Hi Cheap Yuppie Mom Readers! Thanks for your patience while I attended to my health during a medical leave for cancer treatment and surgery. I am back to work this week and getting back into the swing of frugal living. I will be aiming for 2-3 new posts per week now that I am back from the (near-) dead. The good news is, I’m cancer-free and healed up from surgery. The bad news is my income took a hit while I was out sick, so it’s time to double-down on frugality!
Today is July 1, and one of the initiatives I’m taking this month as I return to work and a more normal routine is to join the Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month Challenge. I am already quite frugal, but there is always room for improvement—-especially when life throws you and your bottom line a curveball like cancer and the high medical bills that go with it. Here are some of the initiatives I have going this month which I shall update everyone on frequently!
- The Great Use Up Everything In The Pantry Challenge. If you’re like most people (and moi) you have a bunch of nonperishable stuff in your pantry (and toiletries in your cabinet) that have been in there for God knows when and are taking up space. This July I have taken it upon myself to eat/use literally EVERYTHING that has piled up in the back of cabinets and drawers in my kitchen and bathroom. If by chance something is not edible/usable on my body, I will find another use for it (like as a cleaner, stuffing for a craft sachet, or as fertilizer for my vegetable and flower garden. Which takes me to——
- The Great Eat Out Of The Yard Challenge. My garden is finally starting to hit its legs for the year! (I live in a very northern region of the USA with a short growing season). I started harvesting edible veggies and herbs from the garden for the first time over the past 10 days or so, including:
- Basil, oregano, rosemary, and other herbs.
- More to come soon, as they ripen (like tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, thyme, and lettuce/spinach)
- The Great Mold My Kids Into Less-Demanding/Less-Spoiled Kids Challenge. My kids are good kids for the most part. But now that they’re on summer vacation, they have become rather, ahem, demanding. As in, throwing tantrums in stores “BUY ME THIS!!!” demanding. I have tried my best not to make my kids turn into Massive Spoiled Brats, but alas, our consumer culture has gotten the better of them. I am hoping to spend the month of July encouraging my kids to learn to appreciate more of what they already have (and to try playing with the toys and games they have buried in the backs of their closets before demanding MORE, MORE, MORE. Especially given that there are so many kids in our country and the world who have almost nothing. With that in mind, I will be working with my kids to go through all their many possessions and look for items we can donate to less fortunate kids, and perhaps even to donate a portion of their allowances to charity.
- The Great Fix It, Use It Up, Wear It Out Challenge. I actually started this challenge a couple months ago, but got slightly interrupted due to cancer treatment. Since starting the challenge, I have repaired broken picture frames, mended ripped clothing/pillows, and found new uses for old blankets and sheets (dropcloths for my painting projects, knee pad for gardening). I will be continuing to work on this challenge over the coming months!
- The Great Spend Almost No (Unnecessary) Money In July Challenge. This challenge is either directly or indirectly related to the other 4 challenges. We stocked up well at Costco today and are all set for most groceries and other items (soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, bathroom cleaner) from our existing stash. The kids are all set at summer day camp with all of their “fun” stuff and related sports/swim equipment, and I already ordered their school uniforms (they attend Catholic school) for next school year at the June discount sales. Therefore, we are aiming to not acquire any more items in the house (other than bread and milk and any emergencies, like prescription meds if somebody gets sick, or if something breaks beyond repair in the house, like the water heater). I have done these challenges in the past with mixed results, so be rooting for me on this one!
- The Great Semi-Annual Investment Portfolio Rebalancing Challenge. In July of each year, I like to take a look at all of my savings/investment accounts and determine if I need to change anything about them, or just leave them alone. I prefer to leave things alone whenever possible (because selling shares incurs sales transaction fees), but I will move stuff around if it makes sense for dividend or tax reasons. I’ll be spending some time on that throughout the month and will issue a report at month’s end.
It’s great to be back, folks! What have YOU been doing frugal lifestyle-wise since I have been away?
I remain your Cheap Yuppie Mom.