September – Low Spend Goal

Let’s start by clarifying the no-spend vs low-spend goal. With a no-spend goal, the goal is to spend no discretionary finances. That means nothing above the monthly expenses. With a low-spend goal, the goal is to limit the spending of discretionary finance.

Monthly non-discretionary expenses would include mortgage/rent; insurances; car payment; utilities; student or other loans; prescriptions and health expenses associated with diagnosed health issues; other items that have a commitment that is not just for our pleasure.

Discretionary expenses would be things like food (we will visit this one later on); car gas; entertainment; clothing; recreation, etc.

I have set, monthly expenses that I cannot change. There are others that I can change. For example, my electric bill will probably go down now that I am not running the A/C. But, it is getting darker earlier so I may have my lights on longer. But, I work 3:30-midnight, so it will only affect 2 days out of the week.

The other expense I can definitely control or change – or both! FOOD. Let’s face it – I love to Eat. I love good food, and I love to cook. I did Sun Basket for 4 shipments and decided it was just not justifiable. Perhaps I could not make these dishes cheaper, but – challenge on!! I also know that I am very susceptible, when in a grocery store, to overspending. I am tempted to buy this, try that, or just see that yellow SALE sticker and throw it in the cart! I will be really paying attention to this for September.

I have a well-stocked pantry and freezer. For a single person, I actually have way too much food. So, time to get to work on the reserves.

Stay tuned for some unique creations!

My starting place for September:

Money on hand – $3837.13

Rent paid – 739.28 (this includes: water, gas, sewer, trash, pest control, parking space, ‘admin fees’)

Balance – 3097.85

I get paid weekly, on Friday. I also get a VA disability check each month. Some of this money will be used to pay off the remaining credit card debt. This is an expense that falls into discretionary expenses before you use the card. It is non-discretionary once you use the card and then owe the money.

Join me on this journey. The goal, by the end of September, is to have no credit card debt. My 4-month-out goal is to have my car paid off. Challenge on!

Happy Frugaling 11824977_10155809976270386_1868582758092607494_n


Sleep Study

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 found me heading to Detroit for a Sleep Study. It has been years since I have enjoyed any form of quality sleep, and this was step 2 in trying to figure it out. Step 1 was to keep a sleep log for 2 weeks.

Those sleep logs were actually incredibly difficult for me because I go to bed and get up in the same day. Most people go to bed before midnight and get up sometime the next day. With my current job, I work from 3:30-midnight, Thursday-Monday. It is rare for me to be in bed before 2:30 am, but I am always up by 10:30 am. On my ‘weekends’, Tuesday and Wednesday, my life is full of appointments, which means I am getting up much earlier. Did I say I don’t get quality sleep? Hmmmmm – I wonder why!

The instructions for this sleep study were as follows: Arrive Tuesday at 3:00 pm for registration. Leave, but come back by 6:00 pm for the start of study. Leave at 6 am Wednesday morning. I had a friend, who used to live outside of Detroit, drive me. Her daughter lives outside Detroit, so it was good for her. Plus, she got to write it off as a business expense.

We arrived at 2:30 pm and I was taken back for the registration. And then told that I would not need to be back until 8:30 pm! That gave us a nice time to have dinner with her daughter and fiance. Then, back to the location at 7:50 (my friend likes to be early!). We went up to the waiting room of where I would start the study, and my friend left.

There were 11 other people scheduled for this study that evening. And 8:30 pm came and went. We were then told that it really wasn’t going to begin until 9 pm, which came and went! Finally, around 9:15 we were taken to our individual rooms. The process of wiring began. There was only one other female in the group and we were tended to by a female, who was such a sweetheart. I was wired 2nd, and finally, lights out at 11 pm.

And the no sleep began. I tossed, turned, fixed and re-fixed my blankets and pillow. Try doing that with wires all over your head, face and chest. The people who wired us also watched us all night. They could see and hear everything we did. If we needed to use the restroom, we had to call out and then our helper would come in and disconnect the unit. Then, back into bed. My helper literally tucked me back into bed!

