Frugal Endeavors – winter continues

There are signs of spring out there!

March 7 to 14, 2017

This winter continues to drag on. That wolf napping on the front porch is twitching in his sleep and I worry that he could wake up. Time to refocus our efforts and cut down on our expenses.

I made another batch of laundry soap and laundry softener. I also made a Blueberry Shrub using what I had on hand for the Food Mastery Challenge I am participating in. It is still steeping in the fridge and I can’t wait to try it. I hope I like it. This method of preserving fruit as a beverage has so much potential.

I completed an online gig. This was my first one in 2017 and I am grateful for the funds to replenish my grocery fund.

Speaking of groceries, I finally tallied up all the money we spent on groceries in February.

It didn’t look good.

The total: $444.00!

In my defense, we did have guests and we did splurge on some “adult beverages” while they were here. To further rationalize that seemingly high total, I would point out that,

Statistics Canada reports that the average Canadian household spends $241 per person on food each month. As a general rule, the Credit Counselling Society recommends that consumers allocate $200 to $250 per person for food every month.

Furthermore, according to the Provincial Health Services Authority, a family of 4 could expect to spend $989 a month in my areas so it is not unreasonable that the two of us could expect to budget $494.50 a month.

It does make me wonder how families who are really struggling keep food on the table.I am grateful that we were able to handle the cost – this time.

Despite what Statistic Canada and the Provincial Health Services Authority, we cannot keep spending that same amount every month. $494.50 is more than a third of my take-home pay! I need to jump back on the frugal grocery train – and fast.

Its hard to believe that at this time last year, there were snowdrops blooming in our yard and I was hanging out my laundry on the clothes line. However, I did hear a robin the other morning and it is raining today – maybe spring will eventually make an appearance.

How about you? How was your frugal week?



  1. hello… I read that report on food costs by region. They keep mentioning a nutritious food basket but give no examples..I think those contents might provide even more of an eyeopener as to nutrition and food cost issues, especially regarding seasonal access and availability in all the disparate regions.
    Either way, it’s still a major hurdle and learning curve for people as wages stagnate and become unpredictable and actual food availability becomes challenging.

    I am a very spatial thinker, so I developed a rather peculiar method to help me with visualizing the seasonal and unexpected monthly costs of food and other living costs in the whole fabric of my actual income…..I made a reverse spreadsheet.
    At the beginning of the year, I calculate what my yearly spends should/can be and along with my monthly tabulations on another spreadsheet, I use my reverse spreadsheet to subtract that total from my yearly plan estimate. I helps keep me aware of just how much is left during the year as some months an be spendy and others much thriftier. In the lucky years when medical coats, heating, plumbing and roofing issues are light I can see a possible avenue of relief in food and electric costs etc.
    It may be weird and fussy for some people [ie. my sister!!] but it works as a great visual aide to help me know when to apply the brakes or verge over into austerity budgeting. I don’t feel quite so panicky with a bad month if I can see the entire map.
    This month my steam driven laptop bought the farm. I’m lucky my neighbor had an old spare to lend me, but this will have to be factored into the remaining years spend. It’s like a bizarre game of $ Jenga…you always wonder if you’re pulling the correct log!
    Still mired in ice and snow in nyc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A reverse spreadsheet -what a great idea! Part of my problem is that I am trying to be more honest with myself regarding what we really spend so that I can develop a budget that is reasonable instead of what I think we should spend. Sometimes looking at an honest reflection is hard.
      Thanks for your very valuable insights!


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