Still on Track for the 500 dollar month?

There is a question at the end of this post that I’d LOVE for you to answer.  Will you?

As is often the case when I commit to giving you daily insights into my life, I have failed because, let’s just face it. You don’t really care that much AND after the third or fourth meal in a row that I photograph, my husband just rolls his eyes.

But, since I am determined to finish out the month under $500, here’s an update. With 10 days till payday, we have about $80 left.  I don’t know exactly because using the CASH system is just flat out NOT for me. I have tried and failed at it innumerable times.  I am much stingier with the invisible shrinking debit bottom line than I am with the cold hard green stuff sitting in my wallet.  That green stuff is meant to be spent with immediacy.

Do you need cash? Sure, I have some. 

Do I want that tiny thing? Well super. I have cash. I will just buy it and the bank will never know.

So we are at roughly $80.  Actually, we would be at 0, but I made an exception.  Normally, I would include over the counter medicine in our consumables budget of groceries, toiletries, etc., but unbeknowst to our budget, fall pollens came early, and with them, allergy season.  SO, my husband went to CVS and spent $80 stocking himself up on Zyrtec and Sudafed and Neti Pot supplies.

Since early allergies mean early expenses, I am moving the money around and not taking this from our $500.  (ALSO, do not tell him, but I am actually REJOICING a tiny bit that maybe this means he won’t be suffering from the annual anniversary debilitating sinus infection in October–since he is suffering now, poor guy.)

Anywho, here are some photos of meals and purchases and randomness. Enjoy.

Coconut Chicken Thighs with Brown Rice

Oatmeal and Hard Boiled Eggs Breakfast.

I am TOTALLY NOT a food photographer, right!?! Black beans, which were served with rice.

About $8 of poorganic food from the Farmers’ Market. Notice the awesome design by Addie.

My return to couponing. This was $80 spent at HT Super Doubles. You can see in this loot my attempt at balancing quantity with quality. In general I would say that couponing just ain’t what it used to be. Or maybe I’M not what I used to be with wielding my binder and deals.  Click picture to enlarge and scrutinize.

Whole wheat pancakes with regular old Smithfield bacon, which I know makes so of you want to send me a mean e-mail about nitrites, but maybe you could channel that vehemence toward sending money to poor kids or something. Thanks! :)

Addie packed this lunch for herself. BE STILL MY BEATING HEART! (But, I can barely comprehend a child from my womb being happy with so few carbs. Oh well.)

One of the missionaries we support dropped this bread and perfectly shaded orange sparkle nail polish on my door step. I probably don’t need to even tell you that there was not a scrap of bread in the house when this delivery arrived. THANK YOU LORD!! (AND my friends.)

So that’s that. I am REALLY tired of cooking and  being creative with meals. I am really tired of eating meatless meals. I am really tired in general.

Actually, for the four of you that are still reading this post, I have a little confession to make.  I might stop writing about food.  Aren’t there a lot of great budget real food bloggers?  AND, aren’t there better purist food bloggers who have more genuine conviction to offer this subject?  This bandwagon is feeling pretty crowded, so I might just jump off.  That’s not to say we won’t keep eating somewhat real, but when it comes to writing, I am just wondering if maybe this isn’t what God wants me focusing on.

If you faithfully read this blog, THANK YOU! Truly!!  I would love to hear some feedback to help me as I seek some direction for my writing. What has kept you reading The Poorganic Life? 

46 Responses to Still on Track for the 500 dollar month?

  1. Lindsay September 14, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    I love reading your blog because you are so relatable, and I love your self-deprecating sense of humor. :) I started reading your blog because you wrote about “real food”, but I will still read it even if you change the content! Thanks for being an encouragement to another mom just trying to do her best.

    • Katrina September 14, 2012 at 9:11 am #

      That’s great to hear Lindsay. Thanks! I hope I do encourage because lately I’ve been feeling kind of DIScouraged. :/ Maybe I need to stop thinking about silly stuff like food.

  2. MyPeaceOfFood September 14, 2012 at 9:10 am #

    I know I am relatively new to reading your blog, but I like it even if it’s just to see someone else struggling with the same issues I am, and being real and unapologetic about it. I just met with a friend through MOPS yesterday who is helping to budget coach me, and we agreed that while it shouldn’t be, eating right these days IS hard. There are so many different camps out there who want you 100% on their side, there is so much conflicting evidence, there is so little honest support from the government. I have VERY recently come to realize how much faith has to play a role in the areas of food and finance, no matter how many people would never understand or believe that. I’m starting the Crown Ministries Biblical Financial Study, meant for small groups but doing it on my own, to see if it can help me at all on this front. I just can’t do it on my own, but I do agree that misery loves company. Whatever your heart decides, though, God bless!
    MyPeaceOfFood recently posted…Burning Question Numero TresMy Profile

  3. Suzanne September 14, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    I enjoy your blog… it means something to me that you live within the same metro area as I. It means something to me that you have kids around the same age as I. It means something to me that you value nutrition while still considering that there are limited resources. And I really do enjoy your writing style.

