a can of pizza sauce at home, and I remembered some mozzerella cheese, plus I knew I had flour, and so we bought a .49 packet of yeast to make pizza crust dough. Hooray! I made a stab at crackers using the drop biscuit recipe from the side of one of the three (yes; it’s embarrassing) boxes of Bisquick we had. The product was pretty cracker-like! Tonight we’ll adapt one of the five (sigh) cake mixes I found to make cookies.

    Again, many many MANY thanks.

  5. kodetova Says:

    I’ve been following your project since day 9 or 10. I think your next emphasis on healthy meals on a budget is excellent. You might find the US Dept of Labor stats on consumer expenditures survey interesting. The table categorized by region of residence is easiest. In the Midwest, a family of 2.4 on avg spends monthly $271 for groceries and $212 eating out (based on 2007 stats which are the most current available). http://www.bls.gov/cex/#tables

    Looking forward to your upcoming project. Thanks.

  6. lessisenough Says:

    Thanks for the info on the Dept. of Labor statistics. I’m busy doing research for the next project and am definitely going to include some statistics on average expenditures for Americans at different income levels, typical food stamp expenditures, etc. I’ll definitely check out that link.


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