Sunday, January 27, 2013

January Challenge - Week 4 wrap up

I made it through Week 4, and guess what? I stuck to the budget! That was even the revised down from $360 to $300 budget. Here's my original post with my goals.

  • Stick to $360 $300 for all of our variable expenses. I've cut this down, as per the final challenge of the month. The $60 in savings will go towards our tax/emergency fund savings account.

We spent $240.11 this week, & that included quite a bit of postage for my Ebay sales (and, many lessons learned on what to & not to sell on Ebay, as well as how much to charge for postage!). Here's how the spending breaks out:

  • Groceries - $82.33. M was out of town for most of the week, so we didn't need as much as usual.
  • Dining out - $0!
  • Postage (and mailing supplies) - $70.46.
  • Kids - $27.38. M promised S ski poles, if he was regularly skiing black runs. The time has come, so we purchased him second hand ski poles. We should be able to pass them down to N, and then also resell them.
  • Gas - $59.94
The $120ish that we save will go towards our repair bill at the vacation house &/or the tax bill. There are plenty of places for it to go this week. ;-)


  • Get rid of 30 items this week. Increasing from my original goal of 20, because I think there's still more there. :-)
  • Organize the food stash!
I definitely got rid of more than 30 items. I went through both kids closets & got rid of everything that didn't fit, brought up clothes in a larger size from my spare dresser, I also got rid of a full punch set (including 16 mugs). I'm giving them to my mother, who has lots of parties. I've never used them in the ten years I've owned them, so clearly, I don't need them. :-)

I also went through my food stash again (just cleaned & organized it at the end of December), but still managed to find an old container of cereal that was six years old. Yes, six years old. We don't even eat cereal, so who knows why I bought it to start with. It was tucked way in the back, so looks like I need a better food rotation system.

I also have a few random pantry items that I'd like to use up in the next few weeks. Some of them are "one hit wonders" (i.e. I bought them for a specific recipe & never used the remaining).

  • Sweet mochi flour (?!). Had to look this one up online.
  • Oatmeal. I love oatmeal & we use it regularly, but we have a *ton*.
  • Manicotti noodles. I only have 2 or 3, & don't want to buy another box, so need to get creative with these.
  • Orzo (love this, but it's been in the pantry for a while)
  • Chia seeds (one time wonder, need to use these up, as they were crazy expensive)
  • Dry roasted almonds. Stale, so no good for snacking. Would like to use them in something. I've tried this recipe with great success, but not sure how it would work with the dry roasted version.
Any recommendations for the sweet mochi flour, your favorite oatmeal recipe, lonely manicotti noodles, or the others? Help me! :-)

Many, many thanks to Carla for keeping me on track this month with the January challenge!!

And, here's a picture of our January donations - more than 100 items to give to Goodwill!


  1. I've never even heard of mochi flour before :) Could you make almond milk with these almonds? And nice job on all your goals!

    1. Who knows why I bought the mochi flour, and/or what recipe I used it in? It's almost like it just magically appeared in the pantry.

      I'm worried that the dry roasting of the almonds would throw the flavor off. I feel like they need to be used in something savory?

  2. Oh wow 100 items! I had about 30 when they picked up last week. Always a good feeling to get things out of my house and perhaps to folks who will appreciate them.

    1. I've even been going through my various personal products (lotions, makeup, etc) that I haven't used, but obviously won't donate, to see if my mom & sister want any of it. It feels awesome to go through the house & give things to people who will actually be using them!

  3. Great job on the decluttering and sticking to your budget this week.

    1. Thanks! Finally, a week of success! I think the tax issue pushed me into hard core frugality. ;-)

  4. You did awesome with the budget this week, well done!! :) And look at that pile! Awesomeness!! :)

    1. Thank you! It feels good. Now I just need to get it out of the garage. The donation location is right next to M's work, so hopefully . . . tomorrow. :-)

  5. On the almonds, I love them mixed with yogurt and on salads. I find stale or not, they still taste fine mixed with the other flavors.