  4. Alison September 14, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    I started reading your blog while doing summer of 7, not from the food aspect. I hear you on the giving up the food writing as I was struggling with this myself last month. I would keep reading regardless. :)
    Alison recently posted…Extended Summer MenuMy Profile

  5. Teri September 14, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Food schmood – who needs it? I don’t think you need to focus on food so much, but let’s be honest, we’ve got to feed those kids 3 stinkin’ times a day, so it is bound to take up a lot of your energy and mental focus. I like reading your food posts but I love reading your “life” posts. I think you should just write about what you feel the Lord is leading you to, whether that be food, missions or Tramp-trina. :-). Don’t worry about your audience so much (remember, you don’t have to try so hard!) and just focus on being your real and authentic self – that’s who we all love!

  6. Gaby September 14, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    I read because I met you in person, which makes what your right more “real” to me if that makes sense. I also like your style and your viewpoint.
    Gaby recently posted…More than you ever wanted to know about me.My Profile

  7. Gina @ Holding the Distaff September 14, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    You keep it real! I also think you have a good grasp on grace when it comes to raising and feeding a family that a lot of the “purist” bloggers don’t touch on much. I get tired of reading stuff that makes me feel completely incompetent and lazy. Keep writing whatever/wherever the Spirit leads you!

  8. Jan September 14, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Let us know how you are doing… we are pulling for you and let’s face it we want to see if someone else can do it before we try it. You are doing great.

  9. kim September 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    I enjoy your food journey! Personally, I think it is a more realistic approach for most of us. Also, loved the frugal view!! Keep at it.
    kim recently posted…9 things I learned as a stay-at-home momMy Profile

  10. Cynthia Crow ell September 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    I love your casual style and your ‘realness’ I am a relativity new reader, PLEASE don’t stop know! I also read 100 days of real food and I love lots of her ideas, but it is not realistic for my family to eat 100% organic and not processed.

  11. Irion September 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    I love reading your blog! I love everything you write about! I will continue to read your blog because what you write about is relevant to me and my life. I love reading about how you feel God is leading you and where He is leading you! Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  12. Erin September 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    I stumbled upon your blog originally because of the food related posts, but kept reading because of overall quality of your writing and the fact that so many of your posts are very thought provoking for me. Even in your food related posts, you often write about so much more, like in “Pride Goeth to Food Lion”. :) I think you should write about whatever you feel is important to you. From the first post I read, I realized this was not strictly a food blog and have thoroughly enjoyed many of your non-food related posts. I love how you are so open & honest, even when sometimes it may not show your “best side”. As someone else wrote, it makes you very relatable. So many of the subjects you have discussed have really hit home with me, and they usually have little to do with buying food on a budget or eating organically.

  13. Mary September 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    I have 2 Moros in life : You only have one life and you have to give the best you can do to the things that are important ( and if that’s the best you can do then that’s the best you can do, don’t feel guilty about it) and the other is you have to do what’s best for you and your family first. With that in mind if saving money and eating organically is what’s important to you then focus your energy on that. Here’s something to consider though. My mom was a single mom and her top priorities were cooking every meal from scratch and working 3 jobs. As such she did not/ could not have a lot of time for me which she feels bad about now that I’m grown. As for me, my house is a mess most of the time, I work part time when I can, I save money when I can and I eat organically and make most of my meals from scratch when I can. My toddler and infant are my focus. I often choose to sit on a dirty floor and play legos or push the plates from dinner aside as I color with my son in the morning. My priority is to enjoy my kids and that is why I chose to be a stay at home mom. There will always be another sale to stockup but there’s only one chance to see a child smile or walk for the first time. My toddler read a book for the first time the other day and he just turned 4 (this is exactly why I stay home with them). Now being healthy, eating right and exercising are important but if I made dinner 5 out of 7 times this week I remind myself that I saved money 5 out of 7 times this week by doing that and I fed my family healthier food. Going to Chipolte for dinner because you spent time playing in the pool with your kids is not hat bad in my opinion. I tend to stockup on a lot of canned beans, tortillas, pasta, tomatoe sauce and cheese to make a quick bean and cheese burrito or pasta primavera (pasta with veggies and sauce) when I don’t have time. Do what you can. Stockup when you can, save
    when you can, make a wholesome organic meal when you can and when you can’t forgive
    yourself because there are only 24 hours in a day. Sorry it’s such a long post but us moms need to stick together and give each other a virtual hug and reality check every now and then. Wishing you the best :)

  14. Mary Lou Baker September 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

    I don’t think there are too many poorganics out there with a Christian perspective, so I would love to see you continue what you do. However, I love anything you write, so do what God calls you to do. There are so many important issues out there; it must be hard to choose!

