No Spend January Update and Weekly Frugal Update

I have been enjoying daily encouragement emails from Ms. Frugalwoods (on ‘no spend’ January). I don’t do the ‘bare bones’ version of the challenge, I still do grocery shopping as usual but try to stay away from everything else. No coffee out, no clothing, no snacks or lunches. Basically no goodies, just needs.

Hmmmm

Saying that, this week I spent more on the ‘extras’ as compared to the week before (which is when I spend $0). I probably could have held of with purchasing the items for the time being but I assessed that it was important that I just get them.

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My Happiness List

The other day, while in the office and looking for some files in the storage area, I stumbled upon a dusty book. Since I am a sucker for books, especially ones that seem inspiring and in search of an owner, I put it aside to skim through.

The seemingly children’s book (no idea how it even ended up in a child-free office like mine) is a gem. Also, as of last night it found a new home and currently resides in Queens 😉

My Happiness List

While I see myself as a very positive person, I tend to fall off the wagon occasionally, especially in January (and a bit of February too) with these temperatures being below freezing, it is just too easy to feel a bit blue (whiny, ungrateful and just overall cranky).

I definitely appreciate an unexpected source of happiness quotes and some suggestions on how to put myself in a happy state of mind. Of course all good things require some sort of work. But fear not, this work is actually pleasant. A ‘Happiness List’! That seems easy, right?

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I Made Turmeric Capsules (and why I did it myself)

I have heard SO much good stuff about turmeric for as long as I can remember, yet never used it in cooking or as a supplement. I think it literally has been named a ‘magic’ powder as it is believed to have many amazing health benefits and to name a few:

  • it is anti-inflammatory
  • it increases the antioxidant capacity of the body
  • may lower the risk of heart disease
  • may prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • it has benefits against depression
  • anti-aging, great for skin (may reduce wrinkles)

Well, my friend (let’s name her Betsy) who studies wellness and cosmetology recently made her very own turmeric capsules. Yep. This is serious business. I considered buying turmeric an old-fashioned way, namely at CVS or on Amazon to have it Prime-delivered, and here she is whipping out a batch all by herself. 💃

Why would she want to do it herself?

There must be a reason, I thought. Betsy is a health freak, big time. I am talking DIY deodorant from moroccan clay, bee wax and other organic, raw, vegan ingredients kind of a freak. Her Instagram feed is very specific, most of her hashtags are #natural #healthy #organic #DIY. Well, the reason turned out to be very simple –

  • If you make it yourself, you know exactly what’s in it. Duh.
  • It is literally like a bazillion times cheaper to do it yourself.
  • The capsules are really fun to make.
  • Once you have all the supplies, it is easier to continue to make the capsules (and take them) rather than remember to run to the store to get them (and pay again!). That’s Betsy’s philosophy and I agree. I usually take a supply of what I have on hand and then it takes me weeks to get a new batch. I am just bad like that.

I am awfully delayed with getting to it but after I caved in in early December and got all of the supplies, I finally made my very first capsules. 4 batches to be exact. That’s right:)

Turmeric capsules in the making. Please note an opened laptop on picture #2. While it is super simple to make the capsules once you know what you are doing, it was a bit tricky the very first time. Thankfully YouTube came to the rescue.

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No Spend January Update and my Weekly Frugal Recap

Seven days into January and I am going strong. I mean, not a big deal. The bills are paid, the fridge is full, the one kitchen cupboard that I use as a pantry is bursting at its seams. It would literally be a shame if I started complaining now that no spending money on unnecessary crap is depriving me of living the ‘good life’.

Can you tell yet that I am motivated to make the ‘No spend January’ a total success? I bet you I am!

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Super Uber Frugal January Challenge

Exciting! Today, together with a few thousands of other frugal families, I am joining the no-spend, frugal January challenge. T. is NOT joining with me. Actually I did not even tell him about it since I just know what his reaction will be. Moaning and whining, crying at a thought of potentially being deprived of whatever goodies his little heart desires. While I will try to spend as little as possible for this entire month, I actually wonder if he will even notice that I am doing anything differently.

frugal challenge

Well, I am already pretty frugal and careful with money but I am challenging myself to really give it my best to focus on everything else that brings me joy rather than buying things.

