Friday, August 14, 2009

The Challenge and The Heat Wave

Want to know how we did on the challenge?

I'm sure your on the edge of your seats, just like when you all read the beginning of my story.


Well, $250 for three weeks comes to about $80/week which is what we withdrew. Keep in mind the people who came up with this crazy idea work from home and spend a total of $18 on gas every week and a half! We, on the other hand, each put $20 in our tanks every week (and had to drive conservatively!). That left us with $40/week for food and anything else we may want.

And let me repeat--we're not broke and we didn't have to do was a challenge we imposed upon ourselves so please refrain from sending us food stamps...we're not starving!

Do a little more math and you'll see that comes to $5.80 per day. For both of us. Yikes! Well, a few unexpected things came up...remember our rambunctious carpet eating Roy? We had to go out and drop a few bucks on him for some natural "calming aides" (which are working ok, it seems) and with this INSANE heat wave (last night it was 91 degrees at 11:30 at night!!!) we've been putting Roy in doggie daycare. Luckily we got the trial day free at one place, took him there twice more and today are trying a new place which is free the first time too. So for four days of him not boiling alive in our apartment (with the bedroom door closed it got WELL over 100 degrees there during the day) it was worth $50. Plus he's exhausted when he gets home--I've never seem him that tired!

Anyways, I categorized that aside from our challenge because that was more of an emergency anyways! We're nearly bare in our pantry right now which this weekend will allow for a thorough fridge cleaning and then I'll restock! I think we both really learned how easy it is to spend money without thinking. $1.55 for a coffee...$4 for some ice cream (ok we did get that even during our challenge) but you get the idea. Using the cash and consciously spending really stretched everything we have further than I thought. I even ate an easy mac dinner that was in the pantry from who knows how long ago! And I still have a freezer full of twice baked potatoes and brown rice!

Admittedly this heat wave has made cooking more difficult. When you're down to bare bones food the "quick meals" aren't much of an option. Cooking chicken still takes awhile and heats up the kitchen. Two days ago I spent 40 minutes in the kitchen over a hot skillet making coconut curry shrimp with a fan blowing about a foot away from my face.

Last night I just couldn't do it again so we emptied out our change honey jar and went to Taco Bell--we paid with all change and the clerk was not happy but we didn't care! No stoves or dishes! Yippee!!!

The only other fudges were I had to refill on gas yesterday (we used my car all weekend) and we got a few more staples like cheese and tortillas at Fred Meyer that went over our challenge money. I have to say other than that we've done pretty good for ourselves! We're not starving either!

When I go to restock I'll definitely look at everything differently, and Matt (who gallantly has been making lunches and coffee at home and bringing it in a thermos rather than getting Starbucks) said when someone bought him coffee and lunch that it wasn't as good as what he had been making. I knew he couldn't love that burnt flavor forever...

And (drumroll please) we reached our goal of emergency savings! We now have a little cushion should say my transmission blow or Roy decides to break another leg! (knock LOUDLY on wood). That was the whole reason for this challenge, and I'm proud to say we made it!

Back to this heat wave which is Ri-DONKulous (name that TV show...Nadine are you reading?), there is no relief. Here at work the AC comes and goes, our apartment is on the 5th floor and doesn't get a crossbreeze, and last night we tried to escape to the movies to cool off and the AC was off in the theater! What gives!?!? This morning when we woke up we both said, almost at the same time, "It's so COOL!" I got up and looked at the thermometer.

It was 81 degrees.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a lot cooler--we're supposed to even get in the 60s tonight! I can't even wait!!! You know, I've been in hot weather before. Tucson, Romania, Joshua Tree...I'm talking HOT like over 117! For whatever reason, this heat wave feels worse than all that! Maybe because it doesn't cool down at night or indoors anywhere.

I tried the AC. I'm considering just taking a book to the grocery store and plopping down in the canned foods aisle to read.

Matt is averaging 4 showers a day.

Ok, enough of my complaining. I'm sure you don't want to hear that its so hot that when I painted my nails last night the polish blistered on my fingernails. Or using a fan feels like being in front of a blow dryer.

You have other important things to do like turn your thermostat down and don a sweater.

Have fun my friends, and drink a margarita for me.

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