  15. Jenn September 14, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    I will read regardless! I love how real you are! But doing what the Lord calls you to do is what matters most! Rock on sister!

  16. Kay Bruner September 14, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    Well, I read because I love you and you live TOO DANG FAR AWAY. And you write good :) I will read no matter what. I don’t think you need a niche–other than yourself. And I am not so interested in food because my boys are all over 6 feet and skinny as three rails, so what’s done is done.
    Kay Bruner recently posted…New Themes: Gridspace and AsceticaMy Profile

    • Katrina September 14, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

      Thanks Kay. Well, you and all the other girls who named their blogs after themselves are making me want to just be join the “cool girls.”

  17. Kay Bruner September 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm #

    And let me just say that I DID NOT write about gridspace and ascetica. whatever the heck those things are.

    • Katrina September 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

      I removed the comment Luv. I’m not sure why it did that. Weird. :)

  18. Dianna September 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Today was the first day I have read your blog. You are truly fascinating and entertaining, also I have to say I see true belief in faith in your words. I am going to be returning to your blog for updates and to read your past postings to get to know you and your life a little better.

    Also, after reading your definition of poorganic, I am totally one…except that I am not to mindful of the organic part. Only because of cost. I am getting better. I do more cooking from scratch anyway.

    Thank you for you blog. God’s blessings on you and your family.
    Dianna recently posted…Strange DaysMy Profile

  19. r September 15, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    Please do not stop… I found you through 100days of real food. I read the 7 book because of you, and I love your Christ perspective!!! Not that my opinion really matters in your decision ( because it is your life after all) but I do enjoy your blog! So that is my 2 cents for what it is worth:)

  20. Michelle September 15, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    I love your blog, I love the way that you write and I read every post! I am not a writer and i hate writing/typing so my thoughts will not be as long and eloquent as some but I will give my 2 cents! I love how real you are and that you are willing to share with people who do not know you. You are hilarious and often I am laughing out loud while reading. If you stop writing, I will miss you and be sad :)

  21. Shannon September 15, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    I read your blog because you write about the things that I think about, feel about and yes, even trash myself about! It is SO REFRESHING to know there is someone else out there who thinks the way I do, and I am not in this alone. I like reading about the food, but I really enjoy reading about the way you deal with all the real day-to-day challenges of being a stay-at-home mom in a one-income family. And all of that from a true Christian perspective. Oh, and my husband really enjoys it when I read the posts to him! He says, “you have gotten any mail from that poorganic lady lately?”

  22. Vicky September 15, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    I just found your blog from a friends post on facebook. We have the same food convictions, 5 kids and less money a month for food in our budget. It’s been HARD, and more times than not, UNsuccessful. So it’s nice to read someone else out there who’s trying to do what’s best for her family, on a budget, while pleasing the Lord. I want to read your $500 month journey and be inspired to do the same…or realize that I need to get a part time job. :/

  23. Mia September 15, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    I, for one, love your poorganic food posts. I feel your pain w/the increasing cost of trying to feed your family wholesome, real food without breaking the bank. Keep it up

  24. Spring B. September 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    I discovered your blog because of the food-related posts, but I keep coming back because you have an incredible sense of humor, and there are so many things you write about that make me think, “I am not the only one, I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE!” :) I will absolutely stay subscribed and a devoted reader even if you never write about food again. That said, I still think it’s okay to decrease the number of food posts without formally declaring yourself a non-food blogger. Sometimes I get the spiritual version of cramps when I force myself into a corner where only a certain type of grace and inspiration is allowed.

