Frugalista Diet Update! Day 20 Total: $0.68, Total for June: $13.39! Sunday, Jun 20 2010 

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Hey guys! Hope you’re all wrapping up a fantastic weekend! Looking at a spectacular sunset right now; I just love 8:30 PM summertime sunsets. Beats the heck out of those wintertime 4:00 PM sunsets any day of the week!

As for the Day 20 menu, I stayed on track, stayed on budget, and cannot BELIEVE we’re almost 2/3 of the way done with the challenge! Amazing!

Menu for today!

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

Lunch – Leftover soup did the trick for lunch. Awesome.
Cost = .0

Daytime Snack – Lemon jello, no fruit added. Recently went out and bought more jello. It’s official, I’m addicted. Perfect for the summer and the cost can’t be beat!
Cost = .10

Dinner – Went with a can of organic chicken broth, then got officially hungry and went with a big bowl of sweet potatoes. I know, sounds odd, but was actually incredibly awesome. Like a taste of Thanksgiving in the middle of summer. Very cool.
Cost: $0.10

Nighttime (blogging) snack – I’m scarfin’ the Scarffen Berger as I type. Life is good.
Cost: $0.25

Total cost of food for today: $0.68.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Happy Father’s
Day, everybody! K

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet” – Menu for Day 20! Sunday, Jun 20 2010 

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Hey everybody – hope you’re having a fantastic weekend. And to all the Dads, step-Dads, Granddads & Dad Role models out there, Happy Father’s Day! Hope you’re being spoiled rotten.

Medical alert here – (not even a) 24-hour bug is gone, woke up feeling great. Finger is healing nicely, and TA-DA!!! I’m having COFFEE! Might even have some chocolate to go with it, just to celebrate. We’ll see.

Having eating (therefore spent) next to nothing on food yesterday, the diet budget is in even better shape, which is fantastic. The one and only big red flag here is the fruit inventory, which is really dwindling. Trying to cut down fruit consumption by using only a half-can (often in fruit jello, way yummy), and then upping the veggie consumption, because I have a ridiculous amount of vegetables left, so that works. If I ever need to start hitting the fresh fruit, the menu-cost-per-day is really going to jump. I’ve heard some great ideas from bloggers & fellow Facebookers on how to obtain fruit for next to nothing. Around here in Chester County, our properties are CRAWLING with berry bushes, alas, they won’t be ready to pick for another 4 weeks. A few people nationwide that I’ve heard from live close enough to orchards that they get fantastic rates on fruit that they pick themselves (.25/pound for apples in Washington State for blogger Leah, outstanding!). Then there is, of course, the “Produce Down Under” tactic that I use constantly at my local supermarket (where the mgmt sells yesterday’s produce for up to 75% off in discreet floor-level boxes in the Produce Section). Melanie from Virginia suggested that I hit a local orchard for “drops” – fruit sold by the orchard for next to nothing (apples, pears, plums, peaches) because it’s got a bruise or something. All great advice, thanks everybody!

Menu for today!

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

Lunch – I’ve got that leftover soup from Friday that I think will be fantastic on the tail end of whatever stomach bug I just had. AND, it’s free! Woo hoo!
Cost = .0

Daytime Snack – Lemon jello, no fruit added (I’m becoming a jello addict. I love this stuff.)
Cost = .10

Dinner – Trying the can of organic chicken broth again, might have some vegetables with it on the side, just for something light.

Nighttime (blogging) snack – BACK TO CHOCOLATE! Thank you God.
AND, in celebration of Father’s Day, and getting rid of this stomach bug, and finger healing (and HEY, do we REALLY need an excuse for chocolate?), I’m going with the big ‘ol Scharffen Berger, baby!
Cost = .25

Total cost of food for today: $0.58. Really loving it when the numbers stay under $0.70/day, so this works beautifully.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Happy Father’s
Day, everybody! K

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet” – Menu for Day 19! Saturday, Jun 19 2010 


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Hey gang! Hope you’re having a fantastic Saturday morning!

Over here, the slash & dash index finger is healing nicely, but I think I caught Robbie’s stomach bug from two days ago. Suffice it to say it might lend itself nicely to saving money on food today, as I don’t even want to look at it (I might even skip my morning coffee…a truly freakish development for me). Also, in an amusing spin, we’re scheduled to get our family picture taken this morning at 10:00A. Tic tac, anyone?

Here’s hoping things turn around, it’s too beautiful a day for a bug!

Planned Menu for today!

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

Lunch – The leftover soup from yesterday will be PERFECT.
Cost = .0 (woo hoo!)

Daytime Snack – Lemon jello, no fruit added (I did the no fruit thing out of sheer laziness last night, but now I’m glad, today it might be yummier without it)
Cost = .10

Dinner – A can of organic chicken broth is just what the doctor ordered. Love that stuff, and it should be perfect on a non-perfect stomach.

