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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When the Envelope's Empty but the Month Ain't Over: AKA 9 Days, 11 Dollars

This is all that remains of my monthly grocery budget. I know I told y'all we were on the Dave Ramsey plan, but I don't think I went into detail about these devilish little envelopes.

At the beginning of each month, B Daddy and I sit down and make a budget based on the coming month's income. This has been HUGELY HELPFUL in keeping us on track because each month is different. Before, when we tried to create a generic budget that worked for every month, unusual expenses would pop up and throw us completely off track. Genius Dave, genius.

Once we parcel out our theoretical dollars into each budget category - Groceries, Gifts, Clothing, Dakota, etc., we head to the ATM to pull out cash. This is my favorite part of the month. It's terribly exciting to have several hundred dollars in my hot little hands all at once. I fantasize about going to the spa and casually dropping my Benjamins on a facial...and then I come to and realize this cash has to last 31 days and includes my monthly allotment for toilet paper. Ah, the plebeian life.

So because our bills are paid online and our saving and giving is done by check or electronic transfer...we just use cash for our day-to-day expenses. Using the debit card is supposed to be a no-no. (Unless we're buying gas. I refuse to walk into the gas station to pay for gas. That is like SO 1990.)

Which brings me to my dilemma today. The Leipprandt Family fiscal month ends on September 4th. September 4th y'all. That is 9 days away by my count. My Grocery envelope currently has $11.00 in it.

Take a minute and groan with me now - 11 dollars.

Now I'm not trying to throw a pity party for myself or get any dinner invitations out of this - although they are certainly welcome and we are free on Saturday night - instead I am choosing to look upon my $11.00 as a challenge.

I will feed this family on $11 plus the contents of my fridge and pantry. I will live like no one else so that later on I can live like no else.* I am the master of this kitchen and I am a couponer gosh darnit! I will do this and so could you.

Here's what I have in the house as good "bones" for dinners, lunches and breakfasts this week.

Three frozen pizzas
One bag spinach
7 bagels
chicken broth
ONE egg
Deli turkey
Deli ham
Sharp cheddar cheese
7 slices of bread (including the heels)
5 hot dogs
3 bags frozen veggies
2 cans of mixed vegetables
1 can of green beans
One young chicken – this is what I am hanging all hope of success on!
Peanut butter
Half and half
Ritz crackers
Brownie mix
4 cans of fruit
1 can of olives
1 can of kidney beans
Spaghetti noodles
Half of a container plain yogurt

I'll share my shopping trip to spend the rest of my $11.00 and also the 9 days of menus with you. Wish me luck! Pray for me! Here goes nuthin'...


To read how Day #1 HERE.


  1. Brownie mix= 1 egg.

    Essentially you have 0 eggs.

    Maybe for Christmas I will wrap up a live chicken for you and Dave. I mean, B Daddy. Free eggs for life.

    Here is my pantry:
    GIANT bag of walnuts
    GIANT bag of raisins
    GIANT bag of almonds
    Cliff Bars
    Flax Seed Pancake mix that is nasty
    1 can of tomato sauce
    Chocolate Whey Protein Powder

    GIANT bags of frozen veggies
    Ground turkey
    Frozen bananas
    Frozen beer mugs

    Jack: "We have so much food! Don't go to Kroger!"
    Me: "If you want me to eat trail mix for every meal."

  2. Katie you are inspiring me to set a monthly budget...and actually attempt to stick to it (hum, now to convince Todd that we could actually do it)! What a great idea with the envelopes of cash - I may need to jump on the Dave train!

    I have a feeling you're going to come up with some very interesting meals these next few days :)

  3. There was no coffee on that list. You're a Mum. You NEED coffee.
    PS We have a freakishly emaciated monthly food to share it with you one includes coffee. :)

  4. Coffee!! Ashleigh do not fear, I do have coffee and creamer and sugar. They are life giving nourishment around this place. I actually breathed an audible sigh of relief this morning when I realized we have enough creamer to last 9 days...I'm an addict and it's not pretty.

  5. I empathize. This Mum thing ain't always pretty so don't worry about it...I think you're doing great.

  6. B Daddy and I need to sharpen up the arrows and take out some big creek deer. That would put some food on the table.

  7. Hahaha! Great idea Jack! It would also help out the flower bed situation around here...equally pathetic.

  8. Katie!! I absolutely love reading your posts! They are so YOU and so much fun! Thanks for sharing all the highs and lows of being on the Dave train. We too are jumping on that train starting this month and hopefully we never get off of it! :) Way to go on spending your 11 bucks and feeding your fam out of your freezer and pantry!! We could probably do that for a month or two! It's insane!

    Love you girl!! Miss you guys!


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