Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 12 - Slowly the Spending Starts

This is really yesterday's post, reporting how Friday went. I had a doctor's appointment about 40 minutes from home in the morning. With rush hour traffic out Route 66, it took a bit longer. Reluctant to put gas in my car earlier in the week, I noticed the empty light fading on and off on my way out of town. I could have called AAA for free to bring me a gallon of gas if I ran out, but it just seemed like it was time to put gas in the car to make it the 25 miles or so back home. For $2.29 a gallon, I decided to go all the way, and fill up the car. Gas in my neighborhood was running at least 5 cents more per gallon, so I decided it would be a good idea. Why is it that we are willing to go out of our way for gas that's 2 or 3 cents cheaper a gallon, but many people won't clip a few coupons that would save them $10 or more on a visit to a grocery store? I put $24.25 worth of gas into my car, and drive home worry-free.

For dinner last night, we finished out last frozen ground beef, a taco seasoning packet, our last frozen soft corn tortillas, our last shredded cheddar cheese, the last of our salsa, and the last of our olives. I couldn't eat any of it because of my low-iodine diet restrictions. The kids and husband had decent soft tacos. I ate leftovers from earlier in the week and a big salad with mixed greens from our farm-share. We never could have made it through the last two weeks without our fresh veggies from our Potomac Valley Farm.

The two-week experiment in not spending money is still going pretty well. What is getting to me is my special no-iodine diet that I must follow for two weeks. We still have some canned goods left in our pantry, but all of them contain salt, so I can't eat them, assuming that the salt is iodized. In the fridge, there are no condiments I can use, except the teaspoon left in our no-salt added Dijon mustard, which I use daily to make a vinaigrette. I'm telling you all of this to soften you up for our first non-essential purchase of the two weeks.

I met friends last night for a "Ladies' Night In" where we watched a movie and had a chance to hang out without kids. Everyone was very conscious of my food limitations, so we planned some snacks I could eat as well. But on the way to my friend's house, I was craving a crunchy, non-vegetable snack. Options were limited, so I stopped at the grocery store and bought plain, salt-free rice cakes. I also got some unsalted almonds. Total bill $6.96. I could have contented myself with the snacks my friends brought: delicious dairy-free, soy-free chocolate which was amazingly decadent and raw veggies. But on the way over, I wanted something else. I figured that it was a forgivable splurge, because I really haven't had many food choices this last week on this annoying diet!

On our last day of the experiment, I'll detail our plans for the next week, where we hope to spend as little money as possible except where we can get good savings on our purchases, and start "stocking the basement bodega" as Gregory Karp (Spending Smart, Living Rich) calls it. And, we must set a holiday spending budget…

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