Days 25 – 28, $399.47

Although barely, we did it!! And I am so thankful for March 1st! Here is my spending since the last post and total for the month: 

$392.74 = total from last post

$6.73 = Frozen veggies from Whole Foods

$399.47 = Total money spent on groceries and eating out for the month of February!!

Other than the fact that I am shocked that we were able to reduce our grocery/eating out budget by more than $700 dollars, I am relieved that this little experiment is over. Callie keeps asking me when I can go to the grocery store and buy more of this or get her favorite snacks…well dear Callie, I am going to Whole Foods and Costco in the morning!!

However, many things have changed and I have learned much during this process. I have stretched in places that I never thought I would. To me, life is to be experienced and I am learning more and more what that looks like for me. Learning is one of my top 5 core values and if I were to judge Frugal February by that alone, then it was an amazing success. Here are a few things I learned during February:

1. Okay, so maybe I do like to grocery shop…retail therapy anyone??

2. I am becoming one of those people…you know those people who clip coupons and put them in the 3-ring binder. I’ve always said that I would NEVER do that…I used the excuse that “they don’t make coupons for the types of food I purchase”. I have discovered that they do make coupons for some of the foods I purchase. You have to be willing to do the research. As Callie says, “Mom, coupons are like real money!” Amen! And no offense to you if you are one of those people…I have envied you for a long time and just joined you!

3. I NEED accountability!! In no way, shape, or form would I have stuck to the $400 budget if I had not been blogging to an audience of my peers. There were several days when it would have been easier to go out to eat or pick up something easy from the grocery store, but knowing that I had to give an account of my spending was all I needed to say no to those urges.

4. My nanny was an amazing woman. I have no idea how she cooked three meals everyday while rasing 6 children and working on the farm. I think of her often as I cook each day and wonder “how would she have cooked this?” or “what did she put in her chicken casserole?”. The legacy she left me will continue on for generations. She loved us through food and although not always best for your waistline, some of the best memories I have as a child are sitting on the old wooden bench in her kitchen smelling fried chicken cooked in lard with banana pudding for dessert.

5. Meal planning and shopping ahead was a major part of what helped us be successful. Last minute trips to the grocery store almost always result in spending more than you planned to spend.

6. My children do not like budgeting…I want what I want and I want it when I want it. However, they have been troopers this month and have complained very little. They tried new recipes, although they did turn their noses up at my homemade chicken pot pie…I thought it was pretty good!

7. $400 divided by 28 days equals $14.29 per day. Wow! That is amazing. I easily spent that for most dinners in the past. Moving forward, my goal is to keep each dinner around $10 to $12.

Well, tomorrow is March 1st. A brand new month with a brand new budget. Almost makes me giddy! How much money are we going to budget for March? Considering the fact that I did not buy any meat during February (we cleaned out our freezer), I will be purchasing meat and ordering from our coop this month. That alone will add about $200 to our budget. Therefore, we are giving ourselves $700 for March. We will still save $500 per month from the $1100 we used to spend. I am looking forward to having more money to spend, but somehow, I think I will spend it much differently than I have in the past.

Thank you for joining me in this enlightening journey. Frugal February might be ending, but the Frugal Gourmet is alive and well. My dedication to nourishing my family with organic, wholesome foods has not changed and thankfully, God has given me new ways to do so. I am humbled and thankful! 

I will keep you posted on how I spend my $700!

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