Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet”! FINAL RESULTS! Cost of Day 30: $0.86, Total Cost: $21.94! Wednesday, Jun 30 2010 

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Hey guys! The miracle has occurred! It’s June 30th! In FAR bigger news, six days after we got SPANKED by Mother Nature, the house now has working power, electric, running water, internet, cable & phone. I almost made out with the Comcast Cable guy just now. And my sincere apologies to Comcast-Guy-Craig for my uncalled for, over-the-top affection. That was the HBO talking. Bad influence.

Okay, so when last we blogged, we were on Day 27 of the Frugalista Challenge. All went well that day, As well as Day 28 & 29. Standard menus, a delish daily combo of the usual Chef Boyardee, jello, hard boiled egg & Scharffen Bergers. The usual Frugalista dietary blur. Day 28 total cost .79, Day 29 cost .68. Pretty basic stuff. It’s worth mentioning that I’m completely tapped out on canned fruit, and I’m now reduced to working with the huge honkin can of Dole Pineapple juice. Considering we’re at the end of the challenge, it’s workable. At 12:01A tonight (July 1) however, it’s highly likely that I’m doing a half-gaynor into the organic apples in the fridge.

Today, Day 30, a.k.a. FINAL day of the Challenge, and our final menu was as follows:
Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – an awesome super simple combo of wonderful brown rice, beans and a touch of corn, spiced with garlic, oregano, basil, S&P, drizzle of olive oil & a touch of parmesan cheese. I honestly think this is my favorite dish on the challenge. Really filling & healthy to boot.
Cost = .15

Daytime Snack – Watermelon-flavored jello. No fruit added. Important note, also had a glass of Dole Pineapple juice (roughly equivalent to 1/5 the can, therefore cost is 0.01.
Cost = .11

Dinner – Organic whole wheat rotini, topped with 1/5 jar of sauce & a touch of parmesan cheese.
Cost = .12

Nighttime (blogging) snack – It’s ALWAYS a good reason to down a Scharffen Berger bar. Tonight, we’re celebrating having ALL systems back up & running in the house. Sweet. Yes, I’m a spoiled brat.
Cost = 0.25

Total cost of food for today: $0.86.

Well, gang, we did it! Our goal was to spend no more than $25 for the month. Final cost of food: $21.94! Thirty days, many cans of Chef Boyardee, 100+ individual cravings for pizza, fresh fruit, chef salads and many other unmentionables, a dozen or so revelations about spending, eating, stockpiling & rationing later, and I’m delighted at the results. Not to mention the 3.5 pounds total lost on the plan – a completely unexpected & adored side effect. WOO HOO! Thanks to the hundreds of bloggers & Facebook friends who sent in their support, hysterical thoughts & ideas over the course of the month. It was very appreciated!

Now, on to July! At this point, the best idea (by far) for a July Challenge is to take the utility bill LOWER than it was last July; this despite the fact that rates were raised 30% over last year. I’m really looking forward to pushing the edges of sanity on this one – would love to hear your ideas on how to save money AND stay cool in the process!

Have a great night, everybody!

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet” update: THREE days left, Day 27 Menu attached! Sunday, Jun 27 2010 

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Hey hey hey! It’s a beautiful day! Know why? THE POWER IS BACK ON! WOO HOO! Lesser-yet-not-quite-“bad’ news: No cable/internet or phone at the house yet. Guess what? I’ll deal. Significant other is somewhat crushed at having to miss the HBO Entourage premiere tonight, but is placated by the fact that we now have lights, electric and running water. Priorities…

So, doing final blog from my from my folks’ house, with huge thanks and monster gratitude to them for letting me crash with the kids. This truly felt like a mini-vacation. Katie thanks you for the non-stop M&M routine, and Robbie wholeheartedly thanks you for toy trains in every room. Personally, I adore the working phone line, with computer access running a close second place. You guys just rock!

Menu for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two eggs, scrambled this time. Livin’ the life. (Thanks again Mom & Dad!)
Cost = .23

Lunch – working power means I’m back in the arms of my Personal Chef, Mr. Boyardee. I’m thinking ravioli.
Cost = .05

Daytime Snack – Lemon jello, made at Mom & Dad’s, soon to be transported home. yum.
Cost = .10

Dinner – Leftover rice & beans, easy to reheat (now that I have power to the microwave…), and cost can’t be beat.
Cost = .00

Nighttime (blogging) snack – just because we have power doesn’t mean I’m scaling down chocolate consumption. Scharffen Berger bar it is!
Cost = 0.25

Total cost of food for today: $0.63, barring any multiple personalities taking over my frugalista body yet again & forcing me into another Wawa convenience store for coffee. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thanks to much to those who sent in all of the power outage jokes, and dieting ideas involving killing animals in the backyard & roasting them over an open campfire. Special note to Becca in particular: you’re sick, as well as hysterically funny. Seek help. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions, everybody!

