"snowys" <snowys@yahoo.com> wrote:

<<3 x .67 = $2.01 Pedigree Little Champion Dinners
1 x 3.50 = $3.50 Snausages Dog Treats
1 x 4.50 = $4.50 Marie Claire Magazine
1 x 3.50 = $3.50 Motts Strawberry Harvest Apple Sauce 6 Pack
4 x 4.19 = $16.76 Canned White Chicken Breast
1 x 16.95 = $16.95 Tide

And bamm, I spent like $47 bucks on nothing.>>

Hi Erin,

You're not going to believe this, but you can search the Budget101_
archives and find how I did it. For nearly two years, my two sons,
now ages 13 and 15, until this past May, lived on $50 a **month**
with food. Now, we have two cats and a dog, and my bill is about
what you're paying. I buy the cat and dog food at Walmart. The
cat food runs $10 and lasts a little over a month with the two, and
the dog food costs me about $13 for a few months (I think! lol He's
still young, and I don't have a firm enough grasp on that one yet.)
I also buy dog treats there--$2 for a bag that would equal about
the same if I spent $8 on smaller bags or boxes elsewhere.

<<When I cook
for myself (which is rare). I LOVE to eat dinner out. If I do cook, I
tend to go the "prepared" food route. With maybe a frozen pizza. Or I
will buy those frozen season veggie packs and I will add chicken or
steak.

<<I tend to always have a lot of prepared foods in my freezer yet, or
even lots of pasta mizes etc in my cabinet. But I dont really eat @
home at night very often. I usually dine out which generally costs me
somewhere between $5 - $12 bucks. So Im buying all this food
intending to eat at home - but not.>>

Forgive me, Erin. Start! lol It can be fun!

As I see it, you're wanting that 'cake' and eating it too. You can't
have it both ways. If you need to save, you need to toughen up
before it's forced on you by life. We've all been there, Erin, and
it's not pretty. You have a goal here, but if you really, truly want
to achieve it, you're just going to have to buckle down.

Your laundry detergent, Erin...I don't know why, but maybe I just
missed it; no one has mentioned this yet. Many people on
Budget101_, and this one goes to Liss' credit, make their own
detergent. I am ashamed to admit I don't. I should. I admit that
too. It costs pennies to do, but I just have this fear of messing it
up! Sooo, I switched from Tide because I could no longer afford
it, and I went to Purex until Arm & Hammer came out. Arm &
Hammer frequently goes on sale at my store--2 gallons for $5.
When it's not, I'm paying $5 for a gallon. It works as well as Tide,
and I'm a happy camper. With two active teens in the house,
believe me, I need something that will clean!

<<Ive got this active, expensive lifestyle I really cant afford on my
current income.>>


If you can't afford it, you don't sit and moan about it. You change
it.

<<But my clothes are from Abercrombie & Fitch (Very expensive...)>>

Why?

<<I could try to cut back on driving by walking when I go out to eat.
Or things like that. *ponders*>>

YES!

Again, good luck. You have some major rethinking to do, Erin,
if you're going to get this problem resolved before you're forced
to. Making the changes when you've still got control is far far
easier than when life gives you no choice.

Warmly,
Michelle (Y. in Broome County, NY)
Budget101_ moderator and Ethnic Inexpensively columnist