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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishment

I returned a few days before T. from our holiday trip to LA.  I took it is a big opportunity to eat out most of whatever we left in the fridge before we left. I was not able to save two cucumbers but otherwise everything was still in a perfect condition. Of course it helps that I am not a fussy eater.  I only purchased eggs, bananas, a couple of avocados and a few tomatoes. T. returned today and we are planning on doing a big shopping tomorrow. Saved the money and no food waste!

Since I had a Monday off this week truly just flew by. I do say it quite often, but this week truly seems like a blur. Work was not too busy and the phone barely rang so I was able to catch up on some less meaningful projects that still had to be done but I did not have capacity to finish them until now.

It was an easy week not to spend money, and I’m actually getting excited for the super uber frugal January.  I am joining The Frugalwoods and 3000+ frugal families who signed up for the challenge. Easy!  I am going to give myself a few exceptions but I am still trying to figure out what they will be. While I do want to make up for all the money we spend in November and December, I am aware that I will have some expenses that, while not being an absolute need, I will need to be OK with. I will post more on this challenge once it starts on January 1.

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Let’s Make the 2017 the Year of no Resolutions

If anyone of my readers have been following me for the last year or so they would know I posted my New Year’s resolutions two years in a row. Well, if you just stumbled upon and this is your first time visiting, you can read about them right here:

My 2015 New Year Resolutions

My 2016 New Year Resolutions

How much of it actually happened? – one may ask. I actually posted a couple of progress reports on how I was going:

2015 Goals and Resolutions Progress Report

2016 Goals and Resolutions Progress Report

Are you laughing with me or at me? 😉

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Frugal Accomplishments and Some Freebies Too

For the last two weeks my mind just has not been where I wanted it to be. May it be the Holidays and missing my family back in Poland or longing for something it’s hard for me to describe. I am missing more spirituality in my life, more meaning in my days, having something more besides 10 hour work days, commute and cooking. Add to it cold, gloomy weather and a finger infection and I found myself in a bit of a black hole.

Basically all I wanted these past several days is coming back home, turning on ‘Chopped’ or ‘Forensic Files’, sneaking under a blanket and vegging out. Oh yes, hot cocoa in hand, too.

The black hole symptoms got almost entirely wiped out when I landed at LAX this past Tuesday night though. The sun and nature surely have a way of brining one’s spirits up.

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Staying Frugal Here.

I am slowly getting over the price of my upcoming root canal, I have also come up with a plan. Namely, I am waiting until January when my crappy dental insurance resets and when my FSA account is fully founded again. I am thinking between the two of them I shall mange just fine. Regardless, spending any money was banned last week in this Queens household. 😉 We picked up a few bananas and milk at Costco but other than that I made my best efforts to come up with (mostly) edible meals out of my fridge’s contents. What exactly I made? Well, to make a short story even shorter, let me just tell you that we are not going to look at brussel sprouts and sweet potato for a long time.

We enjoyed free activities.

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Frugality is a Work In Progress

I am pretty sure that I am saying it on behalf most everyone – money-wise December is HARD (Holidays expenses being the main reason for most). Even with having all MY FRUGAL ON money is literally flying left and right. Out of the wallet of course, not into it…

While one could say if $$ is budgeted properly then all shall be staying under control, it does not seem to be the case here this month. In this Queens household we have decided NOT to budget, instead, we simply live on frugal autopilot. It has been working well but this month we surely ARE feeling a pinch. Since I qualified for 401k at my new work sooner than expected, we are taking advantage of that, trying to put away as much as possible before the end of year. It is a blessing, of course, to be able to do that.

last-weeks-frugal-accomlishements

I got hit from the other side though.

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