Uber Frugal Month July 2019

I’m going to do the Frugalwood’s Uber Frugal month, but I’m notoriously bad at actually being remotely frugal during these months.

Post here for accountability, or to give your Uber Frugal suggestions!


Some strategy I’m planning on using:

  • Write down everything that I buy.
  • Go to the grocery store by bike or on foot. This will limit my impulse buys, as I’ll have only so much space & strength to carry stuff back.
  • The only going out to eat will be for my brother’s birthday, but I will give him the option of having me cook for him and him taking home the leftovers instead.
  • Meal plan based on the fridge & freezer, not based on cravings.
  • Prohibit purely hobby/fun purchases for the month.

Hoping to:

  • Scooch back into a reasonable amount of grocery & food spending.
  • Be more mindful of what matters enough to spend money on.

Count me in!

My goals:

  • General spending reset after some spendy (for good reasons but still) months
  • More mindfulness on what we’re spending our money on
  • Work on increasing my 3-4 month cash buffer closer to 6 months - this won’t get accomplished just in July, but I’m hoping to kickstart that savings rate back into gear

Strategies I’m looking at

  • This thread for accountability!
  • Eat down the pantry/garden. Cut back on non-essential grocery purchases and focus on eating what we already have.
  • Hard limit of only 1 gas tank fill-up this month. Time to start biking more.

I probably already have too many pre booked in commitments to be too frugal but I saw they shared something last night so I thought I would try, probably ties in well with plastic free July


I’m in, but have a history of forgetting I’m doing it halfway through.


I’m not joining because I have some spendy plans I’m looking forward to this month, but I’m here to cheer everyone on!


I may have already failed at this, lol :sweat_smile: but what’s the deal? Sounds like a possibly fun challenge


I’m tentatively in. Main goal is to be very mindful and cut where I can. Last month was very spendy, and this month is only half paid due to husband’s new job. Also first month on new lower salary. So I want a nice leaner month to reassure myself the numbers DO work on this.

Kicked off to a great start by a $95 CC renewal fee I forgot about :woman_facepalming:

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This morning I bought a box of 13 bagels for $11. I could have bought them for $7 yesterday, but didn’t thinking I would just make them. I did not make them.

Also learned husband went out to eat for lunch yesterday. Gotta figure out from him how much that was.

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I think I’m going to answer the questions from the daily emails here and post the mantras from each day. It’s day 2, but it’s okay, it’s never too late!

Day 1 Mantra: Anything in life that’s worth doing takes effort.

Day 1 Action: Write down why you’re participating in the Uber Frugal Month as well as your answers to the other questions in the below post.

Day 1 Recommended reading

Day 2 Mantra: When you’re working towards a goal, frugality isn’t about what you’re giving up, it’s about what you’re going to gain.

Day 2 Action: Write term your long-term goal and put it in your wallet (and here if you’re here :wink: )

Day 2 Recommended Reading


So I already stated why I’m participating in UFM. But there are looots of other questions in the Day 1 post.

  • What do you hope to achieve?
    I would like to get back in the habit of using what I have, making things myself, or attempting to do without before buying something I haven’t thought through whether I need it. After all, if I’ve gone this long without it, do I really need it?
  • What are your longterm life goals?
    Oh jeez. Um, I want to reach financial independence. I want to have somewhere between one and three kids. I want to write a book. I want fuzzy pets. I want to be healthy and have fun active hobbies. I want to be active in a fulfilling, though possibly part-time, career.
  • Where do you want to be in 10 years?
    Having gotten all of the above. I’ve said in other places, I’m not super good at figuring out anything past the next 10 years.
  • What about your current lifestyle might prevent those goals from coming to fruition and what can you do about it?

It’s all about the food, which is somewhat about budget and somewhat about health and somewhat about sustainability. It’s just like, the intersection of all the things I feel I could be doing better in my life.

Our tendency to overeat and eat out a lot has a significant impact on our health, and while financially it wouldn’t prevent us from reaching FI in the next 10 years, it’s not going to help and it’s not in line with a lot of our stated values. It’s not likely to improve if/when we do have kids and pets if we haven’t established the habit of non-eating-out. And health-wise, we feel and look our worst when we are regularly going out to eat, and we want to avoid the health issues that can come along with poor nutrition.

