I did it! No Goodwill shopping!

I didn’t go Goodwill shopping in February. I decided I’m going to wait until the last Sunday in March (clothes marked down 50%!) to get dd’s size 5 clothes done. My NS-DH complaining at me helped influence my decision a little. ;- )

I did go to Walmart yesterday for NS-DH’s business trip clothes and fishing stuff. I’m thinking/hoping to supplement the family’s menu with locally caught fish. I found out that our county stocks to county lakes with trout and you can take 2 per person per day. So, if I can get 4 each time we go (2 for me and 2 for dd) that should help. To that end I had to get a fishing license, bobs, a net, and a fishing rod for dd. I didn’t think I’d get many fish if dd was constantly telling me “I want to do it” with my one fishing pole, so I think it’s a necessary expense.

I started to pick up some of those activity books for $3.27 each, but I put them all back! I was so proud of myself. It might not seem like much but books for dd is a BIG problem area for me. Babysteps; one day at a time. Yeah,me!

Head-banging financial issues.

My issues are much more than financial. I think I need… I don’t know what! Help! I have this desperate drive to store food and supplements/medicines that is not funny, but it makes me feel so out of control.

So this is what I did on one day (ONE DAY!) last week:

1. First stop, the Farmer’s Co-op. Bought a 50 lb bag of rabbit feed for times when I can’t find veggies for them and a 50 lb bag of baking soda (save much money on your house cleaning, baking, bathing for the rest of your life!). Spent about $23.

2. On to the “apple store”. Close to the end of the season so I got 20 lb of yellow delicious apples for about $13. Running total: $36.

3. I joined Sam’s Club after checking it out. Luckily I could get a business membership for only $35 instead of $40. But then I went the first day and spent $200! On food, but still. Running total: $271.

4. Next stop: grocery store with a BOGO sale on Nature Made vitamins. Spent about $48, but saved a little over $20. Running total: $319.

5. Next stop was Rite-Aid because I could combine coupons and rebates. For example, they had a rebate on Sambucol for $3, I had a $4 coupon (get on their email list at www.sambucol.com), resulting in the price for the first one being $5.99 and $8.99 for the second one I bought. Got a little bit more there for a total of about $61. Running total: $380.

6. Local health food store (co-op) for lots of eggs, beef and buffalo jerky (trying out different flavors to see what we would like to get), and supplements (mostly anti-virals) for a total of (drum-roll) $224! Running total: $604. (Are you feeling faint yet?)

7. Thanks to all that’s holy the day is almost done. Costco is last with a measly total of about $35 – fresh fruit/veggies with a box of madeleines (no “fake” stuff: ingredients are butter, sugar, eggs, enriched flour, vanilla extract, salt). I don’t like to buy him cookies because I think it sets a bad example. Also, he snacks on them so they’re not kept as a desert or treat. DD then thinks of them as something to snack on when she’s at the computer. If I put them away when he’s not here, it’s not too bad – I can frequently redirect her. The problem is me remembering to put them away for sure he won’t. Anyway, back to business. Running total: $639.

So $640 in one day, plus the gas to drive around. Ask me how I know the accuraccy of the totals while I’m sitting here at the breakfast table. I don’t have the receipts with me; I went to my credit card’s website and looked them up! That’s right. Everything but Sam’s and Costco went to making my hole deeper. So I can pay 10% interest for a stocked pantry/medicine cabinet.

Was it worth it? I don’t know. I guess if you look at the world right now, just today, maybe not. If you are looking back on this post from 6 months in the future, who knows? I try to console myself that all of these things that I’m buying will be used. I just wish I had the actual cash to pay for them, as well as the self-control to “just say No!” when I don’t have the cash.

Oh, yeah. I also had to pay $21.20 in late fees to the library on Wednesday. They charge $1 per day(!) for DVDs and we had out 10. Tough way to be reminded to pay attention.

Sunday is the last Sunday of February and Goodwill has 50% off on clothes. I want to finish sizes 5 and 7 for DD (does size 7 usually fit pretty much like size 8 or only if the clothing is marked 7/8? Anybody?) and have to get some dress pants for NS-DH for his new business. Guess how I’ll be paying if we go over $40? It ain’t over yet!

This Sunday will be the next-to-last hurrah for the big spending. I have one more planned purchase that I’m trying to get done as soon as possible but the item keeps going out of stock. I hope to get that done within the next 2 weeks. Then I’ll be done. Stick-a-fork-in-me done. After that I’llbe trying to no-spend as much as possible.

No spend going fairly well.

I had to pay for some homeschool stuff on Ebay that I had bid on before I started the no-spend challenge, so I’m not sure if I count that as being against the rules or not. I’m thinking not because (1) I promised to pay before starting and (2) after I get everything under control again I will have a little set aside each month in the budget for homeschool. I guess I should count this purchase against the budget though. That means no homeschool spending until April. THAT is going to be hard.

I did give in to the tears and bought 1 package of cookies for $2.99 on about the 23rd or 24th but I did not give in last night. Miraculously, when we went back in the store (after calming down outside for 1/2 hour), we found the last piece of Sara Lee cake that the store had set out samples of! Thank you!

So we haven’t spent anything unplanned for since about January 17, with the exception of that box of cookies and the Ebay stuff. I think we’re doing pretty good! It’s getting a little easier as times goes on but I’m so tempted! I’m dreading going to Costco next week.

It looks like my in-laws might be able to swing some money our way next month. I’ll raise the grocery budget a bit (I had it down to $50 – we were going to have to eat pantry/freezer only) but I’m going to try to put the rest toward the Emergency Fund.

No spend update.

I did spend money yesterday on food. Mostly food for the dogs and rabbits (the store had pork picnic roasts for $0.97/lb!), but I did buy about 1/2 lb of grapes for dd. I feel conflicted about that. We were able to get them because they were on “special buy” at less than $1/lb, but I hadn’t planned on getting “extra” food. We were “this close” to buying a $1 toy because we had enough money with us when dd saw the strawberries.

We broke out the calculator and checked. Couldn’t afford the strawberries. By this time, dd (3.5 years old) is putting her mouth on the container. *insert roll-eye smilie here* Think fast, mama. Wait! There’s a red “special buy” sign under the grapes and you can adjust the weight! Negotiations/explanations ensued. Got 2 days worth of grapes in exchange for putting back the strawberries and the $1 pony.

So I will count it as no-spend. I can’t seem to shake the feeling that spending on food is still spending. Even for the bunnies. I’m usually able to get enough veggies for them out of the dumster at this grocery store and the the compost bin at the local health food co-op.

I think I’m going to have to make up rules. Rules post soon!

So far, so good!

I have not spent any money Saturday, Sunday or today (Monday)! Go, me!

Food today will include leftover chicken wings and oatmeal for breakfast, hamburgers for lunch, and duck with asparagus and cranberry sauce for dinner. Mmmm, duck. I’m never going back to chicken. We have one chicken left in the freezer and that’s it. There’s so much more lucious fat on the duck, it’s crazy good!

I normally don’t eat grains but I’m kind of one a kick the past few days. Between putting my dog to sleep, my husband getting demoted and our other stream of “income” (loan money from the in-laws) being cut off, I’m allowing a few days of wallowing in the grains. I hope to get back to grain free by the weekend.