Nighttime (blogging) snack – the usual chocolate. If by tonight, I’m NOT in the mood for chocolate, you’ll know the earth is about to spin off its axis and at the very least, it’s time to call an ambulance.
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.48. Okay, so there’s the fab news dug deep within a stomach bug. Food cost plummets! Nice glaring silver lining there!

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Especially as they apply to flu-spreading microbes. Honestly, my 2-year old bounced back from his little bug within 24 hours – he’s literally spinning around the room with toys in both hands as I type this – so I better quit whining.

Have a great day, everybody! K

Frugalista Diet Update! Day 18 total: $0.80, Total for June: $12.66! Friday, Jun 18 2010 

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Happy Friday, everybody! Hope you’ve got fantastic weekend plans! Over here in marga-frugal-ville (a blogger sent that in, I didn’t make that up), we’re right on plan, with the exception of an unexpected (graphic and bloody to the point of gratuitous) finger injury, courtesy of a jaggedy samurai green bean can. Never saw it coming. Way gross, but in and amongst my spurts of inventive profanity, I washed it out, got it bandaged, and I think I get to keep the finger. Updates as necessary… Now, who’s ready for food talk?! 🙂

Menu for today!
Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – One organic hot dog, and some green beans. I’m never looking at green bean cans the same again.
Cost = .17

Daytime Snack – Peach jello, with (canned, obviously) diced peaches added, ½ can.
Cost = .10

Dinner –Going for soup again – one can vegetable broth, one can pinto beans, one can vegetables. Only ate half, so I’ve got lots of leftovers.
Cost: $0.15

Nighttime (blogging) snack – chocolate. Again, keeping costs low, we’re going with the less expensive Dagoba.
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.80. Would love to keep this number under $0.80. Tomorrow should be better – I’ll have leftover soup and that should bring one meal’s cost down to zero. It helps.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Have a fantastic Friday night, everybody! K

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet” – Menu for Day 18! (Food cost for today: $0.80!) Friday, Jun 18 2010 

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Hey there frugal muchachos! You made it – it’s FRIDAY! WOO HOO!
I don’t have anything too crazy in the way of weekend plans; Katie’s T-Ball season is done, so that adorable activity is shelved until next year. Might work on Robbie’s room a bit, but if the weather stays this fab, I’ll probably put a kabash on all productive activities and just spend as much time outside with the kids as possible. I was just going over old blogs & Facebook entries when we were getting that mountain of snow last winter. To read that, then go outside…wha? What am I supposed to do now, clean indoors or something? I think not…

Menu for today!

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

Lunch – One organic hot dog, and some green beans. I’m going to try to stretch out the tuna inventory to cover a few more salads in the next couple of weeks.
Cost = .17

Daytime Snack – Peach jello, with (canned, obviously) diced peaches added. ½ can only, trying to stretch out the fruit!
Cost = .10

Dinner – Would love another salad, but it is pretty blessed pricey. Other stuff that goes that high in price (soups, etc) at least yield me some leftovers (that cost ZERO) the next day! Going for soup again – one can vegetable broth, one can pinto beans, one can vegetables. Will no doubt give me TONS of leftovers, and only costs $0.15!

Nighttime (blogging) snack – chocolate. Again, keeping costs low, we’re going with the less expensive Dagoba.
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.80. Would love to keep this number under $0.80, but after today, I’ll have leftover soup and that should bring the final number back down. Here’s hoping…

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! They’re fantastic and often have me laughing hysterically!
Ricca, I have not forgotten your request for an updated photo of the dwindling supply of food – I swear I’ll get that up shortly.
Ben, thanks for the idea on me playing on the jungle gym with my kids at the park for a “fun” workout. Everything at our local park is certainly built for an adult, I’ll give you that – my feet are well above the ground on the monkey bars & hanging ropes, and I’m 5’9”!
However, when it became my turn to go across the monkey bars, I discovered that my upper arm strength was pretty much what it was 30 years ago in middle school – pathetic – only made it two bars and was thrilled at that, before dropping off and almost writhing in agony on the ground.
The cutest part – some of the kids then jumped in to show me how it’s done (“Here, SEE! Look at ME Katie’s Mommy! You do it like THIS! Watch me! Are you watching?! It’s EASY!”), and scrambled across the bars like the little wiry acrobats they naturally are. “Uh, yeah, I see you, thanks Max…and Duncan…and Pete…and little girl who I don’t know the name of, thanks everybody…”

In the interest of not scaring the young any further, I went home to my Chef Boyardee. That’s close enough to elementary school activities for me, thanks much.

Have a great day, everybody! K

Frugalista Diet Update! Day 17 Total: $0.87, Total for June: $11.86! Thursday, Jun 17 2010 

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Hey gang! You made it thru another Thursday! It’s practically the weekend, WOO HOO! Gorgeous blue skies here in Chester County, PA – hope you had a fantastic day as well!