    (P.S. – the footnote about the marshmallows last time was meant for you personally, not to accidentally advertise on your blog. Doh! It’s your own fault, your writing makes me feel like I’m just sitting having a chat with you, instead of remembering I’m out on the whole big Interweb. 😉

  25. Anitajoye September 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    do it all katrina. why not write about food if you have something to say, but write about all the rest too. i’ll keep reading regardless, as i’m sure you know. :)

  26. Kari A. September 15, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    I read your blog because of your honesty. You openly share yourself and your struggles with daily life — Something that the rest of us also do. I have read other blogs, where the writer makes their life seem so perfect — perfect house, perfect kids, perfect healthy meals, etc.. However, they aren’t REAL! Your blog is. I face many of the same issues in the daily life so I relate to you so well — plus I have the same sense of humor, so I often get a good laugh! While I enjoy your food post ( because lets face it, I need some guidance with eating healthy on a budget), I will continue reading whatever you write about. Thank you for being real!

  27. Donna September 15, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    I completely understand about feeling overwhelmed and wondering what Gods perfect plan for you is. However I love reading your insight and we too are trying to keep a healthy menu and budget of $500 a month. I have yet to do it but…it’s still a goal. I too got back on the HT band wagon this week hoping that saving there will help with the more expensive stuff. know that this s one reader but I also understand the overwhelmed feeling. Praying you’ll get God’s peace with what to do next.

  28. Aunt Kathy K September 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    I read your blog because I’ve known you your whole life and I love you. You also make me laugh and sometimes give me a nudge about my walk. Write about whatever you like, but keep writing. :)

  29. Kaitrin September 16, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    I find your blog to be one of the most honest and relatable blogs out there. Let’s face it…food is a huge part of our lives and you talk about things that most blogs don’t…but what a large percentage of us have to deal with. Thank you for all you do and I pray that you will continue to do what God has planned for your life.

  30. Rachel M September 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    I read because I adore you, and the way you shameless promote giving to charity in most of your posts :) You could write about food or the weather, you’d probably still find a way to promote giving so go where God leads you, I’m sure your voice will be the same.
    Rachel M recently posted…Six Word SaturdayMy Profile

    • Katrina September 16, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

      I adore you. Your blog is the one that inspires me to forget worrying about a niche and just write about whatever floats my boat and/or inspires people to give all that loose dough away.

  31. Lee September 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    I don’t usually comment, because other people beat me to it — what can I say, I’m slow. But I enjoy reading your blog because your distinctive voice comes through, and it’s a funny, intelligent, compassionate voice. You don’t take yourself too seriously, but you do take serious things seriously, and you have a wonderfully balanced perspective. I’m not a Christian, but your posts about morality and ethics do have a lot to say to me, so I enjoy those just as much as the food posts, which originally brought me here (from 100 Days of Real Food, I think). I’m sure I’ll keep reading if you keep writing — and thank you!

    • Katrina September 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

      Lee, this may be the best comment that I’ve ever gotten. Thanks for taking the time to leave it. :)

  32. Katy September 17, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I’m a fairly new reader, but I read because of YOU. I got here through a post on Pinterest, I believe, but I stayed because I enjoy your writing. Whether you are talking food, budget, kids, Christ, or all of the above, I adore your voice. I’m not married, and have no kids, so there’s really no reason for me to read your blog, but yet, I do. I love it. Keep going, writing about whatever you want!

  33. sarah September 17, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    I love all your stuff, but you could let the “real food” stuff go and I would be just as happy. I love just about everything you have written. Also, I would just like to say that I was showing my kids the “m verse” video and they were asking who your daughter was and I pointed to your picture and said “that is the girl’s mommy and she writes smart things “(my 4 and 2 year olds were asking). So then my son said, “can we go meet them?” and I said “yeah that would be fun but they live really far away” (we’re in western NC) and he then said, “that’s OK, we could pack lots of snacks.” and so I said, “It would be neat if we could meet them one day, she is a fun, smart lady.” and he said, “yes, and I like making new friends too!” so anywho, you don’t know me from adam but I LOVE your blog and apparently I am kind of a stalker now too.

    • Katrina September 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      How about we just come to your house next time we are in the mountains? 😉 We’ll be the ones at the door singing M verse. Thanks for being a faithful reader and saying I’m smart. Flattery will cancel out any stalkerishness.

  34. Laura September 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    I’m a bit late to the comments about this… not sure how I missed the post. I read your blog because we would be practically out of conversation topics in person if I didn’t. No, just kidding. I read it because of every single thing all these women above me have said. Your writing has developed its own style in the past year, as you have followed your convictions, observations, and passions. When you first started blogging, you had the ingredients. You knew you wanted to include budgeting, giving, recipes, tips, humor, encouragement, Biblical wisdoms, and honesty. Over time as you stirred let those ingredients meld together, the leavening power of prayer and a woman seeking God in earnest allowed your bloggy bread to risen. I say pop this bad jackson in the oven and let it bake. Yes, my analogy has reached that critical point where it begins to fall apart. Now slice the baked blog and pass us a post. I think the ingredients have created something scrumptious. Write whatever you want! We love it all.

