Back To Frugal

First off.. I need to sincerely apologize for my lack of posts.. ya see I have had a lot going on the past few months, let me fill you in and let’s get Back to Frugal!

Back to Frugal

I finished graduate school in November!! (Boo for more student loans though). I did however land a new job in my field that I am super happy with! Along with this job came some big changes. I moved to a new state, by myself, away from my support system! Oh, and I got a puppy!!

Meet JJ everyone he is an adorable Lab/terrier mix and is about 4 months old

Now do the math here graduates in November it is now May.. yep! School loans are starting to kick in which means I also need to kick my butt into gear and Get Back to Frugal! To start out I decided to set a small goal for something I know is coming up. Side note, I already have a 1,000 emergency fund. Now I know come October I’ll need all new tires and new brakes so I’m expecting this to be about $600 total since each tire is $125.

My first goal… save $600 in 5 months, while living paycheck to paycheck and paying all of my other bills, Whoa! This might feel unrealistic so let me start from the beginning and breakdown my budget to see where I can pull this from. You can also check out my post on Budgeting for Beginners here!

budget excel.PNG

(Sorry the photo is so small it was really hard to fit in one line..ugh too many bills!) Β  Β πŸ™‚

Soo, as you can see I have a few bills already entered that I have paid off this month. For me the “misc” is for any funds that can changeΒ like food and gifts. Β I have $100 as a limit. now I have a family graduation party and there is Father’s day which my family always celebrates. So I need roughly $40.00 for gifts. this leaves $60.00 for groceries. Now this I can do!

My goal now is to save $40.00 from that grocery budget. This is going to take some creativity. I have 11 days to plan food more on $20.00, it’s a good thing I have a stocked pantry! But, I will be posting about frugal foods and meal planning at a later date ;).

I have lots of food just sitting around for when I am in the mood for it.. so let’s get in the mood for it and use it up! Here is breakdown of my food list for the next 11 days this includes lunches and dinners so that is 22 meals. (FYI I eat overnight oats every morning MMM so good!)

Rice and Veggies- 4 meals

Chicken Stir fry-4 meals

Pasta and Meatballs- 4 meals

Chicken and Stuffing-2 meals

Egg and Turkey Bacon Quiche-3 meals

Chicken soup- 2 meals

Pizza- 2 meals

The $20.00 Will be used on the essentials on this list. Eggs, Milk, and Turkey Bacon. I will probably have some $ left over to throw at my savings balance but I like to leave a few $$ for food emergencies like forgetting my lunch or a client meeting where it might be necessary to eat out (I do get reimbursed for work lunches but I have to front the money and expense it at a later date).

and THAT is my take on saving money when there is none to save! What are your go to saving tips? I’d love to hear from you about them!! Comment below or feel free to contact me directly πŸ™‚






  1. Malissa // Quotation Re:Marks

    Making a budget and sticking to it can be really helpful when trying to save money. Hopefully you’re able to get things paid off quickly. Congrats on graduating and getting your new puppy! πŸ™‚ He’s super cute!

    1. Post author

      Thank you Malissa, yes I am hopefully on the right path! and that puppy is definitely a handful!

  2. Tiffany Meiter

    Great Ideas! I could really use saving from my grocery bill.

    1. Post author

      A grocery bill is the most flexible part of a budget πŸ™‚

  3. Susan Croox

    $20 for 11 days of groceries! Maybe I could’ve done it pre-family. That is amazing.

    1. Post author

      Haha yes, I only have to worry about myself. Which also means I only have one income and twice the school loans ? not sure what I was thinking there!!

  4. interNationalcaty

    That is a very strict budget and I probably did it while I was in college. Great job for sticking it out.

    1. Post author

      Thank you, it can be tough but I will be changing it up for now it is only for 11 days πŸ™‚ hopefully the next pay i can pull from other resources.

  5. andrea

    I struggle with sticking to a budget but it really is the key to saving. Glad your back posting πŸ™‚

    1. Post author

      Thank you Andrea. The best way to stick to a budget is to start small and make realistic goals. πŸ™‚ let me know if you need any help I’d love to help ya out.

  6. katriza

    We struggle so much with keeping a budget! It’s hard enough for us to sit down and make a budget! yuck!