Frugalista Diet Update! Day 26 Total: $2.12! (WHA!) Total for June: $18.98! Saturday, Jun 26 2010 

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Hello to all! For those of you who have electricity, internet & cable access in your homes, I despise you. Okay, “despise” is a strong word…as in “I DESPISE PP&L employees who jerk me around with estimates on when my electric will be back up & running”…
Latest estimate is that we’ll have power back at the house at 9:30P. That could work. If it’s true. As off right now, mooching electric with complete abandon and without shame in my parents’ house. Thanks Mom & Dad!

Also, a major cave-in for the diet. In my electricity-denied state, I crumbled and bought a cup of coffee at Wawa today. They had air conditioning and everything. I was seduced in moments. They had me at “hello…”. My shame at this budget-blowing purchase knows no bounds, kind of like the how the desperation of my caffeine-denied brain knew no bounds. Blew $1.29 on a coffee, and never looked back. I am shallow, I am addicted, I am ashamed. And as I drank my Wawa Columbian coffee this morning, I was reborn. WOO HOO!

Menu for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs (Thanks Mom & Dad!)
Cost = .23

Lunch – organic, low-sodium chicken broth, and a can of mixed veggies.
Cost = .10

Daytime Snack – Strawberry jello, courtesy of Mom & Dad’s refrigerator.
Cost = .10

And here, in the lowly hours of the afternoon, sleep-deprived & on the road trying to get to my folks’ house in one piece so I could mooch their electricity, I did it. I caved. The siren’s song of the Wawa Convenience Store called to me as if in a dream. I walked in, saw the dozen individual burners all smelling like different rooms in heaven (here’s the room in Heaven that smells like French Roast, here’s the room in Heaven that smells like Columbian…). Grabbed my Regular, dumped in half & half & two Splendas, and shelled out enough money to pay for almost two days of food. Truthfully, I’m trying to sound sorry for it, but I’m honestly still on a rush right about now. Let’s see what my mood (remorseful? Not remorseful?) is like tomorrow.
Cost: $1.29

Dinner – did rice & beans at my parents’ house. Lots of leftovers. Awesome.
Cost = .15

Nighttime (blogging) snack – And yes, in my continued financial abandon, even despite my horrific slip up with convenience store coffee, I’m doing the monster Scharffen Berger Bar. And he who tries to take it from me shall draw back a stump. Enjoy the visual.
Cost = 0.25

Total cost of food for today: $2.12. yes, I should be tazered by the frugalista police.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions. Here’s praying the power’s back on by this time tomorrow! 🙂

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet” – Menu for Day 26! Saturday, Jun 26 2010 

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Hey all! Yup, power still out. This sucks. Sorry for the late morning entry, had to head back to my parents’ house to hog just about every electric appliance they possess (washer, dryer, freezer, television, computer, and of course, COFFEE MAKER). Now that I’ve got all of the above humming away, all is right with my world. Aaahhhhh…back in my happy place. Note: I’d make a crappy Amish person.

Menu for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs (Thanks Mom & Dad!)
Cost = .23

Lunch – really not hungry, going with some chicken broth & a can of veggies.
Cost = .10

Daytime Snack – Strawberry jello, courtesy of Mom & Dad’s refrigerator.
Cost = .10

Dinner – putting together some more rice & beans at my folks’ house, can always bring it home to eat cold later on. 2 oz rice, one can beans, minced garlic, touch of olive oil, oregano, S&P
Cost = .15

Nighttime (blogging) snack – For the duration of the blackout, I shall be shamelessly treating myself to the larger Scharffen Berger bars. It’s my personal narcotic of choice, and full of antioxidants, so hey, we’re going super size.
Cost = 0.25

Total cost of food for today: $0.83. yes, higher than i’d like, but cheaper than prozac.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions. Hope you’re having a fantastic weekend, everybody! K

Frugalista Diet Update! Day 25 Total: $0.68! Friday, Jun 25 2010 

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Hey gang! Sorry I’ve been AWOL the last day, we got SPANKED by this East Coast storm! Power was THRASHED out of existence yesterday at 2:30P, is STILL out at home as I type this. Lost three huge trees in the yard, one of which threw themselves Hollywood style across the driveway AND the road. Very dramatic. Family coming out for the weekend had to bail (no electricity? Later, alligator…). Spent last night with no power – the kids were SUCH sports. And after spending today in the airconditioner-less heat I finally threw myself on the mercy of my parents, who live an hour away but were spared the brunt of the storm and kept power, and who are now treating the kids to dinner & giving us some time online before we head back home tonight. According to PP&L, power is supposed to be back up & running around 2:00A. Keep your fingers crossed! In the meantime, we got the car back, so that’s cool.

