Can you believe I’m already thinking about challenges for the month ahead while I’m on vacation? I MUST be sadistic or something when I’m spending the last few days of vacation wondering what new experiment or challenge I can do when I get back. What’s really going on is the planner in me has taken over – FYI – I’ve been known to plan things years in advance. I’m rather zany that way. I’ve also once again been reflecting on the frugal way I live while on vacation in Hawaii visiting family. Heck, if I can live with no TV or phone and have simple meals, why can’t I do that at home? The simple answer is CHOICE. When I’m back in Canada, there is too much choice when it comes to amenities, conveniences and food. Food, for example is a big one, groceries are so much cheaper and readily available in Canada than in Hawaii. Sure, I can get strawberries in Hawaii but they’re $5.99 a pound and don’t look so happy to eat. Read: Moldy and rotting usually. This translates to a fruit diet primarily of oranges and bananas.
New Challenge: Frugality for Breakfast
Could I have some savings for breakfast with a side of frugality please? Breakfast has to be the one meal that should be the easiest and most frugal of your day, am I right? Unfortunately for many of us, we make Starbucks, Tim Horton’s or McDonald’s our morning breakfast routine which has us paying ninety times more than necessary for that one meal. Yep, go ahead, read that again, I’ll wait. 90 TIMES.
I’ve been there, believe me. 8:30AM meeting at the office, you drag yourself out of bed a little too late and next thing you know; instead of making your 10 minute steel-cut oats, you are out the door headed for Starbucks and an $8-10 breakfast bill. Guess what? Starbucks takes 10 minutes too, so why not make the oats? You can always wash the dishes later.
I’m tired of giving Starbucks my retirement savings ALL THE TIME. So, here’s the challenge:
March 6th thru to April 6th – I will eat ONLY Steel Cut Oats for breakfast. I’m permitted to add some fruit, maple syrup and almond milk. Want to add coffee or tea? It must be made at home and taken with me. I have a darn Starbucks thermos for crying out loud. Sheesh.
One Splurge a week only. Nope, this is not what you think, I won’t be heading to SBUX. Instead, I’ll allow myself some scrambled eggs on the weekend. I usually do this on the weekends, so no huge change there.
Why am I doing this? To further develop my discipline and willpower. Oh, and also because I bought this huge 3.17KG (7 pound/112 oz) bag of steel-cut oats from Costco for $9.99. At 1/4 cup (36 grams) per dry serving, that yields 88 servings per bag at roughly $0.11 per serving.
Breakfast for 11 CENTS!!!! HELLO!!!! What planet have I been living on? If SBUX is $10 for breakfast, that’s 90 times more expensive than oats! That’s 90 TIMES!!!! ACCCCKKKKKKK!!!! Wait, let’s factor in the cup of coffee too, so add 10 cents, we’re at 21 cents, add a handful of berries, okay 25 cents for breakfast. T-W-E-N-T-Y F-I-V-E cents people! A measly 25 cents still makes breakfast 40 times cheaper than a $10 Starbucks meal. Ahem. Challenge? For 11 cents or 25 cents? Yes, please!
This is My Frugal Dad Update
Don’t worry peeps, I haven’t forgotten about the retirement and investing Frugal Dad episodes! They are on their way very shortly. Who knew trying to align my schedule with a retiree’s would be so difficult? But, while I’ve been visiting them, I’ve been able to get a lot of the Q&A done.
New Writing Challenge
I’ll get into more detail with my February Budget Recap, but essentially along with my frugal breakfast, I’ll be creating a new habit in March and that’s to write each evening for at least 2 minutes.
Keeping this Frugal Train on the Rails – Other Money Saving Updates
I’ve got some other money-saving changes coming, or as the personal finance community likes to say, I’m grabbing some of the “low hanging fruit” and cutting some more costs. Can you tell I’m focused and serious this year?