Category: Frugal Momster

$25 per person Weekly Food Budget

A lot has been in the news lately about the budget for those on benefits from the government. I don’t plan to comment on all of that (here’s a great piece on it), but I thought it would be fun to share how we use our budget for food and write about things like I used to.

I’m always surprised to find out that our family food budget is below the “Thrifty Plan” under the USDA food cost guidelines. We spend about $75 or less per week, currently shooting for $50 a week to stockpile a few extra bucks, on food and household goods. This isn’t to say that we are able to always stick to that budget, sometimes we go over to around $80 per week, but I strive to see that number or below weekly when we hit the grocery store(s).

I budget about $25 per week per member of the household, planning to add another $25 per week when Baby #2 arrives (which might be tight with formula year one). I don’t have to budget for diapers, since we use cloth diapers which is a huge savings in our budget; especially this go around. And most people might not use their food budget for items other than edible goods, but I try to throw as much in that category as we can.

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Our Zero Dollar Cell Phone Bill

Buying an iPhone is quite tempting to throw photos, sharing, and my whole life into one device, but I just can’t beat the cost of our current setup no matter how much Chris begs. Oh wait, did I just share that with the world?

For less than $100 a year, or $500 over two years (including buying an iPod Touch), I’ve got everything an iPhone user has – minus the bill.

Extensive Costs
The main reason I don’t buy an iPhone is because of the cost. Not only is there a cost for the device, but the data plans that come along with them, plus contracts, fees, and taxes can add up to over $1,800 for the first year (that’s conservative). The company is making a huge chunk of change on your subsidized phone. T-Mobile is trying something different…

Taxes
Do you hate paying more for services, especially in the form of taxes? It’s amazing what they’ll add in the way of taxes to cell phone bills. Did you know you pay a 911 fee now?

Free or Cheaper Options
With so many options, it pays to shop around. We text and call family and friends for free through Google Voice, use our cell minutes for emergencies when out of wi-fi range, and literally have hundreds of units left over each year. Seriously, I had Santa call my relatives from my Google Voice last year, too! Continue reading…

A New Topic Around Here + Frugal vs. Cheap

Welcome to a new topic here on the Kate Nesi blog 🙂 I am passionate about finances, which possibly comes from having a dad as a banker or a mom who does accounting, but regardless, I love numbers! I’d like to share some tips and changes we’ve made in our lifestyle that have completely rearranged our lives and our outlook. Life’s never perfect, but we enjoy it a lot more now.

Last year, I was so passionate I even started an anonymous blog: Debt Free by Forty, on Tumblr, sharing the exact pennies of our days. It became popular pretty quick, with a lot of write-in questions, but I found running two blogs to be burdensome and it fell victim to the deletion key during my downtime. I’ve wanted to write about frugality here, but you know, money is a touchy subject people. So, I’ve sat on this topic for some time… trying to figure out how, when, and why to broach the subject.

I hope you find something useful from our journey… and always feel free to send me questions 🙂

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Cloth Diapers: Our Process & Washing Routine

In this post, I linked to every product we use. We bought them mostly on Amazon. 
*Our diaper stash is 30 bumGenius 4.0 Cloth Diapers.

Everyone’s diaper process is a slightly different. I couldn’t find much online about what people do step-by-step at the start, but in talking with helpful friends I came up with a great process that works for our family.

Here’s the breakdown of the basic steps we use for cloth diapers… not too different than disposables:

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