On a positive note, going into me-caveman-me-have-no-electric mode put a fabulous squash on my appetite, as well as my ability to heat food out of a can. Therefore, we’re staying beautifully on budget. Kept to budget yesterday at the .70 mark (including cold leftover rice & beans for dinner last night. Not bad, all things considered).

Menu for Today was super simple & ultra cheap.

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – remember, no ability to heat food, so we went super simple, with a can of fruit salad.
Cost = .05

Daytime Snack – Lemon jello, no fruit (made it the day before & it set up well even without power)
Cost = .10

Dinner – In the interest of keeping the Frugalista Challenge in play (even while out of the house), I brought some Chef Boyardee with me & heated it up at my folks’ house.
Cost = .05

Nighttime (blogging) snack – Having managed an entire 24 hours with NO electricity and a minimum of whimpering, I hereby decree that I should be rewarded with a BIG Scharffen Berger bar.
Cost = 0.25

Total cost of food for today: $0.68. Good stuff!

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions. Have a great weekend, everybody! And if you’re digging out from this storm, viva electricity!

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet” – Menu for Day 24! (Cost of food for today: $0.70!) Thursday, Jun 24 2010 

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Hey everybody – one more day until the weekend! Great news, but also the type of thing to inspire me to SERIOUSLY get myself in gear, as fabulous family will be here in 24 hours. Also, doesn’t look like I’m getting the car back today (tonight, perhaps), so even better circumstances to keep me at home prepping for weekend guests AND connecting with blogging buddies & facebook friends on all topics large & small. For instance, keep the great ideas about a July Challenge coming at me, I am loving them all!

Menu for Today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – Let’s hit the corned beef hash again. Super easy to microwave, and yes, a bit of a sodium hit, but we’ll just have half the can & save the leftovers as a great “zero-cost” meal in a day or so.
Cost = .05

Daytime Snack – Watermelon flavored jello with a half can of fruit
Cost = .13

Dinner – Leftover rice & beans from last night – SO good. Really hit the spot & super filling. Loved it.
Cost = .00

Nighttime (blogging) snack – Getting a zero-cost meal for dinner can only mean one thing – BIG chocolate bar for blogging tonight! WOO HOO! Forget that dinky Dagoba bar…tonight, I’m hitting the Scarffen Berger, baby.
Cost = .25

Total cost of food for today: $0.70. Good stuff!

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions. Have a fantastic Thursday, everybody!

Frugalista Diet Update! Day 23 Total: $0.73, Total for June: $15.48! Wednesday, Jun 23 2010 

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Hey all! Hope you had a fantastic day. Here, got loads of things planned & completed to get ready for Mom In Law’s weekend visit. Gorgeous day too, took a terrific walk with the kids & connected with incredibly funny & insightful bloggers, reporters & facebook buddies, AND I think I’m getting my car back a day early, it could be done as early as tomorrow evening. Life is good! WOOT WOOT!

Here’s how I did for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – Tuna & corn. Yup, and it worked really, really well. If I was into any kind of cooking at lunch, the textures looked as tho they could work themselves nicely into some kind of chowder. Am I crazy?
Cost = .10

Daytime Snack – Cherry jello (no fruit)
Cost = .10

Dinner – Absolutely fantastic dish of rice & beans. I boiled 2 oz of rice, added with a can of pinto beans, some oregano, basil, S&P, a touch of garlic, a tsp of olive oil & the smallest, smallest splash of hot sauce. FANTASTIC!
Cost = .15

Nighttime (blogging) snack – Dagoba bar. FAB.
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.73.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions. Halfway thru the week, folks. Hang in there, Friday’s right around the corner!

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet”! Entire Menu for today costs $0.73! Wednesday, Jun 23 2010 

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Good morning all! Hope your week is going great. Here on this happy, money-saving Hump Day, 7 days left on our Frugalista Challenge, I’m prepping for my Mom-In-Law to come for the weekend. Hoping the weather will cooperate. Also just found a FABULOUS (outdoor) area rug Monday afternoon that pairs perfectly with the wicker furniture on the front porch. Got it as I drove by the tail end of a garage sale when the previous owners stacked it, and bunch of furniture, books & housewares on the back of a flatbed with a big “FREE” sign on it. You can imagine the bedlam. Only downside, it was covered with enough dirt to have me think some sort of desert military training took place on it. Dragged it home, got it to the porch, and an hour with the vacuum revealed a gorgeous rug – WOO HOO! If I get the car back by Friday afternoon, I’ve got to get some hanging plants for the porch too. Prices are next to nothing on those now!

