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!