  35. Carrie Jones September 19, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    Why I read, although it’s too late to weigh in: From your own previous blog, you wanted a “touching blog, which is both fun and impacting, satisfying both me and my readers.” It entertains me, touches me from time to time, is deeply satisfying especially when it’s not about food (sorry, I don’t care about food enough, clearly, but I do always find the posts fun and entertaining), and helps me stay connected with one of my favorite people. My heart goes out to those readers who haven’t hung out with you in person! And as Kay said, you “write good.”

    I agree with you about wanting readers. I love that our blog can double as a journal, but I sure want people to read it and pray for my babies! I would not be journaling otherwise. But the blog is good for me, cathartic, especially when the feedback shows people care!

    And I care. I love listening to your brain working through your thoughts and challenges. You have an interesting, very real way of expressing yourself. It’s refreshing and funny! You say what we think and feel but aren’t brave enough to say out loud. 😉 When I see a new post it immediately intrigues me and I look forward to reading it. Love you! I’m proud of you! (Oh, and I would like your mom’s cookie recipe, please!)
    Carrie Jones recently posted…Marcie Jane on cannula "laughing" and looking at DaddyMy Profile

  36. Stacy October 2, 2012 at 11:47 am #

    I just found your blog yesterday and am really enjoying it! :) I did notice your lack of affection for nitrite-free bacon. Not judging! BUT have your tried the Applegate Sunday Bacon? Because I don’t think (nor my carnivorous hubs) it lacks a thing in flavor or texture. It’s a little pricey but often on sale at my SuperT, and it seems they always have a $1 MQ available lately.
    http://www.applegate.com/about-us/coupons
    The Q resets regularly too!

    • Katrina October 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

      I have gotten Applegate bacon or meats when it was cheap enough, but that isn’t often. (Do they sell it at Trader Joes? I need to check. Then I can use that coupon there!) Plus, as I recall, they say they are “uncured” because they have NO ADDED nitrates, but nitrites and nitrates occur naturally when you add salt to meat, which they do. (Plain out uncured unsalted bacon, is N to the NASTY!!) I have read a lot about nitrites and nitrates and determined that since nitrites occur naturally, I am not that afraid. I mean, I’m not going to eat bacon or processed meats 12 times a week, but I don’t really care about a few naturally occurring preservatives added by celery salt. Incidentally, way back in my teen years, I remember hearing about a study that eating 8 hotdogs a day caused an increase risk of cancer in mice. This caused a fair amount of people to stop eating hotdogs all together. I remember thinking, “Well, duh! But WHO EATS 8 HOT DOGS a DAY!!” I think the documentaries and exposes of recent years have caused people to give up nitrites and nitrates in meat (which occur naturally even in vegetables) because no one will truly define how much is A LOT. How much is A LOT of nitrites? Maybe it is because I lived in a third world country where I ate a lot of questionable, past date, inorganic things that I presumed to be safe thanks to a good chunk of salting, but I just don’t worry too much about a little bacon or the occasional hotdog. :)

      • Stacy October 2, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

        You make many valid points! I know they have Applegate hot dogs at TJs….not sure about their other products. There’s a product locator on their site.

        Big diff for my family between the synthetic/industrial sodium nitrite and naturally occurring nitrites in all meats, celery salt, etc. I have kiddos who react to everything artificial (dyes, flavors, preservs), and my fibromyalgia throws a party when it gets them. Add in the fact that the FDA allows pink dye in the synthetic (so I’ve read), and we can’t do it. Why does it have to be so complicated? Why does the fake stuff get to use the same name as the natural? Why does msg get to hide in “natural flavors”? I loathe that!

        I do get that no one wants e coli, salmonella, or worse!

        Again, no judgment……my motivation in posting was to tell you it’s mighty tasty as we had it last night!

        • Katrina October 2, 2012 at 8:26 pm #

          Okay, you win. I will buy the bacon so I can report its yumminess, especially since I found a $1 coupon and tomorrow is Super Doubles at my grocery. 😉 Health effects that are noticeable always trump random advice for know-it-all girls. I told my husband for months that rolled oats were better than quick, despite his claims of stomach cramps, gas, etc. Then he told me to shut-it and buy him some quick oats, so I did. I’m stubborn, apparently. 😉

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  1. Nicheless but with Atmosphere | The Poorganic Life - September 18, 2012

    […] want to start by thanking those of you who answered my question about why you read this blog.  What an encouragement!! As I expressed in that post, I have struggled about whether or not to […]