And then, it was 5:30 am, not 6:00 as I had been told. So, my window of sleep was 11 pm – 5:30 am. In that time, I probably got about 2 hours of sleep. Combined with the 4 1/2 from Monday night – I was sleep-deprived! However, I did get a free shower out of the deal!

Today, Thursday August 10, I slept most of the day. Good thing I took the day off. I will also be taking tomorrow off so that I can do all the things I should have done on my ‘weekend’. Such is the life of the faithfulfrugalyankee!

Sleep Study Crop 8082017

What is Frugal, Anyway?

  1. sparing or economical with regard to money or food.
    “he led a remarkably frugal existence”
    synonyms: thriftyeconomicalcarefulcautiousprudentprovident, unwasteful, sparing, scrimping;More

    • simple and plain and costing little.
      “a frugal meal”
      synonyms: meagerscantyscantpaltryskimpy;

      “their frugal breakfast”

      When most people think of being Frugal – they are usually thinking in terms of food, or spending money. But, I believe being Frugal goes beyond the realm of money. It is a way of thinking and living. A mindset, if you will. How about being Frugal with Time. Possessions. People in your life. Goals and dreams.

      Today’s world is all about hurry up and get there – yesterday. What happened to the saying “Slow and Steady”? Who got to the goal the quickest – the Tortoise! The Hare was too busy following rabbit trails that, in the end, got him farther behind.

      For me, being Frugal with my time involves a wee bit of multi-tasking. Not major, just minor! Here’s an example: If I am having a breakfast of eggs, toast, coffee, and perhaps a smoothie – I am going to do a few things at the same time. The first thing, of course, is to get all the ingredients out. I need eggs, bread, coffee fixings and smoothie fixings. I then want those items nearby the prep area – eggs by the stove, bread by the toaster, coffee by the hot pot (unless I am taking already-brewed coffee out of the fridge), and the smoothie fixings by the Ninja blender. Ready, set – Multi-task.

      I will put my bread in the toaster (don’t put it down, yet).

      If I am using my pre-brewed coffee, a cup goes in the microwave and I heat it up now. If I am making instant, the hot pot, for water, is turned on now. (I don’t have a coffee maker, I use a Bodum French press –

      Next,  I am going to prep the eggs. Right now, I can only eat my eggs in scrambled form. They may become a frittata, omelette. or simply scrambled eggs. Because I am frugal in my time, any meats or veggies I may include are already prepped. I will start my eggs cooking at this point.

      If I am having a smoothie, again, all the additional fruits or veggies will have been prepped. As the eggs are cooking, I will be putting all the ingredients into the Ninja.

      Since the blender can run by itself, I will go and check the eggs, and add ingredients, flip or stir the eggs, etc…

      By this time, the coffee is finished heating, the smoothie is finished blending, and it’s time to put the bread down.

      Once the toast is finished, the smoothie will also be finished, as will the eggs.

      In all, I may spend about 15 minutes with prep, actual cooking, and then clean up. But, it takes a little planning. Prepping my ingredients is being frugal, in the end. It saves steps, time, and in some instances – money (yup, Frugal just came back to money!!)

      There have been many articles written against multi-tasking, but the reality is, if you are a wife and/or a mom – you multi-task. Setting a goal of doing 15 things at the same time is just a bit overwhelming. To anyone. Don’t try to be super human, but it isn’t wrong to do 2 things at the same time. You won’t lose your sanity, I promise. If you have a washer and dryer, a dishwasher, or other automatic household appliances – two or more can run at the same time. And maybe you could vacuum or dust at the same time. It’s those kinds of things that I am talking about when looking at being frugal with your time. And multi-tasking.

      I recently came across this article, and I love her first 3 points: Give Things Away; Simplify Your Time; Simplify Your Goals.

