WEEK FIVE UPDATE, SOCIAL EXPERIMENT
This is a day late but I was so sick yesterday I couldn't even bring myself to type a little bitty post. I am feeling much better today, and am ready to report this week's results! Actually, I am going to include today's shopping also (even though my weeks run thursday to thursday) because I had intended to shop yesterday, which is my regular shopping day...but it was pushed to today because of being sick. Anyhooo...
Well, you may remember that the new challenge I have added to the social experiement is to try and cut my total grocery spending in half, from $400 to $200 per month. Which means I need to spend under $50 a week. This week I spent $111. But that is ok! I still think I can make it. I need to spend under $30 a week for the next three weeks to meet my goal. The reason I spent so much this week is because I needed to restock my pantry after being gone for six days, and because I had two birthday parties to throw this week. We had already had one party, which was a family potluck. We have another party tomorrow, with about 20-25 people coming. So, with all things considered, I am pretty happy with my grocery spending for the week.
Here is the breakdown
$12-Hotdogs for C's party (80 hotdogs from the foodsales hotty/hubby)
$36-Diapers, party supplies, pantry staples...from the Discount Food Store
$30-party supplies and pantry staples...IGA
$33-Vegetables and fruit...Produce stand
How am I going to keep my spending under $30 a week for the next three weeks, you ask?
Well, I have ordered two more cloth diapers, which should arrive next week. I will then have enough to last about 1/3 of a week, which will also reduce my diaper purchases by 1/6 (1/3 of 1/2 of my kids). That will save some. I have made and am now using cloth wipes, which will save a little. My freezers are full of all kinds of meat. My pantry has rice, pasta, canned goods, oatmeal, green beans, etc. All I will need to buy (for the most part) are dairy items such as milk, butter, and eggs...and fresh fruits and vegetables. I can reduce that bill too, by only buying local and in-season fruits and veggies. I spent a lot this week by buying grapes and asparagus. We love asparagus around our house, but it is pricey at $3.29 per pound. I can do better with pole beans (so yummy steamed and tossed with minced garlic, sea salt, pepper, and clarified butter), corn, and greens.
So, there it is. I can do it! In the words of the little blue engine that could "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!"
My hubby really encouraged me to keep at it today when he said that he was really starting to feel the difference in our budget from the money I was saving on groceries. That was all the motivation I needed to keep this up! Not that I am wanting to quit, I love this new way of life! But, it was nice to hear that it was affecting our bottom line in a positive way.
In other good news, I have officially lost all my Bauer weight!! Woo Hoo!! I was doing a happy dance in my undies this morning when I stepped on that scale. It wasn't pretty, but I did it anyway because I was soooo excited!! I lost 43 pounds in 4 months. That is the fasted that I have ever lost weight. Now, I am going to get started on that 12 pounds I had left from Landing, and then the 22 pounds I had left from Caed! It's my own little No-Child-Left-Behind Act. :) 43 pounds down, 34 to go. I was so motivated that tonight when I wanted ice cream, I had grapes instead. I have to get those Choco tacos OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!
Oh, and I know this post is getting long, but here is what I decided on for the party tomorrow (you may remember that I had some angst about presents and gift bags a while back). We are having C's party at the church (playground, cafeteria like room w/ a kitchen). We invited about four families with boys his age, plus our families. We asked that no one bring gifts. C has only been to a few parties (and they were awhile ago), and hasn't had anything other than a family party for the last two years, so I really don't think he will notice. But if he does, we will just tell him that he is opening presents on Sunday, which is really his birthday. On Sunday night, we will go to a restaurant here in town that he has a birthday coupon for with our families and give him his presents from the grandparents. We are giving the two birthday boys (L's was Wednesday) a wooden playset from us.
We will play simple games such as simon says, musical chairs, etc. They can play on the playground, have an impromptu baseball game or work puzzles inside. We will also have a pinata. I decided against gift bags in leui of someone's great idea (can't remember who left that comment now, but thank you!) to have paper bags for the kids to decorate, then take their goodies from the pinata home in. I know disposable paper bags aren't very eco-friendly, but I figured it was better than plastic and other than making bags out of fabric from goodwill, I couldn't think of a better alternative. I did get the brown paper bags that haven't been bleached. I hope he is happy with his little party. I want him to enjoy having family and friends around celebrating with him and having a good time playing together...not him ripping through presents, throwing each one down to get to the next one while all his friends watch and feel jealous.
For food we are having hotdogs, chips, grapes, juice, and cupcakes. I still haven't figured out what I am doing about cups and plates...hmmm, guess I need to work that out pretty soon.
Well, that is it for now. I need to get busy making cupcakes and stuffing a dinosaur pinata!