My Cheapest Month Ever

Money_ShotWhile I have no plans to turn this into a personal finance blog (the world has enough of those, unlike unfocused blogs like this one) I do want to share my money-focused resolution for January: Make it my cheapest month ever. Part of my reason for this resolution is because I’m still unemployed. But even if I had a job, I would still be trying to have a cheap January because I want to save money for my upcoming basement reno (oh, don’t worry, there will be plenty of posts on that project over the next few months).

To make this my cheapest January ever, I plan on doing the following things:

  1. No Shopping: Since being laid off, I have reduced my shopping to almost nothing. In January, it will be nothing. Short of my kind of dramatic emergency – my winter coat spontaneously dissolves – I won’t be buying any clothes, beauty products, books or anything similar.
  2. Cut The Grocery Bill: Sorry Metro and Loblaws, in January, I’ll be doing the majority of my food shopping at Fresh Co. I am wondering if maybe it makes sense to do a big grocery shop at the start of the month at Costco but I also worry that a trip to Costco might just eat up the majority of my budget.
  3. (Almost) No Eating Out: I’m allowing myself two “cheats” in this section and one of those cheats needs to be for food of the fast-food variety.
  4. (Almost) No Going Out: Again, I get two cheats and in both of these outings, I’m limiting myself to two well drinks.
  5. No Trips To The LCBO: “Going out” means going to a bar or something bar-like. Going to a friend’s house doesn’t count and I’m allowed to do that as much as I want. However, if I want to drink at a friend’s place, I need to bring booze from my existing stash. I can’t bring in any new alcohol.
  6. Limit My Cash Spending: I’m thinking that $100 for the whole month should be plenty since I’m not really going to be spending any money beyond small grocery purchases and a single trip to say, Subway.

So that’s the plan. Let’s see if it works out.


One thought on “My Cheapest Month Ever

  1. Notes:

    1) Fresh co. is good for dried/canned foods, but I find it lacking in produce quality. I would still go to St.Lawrence market for weekly shopping. Last weekend at DeLiso’s Butchers, sausages that were usually 5.99 a lb was 10 sausages for $10! That’s a 66% savings!

    2) Decrease packaged/processed food consumption. I don’t find Costco that much cheaper, mostly because we don’t eat enough packaged foods to make a difference. Packaged and processed food cost the more too. For example: Cereal is like $5 a box, have a bowl of oatmeal and load it up with fresh or dried fruits, or scramble a few eggs. Healthier and better.

    3) Cook at home. Tips for quick cheap meals:

    a) For pastas….use canned crushed tomato (unico brand for best result, usually 99 cents to $1.39) rather then pasta sauce ($3.99) as the sauce base and it will cut the price of your dish. Use the money you save to buy sausages and veggies for your pasta.

    b) Burgers, why eat fast food burgers where you can easily make them at home? Cost of two, 1/2 pound burgers made with Beretta beef is ($6 for ground beef, about $1 for 4 slices of natural nitrate free bacon, and $1 for 2 buns)…bake some potato wedges and you have a under $10 dinner for 2 that beats fast food hands down.

    c) Dumpling making workshop. Make chinese dumplings…they are super cheap, they make a ton ready for the freezer, and homemade is better then things you can buy. On average I usually run dumpling workshops with 4 – 5 people and after a weeknights work and a hearty dinner of dumplings, everyone still gets to bring about 80-100 dumplings home with them at the cost of $10-15 a person.

    d) When prime rib is on super sale (which is usually during and right after xmas), buy them and slice them up into thick ribeye steaks. Best $6 steaks ever. 🙂

    4) Start making your own coffee, saves a lot if you go to Starbucks.

    I guess since my husband and I both rarely go out to eat, and neither of us drink, I can’t comment much on going out to eat, though I do find it quite expensive. I guess the only time I go out to eat is when it’s something I don’t make at home, such as sushi. If you are going out to eat, it should be something half decent. You can make a great subway sandwich at home (especially if you go to loblaws at 9pm and get all the deli meats at 50% off). 😛

    Sorry for the rant. 🙂


    ~ Cindy

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