Being thrifty AKA use it or lose it

In March, The Boy quit his job and walked out into the great unknown – in other words, he started his own business. It’s been a wild 3 and a bit months and while we’re not swimming in money as yet, he’s doing brilliantly and, more importantly, he’s really happy again. The last year or so of his old job really wore him down and it’s nice to have him back, as it were.

And while he is bringing in money, we’re still at the stage where everything that comes in from the business goes straight back into the business to buy equipment and whatnot. All this means that we’re living on my AMAZING FANTASTIC publishing salary. If you know anything about publishing, it’s all about the love of the industry etc etc – a long-winded way of saying none of us are going to be millionaires anytime soon!

It’s very easy to get comfortable when you’re on two salaries but it’s a bit of a rude shock to move onto one salary, even when you’re expecting it. We’ve been really lucky in a few ways though:

  1. I’m a saver and we have a good stash o’ cash to cushion us. Obviously, we don’t want to use it all but it’s good to have it there
  2. We have family around us to support us if the going gets tough. I know that if I were to mention to my mother that we were down to rice and beans for dinner, she’d be over in an instant with meals for the freezer and offers of grocery shopping. Not everyone has that support available.
  3. It’s just the two of us – we’re kidless so far (which is not great in some ways) which means that we can keep our expenses down fairly easily without suffering. 
  4. We have absolutely no debt – car loan is paid off (as of this month – huzzah!) and we only spend what we can afford on the credit cards.

This is all great but there’s so much more we can do to make things easier on ourselves. This week, I’m setting myself a massive challenge – to cook from the pantry. That means no extraneous grocery shopping for random things that we may need one day or for recipes I suddenly get a craving for. We have so much food in our pantry that we’re not going to starve. Case in point today – I wanted to make something in the slowcooker that called for a can of chopped tomatoes. Normally this is a doddle since we ALWAYS have cans of tomatoes in the pantry. Except today we don’t. Any other day, I would have walked to the grocery store and bought a couple of cans, plus some fruit and then some snacks and maybe some veggies in case we don’t have enough in the freezer. And voila, there’s $40 gone. Repeat that every day or so and suddenly you have a packed pantry and a sad bank account.

So instead of buying more tomatoes, I added them to the list for next week and made something else instead using ingredients we already have. And I’ll keep doing that all week at least to see if I can make a dent in the pantry stocks at all. 

Somethings tells me this MAY take longer than a week though. Anyone else find themselves in the same boat and want to try the #cookfromthepantry challenge?


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