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Saturday, February 2, 2013

frugal february

Hi there.
We are starting a new month. This means it's a good time for a new challenge.
I think I have already mentioned my determination to melt down my mortgage.
Each month I want to put all the extra pennies I can towards it.
Pennies won't go too far, but dollars will. Even a few here and there.

The biggest spending categories that we can easily control and cut are groceries and gas.
Utilities too, actually. Our water & electric bill has jumped almost 20% to $120 since the Attic Addition
(more space to heat) and with the month-long cold snap we endured here in the normally mild PNW.

So...a challenge!
First up: take on the gas bill. Yikes! A good month for us is around $100.
I can't control the chauffering that happens when I am off at work, but I can change how I get to work.

  1. Ride my bike to work four out of five days a week.
  2. Make any weekend trips under three miles by bike or on foot.
  3. Try to do grocery shopping once using the Burley bike trailer!
Second: take on the grocery bill.
This is challenging, since I already feel like I'm fairly frugal here, and we have a picky eater on board.
  1. Grocery shop once a week at a larger discount store, and only buy milk/fruit/veggies in between
  2. Try a cash budget and stay under $500 monthly for the four of us
  3. Do not stray from the list at the grocery store (avoid those impulse purchases)
Third: take on the utility bill
Oh, the dreaded Being Cold. I wear a wool sweater, wool socks, wool scarf, and hat at home. I really dislike being cold. I am often the guilty party nudging up the thermostat. Our heating bill has nudged up accordingly.
  • Keep downstairs thermostat at a consistent 68 degrees (I know that's high, but it's lower than now)
  • Keep upstairs thermostats at a consistent 65 degrees
  • (according to Architect Minou, consistent is more energy efficient than raising and lowering)
  • Take On-Off Showers and no hot baths.
  • Get KGallons of water at or under 5. (that's a crazy lot of water, folks).

Anything I can save I will throw at the mortgage. I'll let you know how it goes.

Anybody else up for a frugal february challenge of your own?
What will it be, and what will you do with the money you save?

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