To spend more going for ethical, organic groceries and more produce and less cheap grains would still help our bank account if it completely replaced going out to eat, as well as making us healthier.

Together we’re trying intermittent fasting, which will certainly cut down on our food consumption and therefore should cut down on our food purchases.

We’re trying a fridge & freezer first approach to meals. If there is something we can make a meal out of available, we really don’t need to go to the grocery store for anything. Maybe that means we can’t make specifically this exact recipe with these exact ingredients, but as long as we have veggies, protein & fats, we can make do.

I personally am going to make an effort to cut down on my animal product consumption. Husband is not, but oh well. For me this means one of my 2 meals each day on the IF schedule will be at least vegetarian, striving for vegan. This will mean buying less meat and likely spending less $$.


Okay, so we decided to cancel our cards with the $95 fees. Which we’ve done with Husband’s already. But to preserve the account status with that company, I need to open a new card with them. Which is in progress but I’m waiting to hear back? Anyway, if it gets dealt with within 30 days I’ll get that $95 refunded. :+1: plus by cancelling husbands we’ve avoided $95 here in a couple months. Woop woop.


Day 3: establishing a 3-day waiting period for purchases. I tend to do this already. Today I took the opportunity to check my Amazon cart - there are a few items that have been sitting in there for weeks. Most I’m planning to purchase, but I did remove one item that I’ll be able to get locally and cheaper.

I’d love to try to apply a waiting period to impulse grocery buys: more strictly following the grocery list, and maybe a waiting period on non-staple grocery items on the list. Next time I go grocery shopping I’ll do an assessment of the list beforehand and see if that helps.


Day 6: Where’s your money at?

I already budget at a granular-enough level, but I did take a look at some investment accounts that usually only send quarterly or annual updates and updated our budget accordingly.

I also opted out of the Oregon Saves account I qualify for through one of the theaters I work for. I plan to build up our cash savings back to a 6-month cushion, then increase my IRA contributions.

I also discussed cancelling Netflix with mr krmit. A small drop in the bucket, but we aren’t getting a ton new out of it on a month-to-month basis. Rewatching The Office episodes for the 600th while we wash dishes isn’t quite worth the cost. Maybe when a new season of something drops we’ll pay for a month at a time, but for now it’s something on the chopping block.


Thanks to the challenge being on, I realized that one of my cards isn’t showing up on Mint. Not sure how I missed that. My husband’s corresponding card takes 2+ weeks for transactions to come over period, so I think we’ll just move away from Capitol One cards. We already got the sign up on that one, and have another card we can get better rewards on in mind anyway. Tracking is important!


Today I spent $11 on produce from the farmer’s market (local dollars) instead of $25 on an Imperfect Produce box. Saved money and spent it according to my values.

Bonus, now I have a 5-pound pointy cabbage to extract many meals from!


Yesterday was spendy.

$75 on forging equipment (Greyman’s hobby I’m trying to get into with him), $25 on lawn care stuff, $22 on coffee, $8 on food.

A quarter of the way through the month and my grocery total is I think $130-ish? More than a quarter of budgeted. However the month kicked off with buying toilet paper, paper towels, and shampoo, which was like $40 of that total. We can probably get by not buying any more groceries this month if we’re vigilant. But will we? Probably not…

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I can’t access my spending tracking at the moment and have totally forgotten to write things down in the meantime.

I also already forgot I’m doing this :joy:

So far I’ve spent more on food than normal but only on needed items and at the farmers market ($$$), bulk store ($$), and co-op ($$) compared to supermarket ($) and Aldi ($).

No unnecessary spending yet, and the prompts have been helpful to remind myself of my financial priorities.

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$7.10 on bagels. At least I got them on half-off day rather than fooling myself into believing I would actually make bagels and then NOT making them but buying them for twice as much.


Sooooo I spent $32 out with a friend that needed a night out, last minute invite.

In January Uber Frugal month I would decline, or would just deal with not eating/drinking and throw some cash down for my time/the tip.

Summer Uber frugal is so different mentally and emotionally for me! It’s like January is a cleanse that resets my values and July is putting my money where my mouth is, not Uber, but only spending where I truly value the spend.

To me (and me alone, in my interpretation) this is not the spirit of Uber Frugal month. But it’s still so helpful to me to really take time to consider these purchases beforehand and during, not just afterward when I tally monthly spending.