    1. Post author

      Katriza, I know budgeting is not fun for everyone but start small and build our goals. Your first goal could be simple like a “meatless Monday” or a $5 date night! Once you reach small budgeting or saving goals it will motivate you to make other goals.

  7. Sandrine

    Tight budget – fingers crossed, you’ll get to that no-debt life!
    The one thing I do to save money is to grow a garden… I even had tomatoes on the window sill when I lived in a tiny apartment. That, and making a list when going to the grocery shop – and sticking to it!

    1. Post author

      Great tips! if only I liked Veggies I can grow myself. I stick with corn and green beans mostly. I could try my luck at carrots and Zucchini! I do have the apartment life with no real yard..the only yard I do have is used by JJ. making a list before shopping definitely helps! I like to use Flipp and see all the ads and compare where the best deals are. I find that Aldi’s is usually the best though!

  8. amanda

    JJ is so cute!!! sorry i got so distracted i barely looked at all the info on bills!

    1. Post author

      haha thank you! I know I just love him and had to include him in there. Thought it would brighten everyone’s day πŸ™‚

  9. paulo ribeiro

    Hi Kelley,

    You strategy impresses me because your mindset seems great as long as you can comply with it πŸ™‚

    but if it were me, I probably would apply some reverse engineering, well instead of thinking why you should cut in meals that to me is really an important part of our lives… health!

    So why not instead delay the purchase of buying the tires and brakes lets say for 12 months and when you need it, put the car in the garage and use public transportation if possible of course. That way I am certain your expenses with the car will be reduced profoundly and sooner than you think you can get those 600 bucks to buy the tires and brakes.

    Maybe this was not the reply or comment that you wish to hear, but probably it’s a different angle of the problem.


    1. Post author

      Definitely a different angle. I have put off buying the tires for quite some time as it is. Since I know I will absolutely need them for winter I’d rather save up than put it on a credit card as much as possible. Which is why i am planning ahead. Unfortunately where I am public transportation is not possibly. I also just moved to a new state so there is not much opportunity to car pool. Maybe when I can grow some relationships with co-workers that could be an option!

  10. Ellie Augustin

    Budgets are everything! Having 4 kids and only 1 income (hubs) is hard but with our budget, it’s the only way. I keep telling my oldest to stay away from loans as much as he can. He’s just a freshman so I keep telling him to take advantage of the financial aid we get for now and GET them classes (and degree if we can ha) in!

    1. Post author

      I totally agree to that. tell him to work hard now and apply for all the scholarships he can. It also helps to get him into a few activities with school or volunteer. the morme he does the more scholarships there are πŸ™‚ good luck Ellie!

  11. Julie Green and Keen

    JJ is lovely! Thank you for the tips on saving money, they are very helpful to me and everyone. Actually, money is normally never enough if you don’t make a budget

    1. Post author

      thank you Julie, yes it can be touch without a budget. Making a budget has actually helped me in so many ways and not just with saving money. it has taught me to be more disciplined and organized with everyday things as well.

  12. Elena

    Haha, whenever I try to save money, I find a good deal on plane tickets and I’m back to being poor in no time! Good luck with your budget, hope you achieve your goal!

    1. Post author

      haha see that’s the good thing about being afraid to fly!! πŸ™‚ thank you Elena.

  13. June

    I’m in a different camp from some of the other commenters about college … I went back to school as an adult, and I financed it on student loans. The government has some great programs to get a college degree, including IBR (income based repayment) and loan forgiveness. I calculated my earnings vs. budget. So I will almost double my income, but pay approximately $400/mo in student loans for 10 years. The remaining will be completely forgiven. I will not even be repaying the total amount that I borrowed!

    1. Post author

      That is great to hear! I am actually going through this process now. I printed out the forms tonight but have to wait to get my income statements to mail with it. Hopefully the process happens fast. Right now they want $800 a month for all my loans combined!! That’s more than I pay in rent!

  14. sarah

    That is amazing. I have been planning to do just like that. Got 3 kids whose always looking for food.

    1. Post author

      yes it would be perfect for a larger family! I also just got the idea to add some summer squash to it! That sounds so good! (not sure if you kids would eat it haha)

  15. Aireona- Nightborn Travel

    I need to work on this! I love traveling and so it makes sense to be frugal in other parts of my life. I love your set up.

    1. Post author

      Thank you Aireona, I think you have me a new topic to write about..being frugal while traveling πŸ™‚

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