Friday, August 17, 2007

Budget stretching

To cover our car repair, I need to reduce all other spending. A first step is eating from the pantry and freezer. Let's not pretend that mine didn't need cleaning, anyway!

I took a couple of hours to wipe shelves, sort products, and list possible meals from the pantry and freezer. I can still buy fresh produce, but I need to convert "raw goods" like flour and sugar into waffles, bread, and snacks.

On my list for later today:
Check the desk for any checks which need to be deposited.
Gather all spare change from around the house.
See if there are any items which need to be returned to a store for cash or credit.
Box up old DVDs and CDs for the pawn shop that buys them outright.

Edited to change the title. "What to do when you're broke" just seemed too negative for this blog!


Alexandra said...

Yep, that's what we do in a crunch, and we switch to beans and less meat. I also enrich our bread with more protein by using eggs and adding cheese.

Paula said...

I have been doing this all week! :) How funny! Although we did not even buy produce. I still had some the week before AND we had frozen veggies in the freezer to use up.

I also liked your article on artificial scarcity. VERY true. I wonder how much money one could save if we did that for one month once a season (4 times a year). I know I discovered that I can save $100 a month on groceries if I eat out of pantry/freezer one week out of every month. :)

I am also gonna talk about my new found way of saving money - farmer's markets. :)15 cents a head for organic lettuce! WOOHOO!!!

Anonymous said...

Would you show us what you started with and what you came up with? I have done this in the past but I always feel like I could do a better job - more with less or at least more interestingly from the same starting point. I also would love to see the process in the lower carb situation that you adopt. I think artificial scarcity helps prevent real scarcity. Your blog has really helped refine and prioritize the "beauty in your home" aspect of frugal homemaking for me. Thanks - Melissa

Tammy said...

How blessed you are that you have a pantry full of food! I would be hard pressed to do this if I had too - I don't have much in my pantry at all. I have recently quit my full time job though, and I am looking forward to being more thrifty and stocking up when sales hit!

DonnaB said...

Budget stretching is more positive than "what to do when you're broke." The first sounds like you are challenging yourself just to see if you can do it. The latter sounds like a situation you're stuck in and can't do much about.

Anonymous said...

You know one of the things we did as college students and young married people as we were struggling with money issues was to sell our blood plasma...We got $50.00 a week for it. I know this is NOT for everyone, but in an emergency situation it is a way to make a few dollars. It does take time, but it is also good to help other people while you make a few dollars too. This is different than donating blood.
Your blog is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Roxie

K E Fleck said...

ooooh, you know, I've been thinking we could use a good "pantry challenge" for the rest of the month ... our budget could use it for sure! (don't you just hate unexpected expenses?) I'm allowing myself milk, bread, and eggs but other than that, I'm going to try and follow your good example and use up what we've got. That's what it is there for, after all :-)

Best wishes! Your blog is so delightful and inspiring and I feel so glad to have found it :-)

- Kara, Rockin' Granola

Anonymous said...

You might be my new favorite read! AND you are near me! :) come visit:

I would like to join you and eat out of our pantry. As well as the Dave is so nice to hear someone making this effort, I need the encouragement and I hope I can encourage you! :)

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

I need to do this too. My pantry is stuffed to the gills and I'm hard pressed to find a place to put new groceries. Thanks for the inspiration Meredith!

If you get a free time let us know what meals you came up with out of your pantry and how much you spent at the grocery store while 'budget stretching'.

And now for a little cheer..
"Go Meredith, Go Meredith, Make some Waffles, Stretch your budget, Go Meredith"... etc.

Simply Stork said...

How wonderful to see someone else who needs to live on a strict budget... I know that we always seem to get by ok...thanks to the good Lord who always gives us just what we need when we need it:o)Thanks for visiting my site...
simply stork