Menu for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – Tuna. Love it. No spinach tho, as I’d rather be dragged by a truck. Going with a side of corn. Tuna and corn? Why not.
Cost = .10

Daytime Snack – Cherry jello (no fruit)
Cost = .10

Dinner – Trying some rice & beans! I’ve been dying to try it, so many bloggers recommended it as a great, inexpensive, healthy meal, and I’m FINALLY getting my act together and doing it. It’s incredible, when you get a 16 oz bag of organic brown rice for .40 (B&B Discount Grocery, of course), it’s amazing how a single serving costs next to nothing. Trying 2 oz of that, along with a can of beans, some spices, a touch of garlic, maybe a drizzle of olive oil.
Cost = .15 (.05 for rice, .05 for beans, and I’m calling the oil & spices at .05 – I get them all for next to nothing at the discount grocery)

Nighttime (blogging) snack – Definitely going with the smaller Dagoba bar tonight, costs are running a bit high.
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.73.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions. Have a fantastic Hump Day, everybody!

Frugalista Diet Update! Day 22 Food Total: $0.73, Total amount spent on food for June: $14.75 Tuesday, Jun 22 2010 

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Hey guys! Tuesday is DONE. Just had some mongo huge severe thunderstorms come thru, no damage tho, as well as a tornado warning, but thankfully no twister. Also, stayed on plan today, high on the fact that I’m down 2.5 pounds for the month. Life is GREAT. Just packed all of the remaining cans into ONE box, so you KNOW we’re seriously counting down in this last 8 days of The Frugalista Challenge. Amazing.

Menu for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – Chef Boyardee Lasagna.
Cost = .05

Daytime Snack – Lime jello with half-can of pineapple.
Cost = .10

Dinner – 2 oz whole wheat rotini & 1/5 can of sauce.
Cost = .10

Nighttime (blogging) snack – I seriously INTENDED to go with the smaller Dagoba bar, honestly, I did. However, I’m so happy to be down 2.5 pounds in three weeks, that I’m celebrating with the larger Scharffen Berger bar. Welcome to my mind.
Cost = .25

Total cost of food for today: $0.73.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions. As we race towards July, and my desire for another fun Challenge refuses to abate, I’m leaning seriously towards a Challenge in which I spend LESS for utilities this July than I spent last July, despite a 30% rate increase from PP&L…hmmmm, could be fun!

Have a great evening, everybody! K

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet” – Menu for Day 22! Tuesday, Jun 22 2010 

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Good morning all! Hope your week is going great.
Okay, we’re on Day 22, and I’ve been on the Frugalista Diet for 3 weeks. Had my weigh in just now, and remarkably (or not, considering the stomach bug from a couple of days ago), I’m down another pound! WOO HOO!
I mentioned a while back the psychology involved with looking at four boxes of food, and thinking to yourself “that’s basically IT for a month…”. It really does play with your mind a bit, a fantastic appetite suppressant. Honestly, considering that the goal of this eating plan was strictly to be keeping costs down, (that and the fact that my usual eating plan involves a lot more fresh fruit and a lot LESS carbs), I’m frankly a bit amazed that this plan is resulting in weight loss as well.

Bottom line, we’re on track financially, in the last week of the challenge, and we’re down 2.5 pounds. Life is GREAT.

Menu for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – Chef Boyardee Lasagna.
Cost = .05

Daytime Snack – Lime jello with half-can of pineapple.
Cost = .10

Dinner – Pasta twice in one day? Why not? Lots of good tomato products, anyway. That’s my story & I’m sticking to it. 2 oz whole wheat rotini & 1/5 can of sauce
Cost = .10

Nighttime (blogging) snack – Let’s go with the smaller Dagoba bar, I really want to keep costs down as much as possible. Fruit inventory is next to NUTHIN’.
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.63. Another day coming to $0.63. Maybe I should play that number in the lotto?

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions. Also, we’re getting to the end of June, and I’m working on plans for a July Frugalista Challenge as well – send any and all ideas! My main idea right now involves cutting utility costs to the BONE for a low July electric bill. Your thoughts?

Have a great Tuesday, everybody! K

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