Okay, between chef salads, sugarfree jello, and today, (organic) hot dogs & beans, the menu is getting some lovely variety lately, which is helping HUGE in keeping me on track. Next time I hit the B&B Discount Grocery, with any luck I’ll come across some fabulous fruit (canned or otherwise) within budget limits, ‘cause the inventory is getting very, v-e-r-y low…
Again, mentioned earlier today that I DO have a HUGE can of Dole Pineapple juice on hand, I could always crack that open for some fruit-ish nutrition, AND if I really wanted to suck it up, I could just cut the fruit out of the menu once it’s gone, and double up on veggies instead. More than one way to minimize this issue. No worries.

Menu review for today!

Breakfast – coffee, ONE hard boiled egg
Cost = .19

Lunch – Organic hot dog & can of pork & beans. Actually, quite fun, low sodium & monster fiber. What’s not to love?
Cost = .17

Daytime Snack – cherry jello, plain. No fruit, let’s see if I can stretch the fruit out a bit!
Cost = .10

Dinner – Another Chef salad, but used leftover tuna & chick peas from yesterday, so cost is much less! 5 leaves of Romaine Lettuce is $0.20, one egg that I got from breakfast is $0.04, leftover tuna & chick peas from yesterday cost $0.0, and salad dressing costs $0.02.
Cost = .26

Nighttime (blogging) snack – chocolate. We’re going with the less expensive Dagoba.
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.87.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Loving them all! People are asking again what craving is giving me the whammy lately.

Answer: ice cream! I’d mug a perfect stranger for some chocolate ice cream right about now. Wait, if I mug someone for it, it’s officially “free”, right? Could work well in the budget…kidding!

Have a great night, everybody! Only a few more hours until it’s FRIDAY! K

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet” – Menu for Day 17! Thursday, Jun 17 2010 

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Hey everybody! Happy Thursday – Hope your week is going GREAT.
Mentioned my near-nirvana salad yesterday, real groundbreaker with the diet. Fabulous, frugal & totally hit the spot. Check out yesterday’s blog for details. AND I had plenty of leftover ingredients. With all of the ingredients (all opened cans) counted and costed out yesterday, the leftovers count as $0.0 today, so that should bring today’s costs back down nicely.

Also, I’m running out of fruit. Really close, just a couple more cans to go. Time to hit the fresh stuff, which means a mongo spike in the cost of daily menu totals. Until that fateful day, I’m trying to ration it out by mixing it into sugarfree jello. So far, so good!

Menu for today!
Breakfast – coffee, ONE hard boiled egg
Cost = .19

Lunch – I came across some fantastic organic hot dogs yesterday! At the B&B Discount Grocery, of course. If that place ever vanishes from the earth I’m going to lay down & CRY. Pack of 8 cost $0.99 (about $0.12 each). I’m going to try them today, if I like them, I’m heading back to clean them out. Keep your fingers crossed. If I eat one hot dog, that’ll cost $0.12, plus a can of pork & beans for 0.05.
Cost = .17

Daytime Snack – cherry jello, plain. No fruit, let’s see if I can stretch the fruit out a bit!
Cost = .10

Dinner – Doing another Chef salad, but this one will cost MUCH less than yesterday! 5 leaves of Romaine Lettuce will cost $0.20, one egg that I got from breakfast is $0.04, leftover tuna & chick peas from yesterday cost $0.0, and salad dressing costs $0.02.
Cost = .26

Nighttime (blogging) snack – chocolate. Again, keeping costs low, we’re going with the less expensive Dagoba.
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.87. Again, a bit high, AND I’m running low on fruit. If I have to go to fresh stuff, it’s going to take daily totals over $1 pretty easily. Time to brainstorm. In those four boxes of cans, I DO have a huge can of Dole Pineapple juice. Could be time to open that up and have a small glass a day to keep the fruit intake up while keeping the costs down. Just a thought.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Loving them all! Getting lots of responses back as to bloggers & FB friends’ favorite “dieting” foods – that which keeps them on track and the eye on the ball. Top answers: salads (oh, yeah), sugarfree gum, pickles, coffee, and one kindred spirit who said “sugarfree jello”!. Two people offered other ways of staying on track – one swears by a long walk each day (I love that too, Maureen! I do it with my kids every chance I get.) and another shops for shoes whenever she gets restless in a diet, swearing they keep her motivated to get into a slinky little number to celebrate in when she hits her goal weight! Erika, you are my kind of dieter! Hit your local Goodwill!

Have a great day, everybody! K

Frugalista Diet Update! Day 16 Total: $0.94, Total spent on food for June so far: $10.99! Wednesday, Jun 16 2010 

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Good evening, fellow Frugalistas & Frugalistos, hope you had a fabulous Hump Day!

