Monday, April 19, 2010

Progress Report...

I had a great weekend. I invited my best friend over on Saturday to watch the Bulls vs. Cavs game and she gave me a cooking lesson. Hey...good food, good wine, good game and good company. I couldn't go wrong except I needed to buy groceries.

My best friend taught me how to make spaghetti which is definitely a meal that I can stretch. She is from Kentucky and the girl can cook. She agreed to come over and give me a few more lessons over the next few months. She understands what I am trying to do and is really very supportive. Love her!!! My grocery bill was a little higher this time around because I needed a few staples to cook the meal that I won't need the next time around.

I brought my breakfast and lunch today and I am going to cook something for dinner. I am also going to ask my mom to teach me how to make a few things like chicken salad and a turkey breast. Those are also meals that I can stretch.

I am overbudget and the excess came from savings. Anticipated expenses for the week are gas for my car (only the second fill up this month), parking for class on Wednesday night ($6) and maybe another 10-ride train pass which will be the last one for the month ($41).

I plan to bring my lunch all week and cook dinner. Then, I can make it through the rest of the month just needing about $100-$120 which will come from savings but will still leave my $2,000 efund in tact. Since I have one more month without paying all of my student loans, I should be able to put the $300 back into savings.

Lastly, I spoke with my Mom over the weekend. She and my Dad are probably going to help me with $300/month come June or July when my student loan payments increase. I told my Mom that I was thinking about getting a roomate and she was not pleased (I knew she wouldn't be) but I told her that I am running out of options. Mentally I am zapped from work and just thinking about having to get a second job makes me want to cry. She just said that I need to speak up and tell them I need help. So, I said I did and I will tell my Dad this week. He is going to agree with the snap of a finger which is just going to make me feel like crap too but oh well. I couldn't even go play golf with him this weekend because that was $40 I didn't have.

            • Utilities are $105 higher due to my quarterly water bill.
            • Transportation costs are $190 higher for parking passes.
            • Medical bill from physical therapy is under misc/irregular expenses.
            • My blow dryer died. I purchased a new one under personal care.
            • Food& Dining and Groceries are my main focus right now to reduce.


            Anonymous said...


            Great progress! This friend of yours sounds like she could be your ally in your debt reduction fight. Getting some basic recipes can be very helpful as can a slow cooker! Slow cooking provides a lot of meals that you can freeze for when you are just too tired to cook. There are a lot of blogs that have recommendations for frugal fast eating. Also nice in the summer as it does not increase the heat in the house like an oven.

            I think you can have a lot of success with your eating out/grocery category. If you aren't going to get a roommate - this will be the category you have to cut back on. It can be done over time!

            Also, go to ethnic grocery stores - they offer the best deals. Dominick's and Jewel are so expensive. You can get spices for cheap at CVS/Walgreens. Start paying attention to how much groceries cost. Keep your receipts - it gives you a record in case you can't remember.

            I brought my grocery spending/dining out spending from 800/250 for 2 people. It didn't happen overnight, and I wasn't that much different from you when I started my debt reduction journey.

            Just my $0.02.


            Chitown said...

            Hi Kris!

            I have a slow cooker app on my iPhone and I was taking a look at it yesterday and getting some ideas.

            My sister uses hers often so she sent me some recipes as well. =)

            I was just thinking this morning that if I can keep food & dining and groceries at $200/month then I could be making much better progress.