A Year of Living Cheap, Week 1

The first week wasn’t too bad, except on the second day.  On Tuesday, I crumbled and bought a candy bar at the office supply store.  That will teach me to carry a granola bar in my bag at all times!  

My list of necessities that I put together last week was:

1) Groceries – Food, Water, Paper Products, Personal Products

2) Shelter – Mortgage or Rent

3) Utilities – Electricity, Gas, Trash, Phone

4) Clothing – Basic clothing, underwear, and         replacement of clothing that is worn out

5) Health Care – Doctor, Medication, Supplements

6) Car – Gas, Oil, Major Repairs

So let’s discuss #1 groceries.  Food and water are the most important in this list.  Without them you would not survive.  I buy mostly store brand products including food, water and paper items. EXCEPT, for those foods that have preservatives both my daughter and myself are allergic to.  I spend a lot of time reading labels on foods including meat.  You would be surprised how many meat  products have fillers and preservatives that are down right not healthy. It would probably be easier to make a list of foods we are not allergic to.

I use coupons, both in store and national brands.  I get the Sunday paper every week (that is the only one I get as I read my news on line….savings $) and cut out coupons of only the items we buy.   BUT if the store brand is cheaper, that is what I get.  I have found that most store brands are approximately the same as the big brands.  There are a few exceptions like cat food and store brand Cheerios.  The store brand Cheerios taste like saw dust.  If you work outside your home (I telecommute) share the coupons you don’t use with your friends and fellow workers. 

Water, yes I buy my water and again it is the store brand, except if the big name brand is on sale and is less than the store brand.  I know buying bottled water is against all you Tree Huggers religion, I do hate the thought of filling up the land fills AND I do recycle.  The reason for bottled water is because our city has a problem with arsenic in the water, and even though they built a “scrubber” in our neighborhood, I am not a trusting person and will not put arsenic in my body. 

A year is a long journey, but we can do it! So what have you done to reach your goals of living “cheap”?  Let me know, I love ideas!

Below is a recipe I developed for salad dressing with NO preservatives. 

Citrus Vinaigrette

1/4 C Light Flavor Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 C Lime Juice

Place in small jar with lid for shaking, add salt pepper to taste.  I also added some of my dried herbs out of my garden, Cilantro and Rosemary.

Shake well and add two tables spoons to your salad.  YUM!

To see my lovely journals come to http://stores.ebay.com/Dragon-Alley-Journals

the journey 3



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