In case I didn’t mention it enough today, my lunchtime Chef Salad was a near-religious experience. Gotta do that again. ALSO, hit the B&B Grocery Outlet today and found (amongst other things) some fantastic organic hot dogs, 8 for $0.99, which will go FABULOUSLY with the pork & beans that have been so patiently awaiting me in my (dwindling) inventory of four boxes o’food. Definitely doing a hot dog & beans meal sometime tomorrow.
Stayed on track today, no worries, no issues. Blogging with chocolate (a.k.a. “chogging”) as I type, so all is good.

Menu breakdown for today!
Breakfast – coffee, ONE hard boiled egg
Cost = .19

Lunch – Heavenly Chef salad with romaine, tuna, chick peas, HB egg & Ginger Mandarin dressing.
Cost = .36

Daytime Snack – Lemon jello with ½ can fruit cocktail.
Cost = .13

Dinner 2 ounces whole wheat rotini with 1/5 can of sauce.
Cost = .10

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

Total cost of food for today: $0.94. Okay, yes, the most expensive day (by far) yet. I’ll tone this down, AND always remember that this cost includes extra salad fixins left over that will come in handy tomorrow.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Loving them all! Special thanks to Blogger Alan who emailed me suggesting that this be called “The Super Save Me Diet”, in a bit of a spoof of Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me” movie. Alan, you are way cool. And thanks for reminding me of McDonald’s food. That’s just cruel, buddy.

Have a great night, everybody! K

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet” – Menu for Day 16! Wednesday, Jun 16 2010 


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Hey gang! Happy Hump Day! Don’t usually use that phrase, but considering we’re halfway thru the week, AND halfway thru the Frugalista Diet, thought I’d put it out there!

Breakfast – coffee, ONE hard boiled egg
Cost = .19

Lunch – I gotta do it gang. I’m going to go postal if I don’t have a salad soon. Here’s the deal. Got a great bargain on some gorgeous Romaine lettuce (I LOVE summer for all the produce!). Three heads of romaine for $2.09. That translates to .71 per head. Each head has about 15 leaves, so that’s $0.04/leaf (don’t mock me yet, I’ve only just begun!). Five leaves of romaine is .20, plus the egg I saved from breakfast (0.04), plus some chick peas (I’ll count the whole can today & use leftovers as 0.0), some tuna (same deal, I’ll only use part of a can now, but I’ll count the whole can now & do leftovers as 0.0 later on). My favorite dressing on earth is Brianna’s Ginger Mandarin dressing. Usually $4.99/bottle, I get it for $0.75 at B&B. Now, little salad = just a little dressing. One TBSP is 1/32 of the bottle, so the cost is 1/32 of $0.75, which = $0.02. So the total cost of my gorgeous, gotta-have-it salad is $0.36, which is a mega-whammy cost-wise, BUT I’ve got some great tuna & chick pea leftovers to use for future salads!
Cost = .36

Daytime Snack – Lemon jello with ½ can fruit cocktail!
Cost = .13

Dinner – Loving the pasta at night, really hits the spot. 2 ounces whole wheat rotini with 1/5 can of sauce.
Cost = .10

Nighttime (blogging) snack – chocolate. With the monster salad cost earlier, we’re going with the less expensive Dagoba.
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.94. Yowser, most expensive day yet! But still under $1 for the day, AND I get my salad. Everyone’s a winner.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Loving them all! And here’s a topic that keeps coming to me via bloggers, so I’ll pass it on to you as well – “What is YOUR favorite food that helps you stay on track with an eating plan?” (And how low can Kris go in finding it or creating it for next to nothing?…. hmmmmm…)

Have a great day, everybody! K

Frugalista Diet Update – Day 15 Total: $0.69, Total for June: $10.05! Tuesday, Jun 15 2010 

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Hey guys! Hope you had a great Tuesday!

I mentioned earlier that I lost another 1/2 pound, which is WAY cool, kept on track today as well, life is good! Hitting the Dagoba bar as I type, so life is actually doubly good.

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

Lunch – Chef Boyardee Beefaroni
Cost = .05

Daytime Snack – Watermelon jello with 1 small can of crushed pineapple. And again, hello JELLO! Lovin’ this stuff.
Cost = .15

Dinner – Whole wheat pasta topped with marinara sauce. (.09 for 2 oz of pasta, .01 for 1/5 can of sauce, for a total of $0.10)
Cost = .10

Nighttime (blogging) snack – Dagoba, baby!
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.69.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Loving them all!
Note to the hysterical blogger buddy who wants a picture of the (ever-shrinking) inventory of boxes: I’m still working on getting that picture online, along with the beloved, abused can opener! 🙂

Have a great evening, everybody! K

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