      What about being Frugal with the people in your life. Either family, friends, co-workers, social friends (either social media or in person). Do the people in your life make demands on you that make you do more and more? Do you feel obligated to them to ‘perform’ at a level that is not who you are. The biggest Frugal word is only 2 letters long – NO! Believe it or not, most people will understand if you say ‘No’ to doing things. I am not suggesting that we become hermits and hide from the world. But, I am suggesting that we weigh how much importance we are giving to having a commitment list that is longer than our life-expectancy! Been there, done that, but I never even got a t-shirt!

      Are your goals insurmountable? Pick one, and work on that. Be the best at what you are doing, right here and right now. I tell people to never go strawberry picking with me. I am constantly running after the brightest, biggest berry. And I wind up all over the field. In the end, I have a few strawberries, and am exhausted. If I had stayed in the row I started in, I’d probably have more berries, be less tired, and feel more fulfilled. Don’t hear me saying to stagnate. Nope. Just don’t become a whirlwind of activity with nothing to show in the end.

      What are your Frugal goals for the week? Today, Monday, is my Friday. I don’t work Tuesday or Wednesday, but have a bunch of appointments. I literally never get a day off. So, being Frugal means that I have to start re-thinking those appointments. I will gradually be taking all of my Tuesday appointments and sliding them either into Monday, or Wednesday. Then, I will have Tuesday as a real day off. Whew! I am waiting for my new correspondence course to arrive – Floral Arranging. I will be looking at this course through Frugal eyes. I don’t know if actually making arrangements will be part of the course, but if it is, I will be checking out the most frugal sources around the area.

      Be Blessed and Happy Frugaling


Frugal Entertainment

I am making good use of one of my Birthday Presents to my self
When I first saw the ad, I went over to the site just to browse what was available. Before I pay for a subscription, I want to make sure I will get my monies worth. One of the programs they have is DR WHO!! So, I am binge watching!! At $6.99/month, it’s a great deal.

The other shows I couldn’t find anywhere else are: Campion; Mapp & Lucia (the original version); Cranford; Cadfael; Lark Rise to Candleford. Some of these are on YouTube, if you can get beyond the poor quality of uploads.

I also have subscriptions to:

Acorn (more British) – $4.99 –

Netflix – $7.99 –

Hulu (no commercials) – $11.99 –

Amazon Prime Video – $10.99 –

America’s Test Kitchen – $3.99 –

Amazon Prime (which includes everything) – $10.99 –

Pandora – $4.99 –

PBS – which is FREE!

That is a total of $51.93 per month to watch, and listen to, just what I want. Commercial free! I also watch YouTube, but it is not always the best experience. I pay $57.00 per month for internet as well. So, my package, my way, costs me $108.93 per month. I am not locked into anything other than the internet, which means if I am coming  up on a short month, I can put my subscriptions on hold. That’s a really nice benefit.

I can put together a viewing program that is just right for me. And my music is set to what I like, and commercial free. I know there is not another cable package out there (I’ve checked), that I can tailor to my tastes, that would be this inexpensive. It makes for Happy Frugaling!

So, to get back to the moment – Happy Birthday to ME!!

I have to get back to the TARDIS!!

Birthday Supper

I would admit that this is the most expensive meat I have ever purchased. I did get an additional 5% off (.49) but it was still expensive. To justify a little bit, there are 2 meals represented in this one package. But, the rest of the meal had to be Frugal!


These went into the toaster over (which was a gift 5 years ago). The sweet potatoes were in my June food pantry package.


The finished meal. The beets were already in my pantry.

IMG_1998Very Colorful


The above picture is the dessert. The gluten free cupcake came from my June food pantry package, and the ice cream (gelato) was purchased.

Okay, I am not an ice cream eater, but June 7th (my birthday) also happens to be National Chocolate Ice Cream Day! Well, why not?! I will get at least 4 servings out of this because I am not necessarily an ice cream eater. This also came from Target.