Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Live Below The Line: Day 2

Today is Day 2 of Living Below the Line and all I could think about today was water.  If you live near me, the weather is starting to get hot.  I am not trying to complain, just being honest.  The kids and I have been drinking lots of water to stay hydrated and it just makes me think of all those around the world who do not even have clean water to drink.  I cannot even begin to imagine this but it is true.

I think about how cheap our municipal water is.  Most of what we use goes for washing dishes, clothes, ourselves; the fraction that we drink is really low.  We take it for granted!

If you're aware of the Millennium Development Goals, (also at WHO) you might have noticed that in March 2012 the clean water objective was reached.  Please realize that while this is a huge improvement, this still leaves over 780 million people without access to safe drinking water, and more than 2.5 billion lack sanitation!  And, the biggest gap is in Africa.

Read this report.  Seriously, read it.

So how did we do today?  $10.01.
Bummer; that's a penny over.  Good thing we were under budget yesterday!

If you are looking at my calculations below and thinking to yourself that doesn't look right, believe me, I did the math very carefully.  And remember, some items I purchased for free with coupons, the mini M&Ms that C picked out on our date was bought with extra bucks, and various other bargains and deals were had.

Today's frugal tip: buy whole chickens.  To keep our cost of meat down I tend to buy more chicken than beef and I almost always cook it myself.  First, I spend less and secondly, I get free broth out of the deal.  I portion the chicken out and I can typically make 3-4 different meals from one whole chicken.  So, in a typical month I'll usually buy 2 chickens.

 One whole chicken, boiled and deboned
I got 5 cups of meat from this bird.

As I have mentioned before, if you have a bread outlet near you, use it!  You will save lots here, at least we do.  What about the date?  Yes, the bread typically has a date of a few days after you buy it but I have never had a problem with this.  It is still fresh and bread freezes well - we freeze what we are not going to use right away and thaw it when we need it.

 Our bread for the month (sometimes more)
9 loaves of bread, wheat tortillas, flour tortillas, whole wheat pitas, 2 packs of English Muffins


Breakfast: 3 apple cinnamon cereal bars, 2 blueberry cereal bars, 2 cups milk, 1 banana, 1 piece of bread, water

($0.57 + $0.38 + $0.72 +$0.19 + $0.05 = $1.91)

Snack: 2 servings vanilla yogurt, leftover strawberries from last night, leftover mac n cheese

(yogurt was free and pasta and berries have already been accounted for at yesterday's dinner so cost = $0

Lunch: homemade chicken tortilla soup, 1 meat/cheese sandwich, 1 peanut butter and jelly sandwich, 1 slice of bread, 4 baked potatoes, 1 banana, tortilla chips, cheese, 1/2 cup raisins

($0.50, $0.34, $0.15 + $0.05 + $0.75, $0.19, $0.15 + $0.20 + $0.34 = $2.67)

Snack: 2 bananas, 1 apple cinnamon cereal bar

($0.38 + $0.19 = $0.57)

Dinner: 6 chicken tacos (tortillas, chicken, toppings), 1/2 large can mandarin oranges, 2 cups milk, lots of water, 1 baby Mum Mum, leftover baby food from last night and 3 spoonfuls of peas, Chick-fil-A Mother Son Date Knight (1 chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, drink, Kid's Meal - after coupons $1.79!, mini M&Ms)

($1.70 + $0.60 + $0.72 + $0.05 + $1.79 = $4.86)

As you can see, dining out is expensive!

Today's Total = $10.01


the worstest mommy said...

Wow! I'm so impressed with your budgeting skills! I have a budget, but I'm weak and can't usually stick to it!

Alicia Seeley said...

WE have a Sara Lee bakery kinda by us. If I am out that way I make a point to stop and buy my bread. Only .75 cents there, compared to the $2.00 else where!!! Worth the trip!! Following you back!!!

Neha said...

Wow! This is so inspiring. I have always kept an account of every single penny spent. I do the same even after marriage.

Great work! Keep it up :)