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Since it’s a holiday…

It’s Memorial Day here in the U.S., so I didn’t want to put a Meet a Reader post up today. I know the authors of these posts enjoy reading comments from you all, and there will just be fewer people online today.

sunset and flag

So, I’ll just write some miscellaneous stuff because I get chances to chat with you all on the regular…so if fewer people see this, it’s totally ok by me. 🙂

Grocery prices went slightly down in April

The Consumer Price Index showed a 0.2% decrease in grocery prices, which yes, is not a huge. But it’s way way better than a continuing pattern of increasing!

local eggs in a cardboard carton.

Interestingly, in the last year, grocery prices have gone up 1.1%, but the price of food away from home has gone up 4.1%.

So, not only is eating out more expensive to begin with, the cost has increased at a higher percentage as compared to eating at home.

curried chicken noodle soup

Eating at home with food you bought at a grocery store is almost always the cheapest way to feed yourself.

And that is true even with grocery inflation.

I’m trying a free month of online personal training

Back in December, I followed an account on Instagram run by exercise physiologist Ben Palocko, who does online personal training. I wasn’t really looking to sign up for coaching but I liked his simplified approach to fitness and I thought I’d pick up a few tips by following him.

Screenshot of personal trainer.

He’d sent me an automated message back then asking about my fitness goals and I was like “I’M IN NURSING SCHOOL AND SO BUSY. I’m just hoping to maintain my current level of activity.”

In May he checked back in with me again, and he offered to let me try a month of his services so I could share the experience with you (but this is not sponsored in any other way!)

He does all his work through an app, which includes food tracking. I have never in my life tracked my food before so this is an interesting experience.

breakfast plate with eggs, toast, berries, and cottage cheese.

I already know I’m not gonna be a person who consistently tracks my food (TOO much work) but a month of tracking should give me a solid baseline to work from.

I have noticed that tracking food has the same sort of effect that a time-tracking exercise or a budgeting exercise has; you tend to make slightly better choices when you know you have to write them down.

(No one wants to write down, “2 hours Instagram scrolling.” or, “$437 on takeout this month”)

Anyway, my actual workout routine started today. My normal way of lifting weights is rather haphazard so it will be interesting to see how it feels to have a predetermined set of exercises to do!

I have a health screening this week for my job

I won’t actually get started with training until later in June, but I think this health screening is the last step in getting all my ducks in a row for my student nurse job.

I’m not super sure exactly what happens at the health screening, but I already went through so many health checks for nursing school, this can’t be super different!

I do know there’s a nicotine test because this hospital doesn’t hire anyone who uses nicotine. That’ll be an easy one for me. 😉

I’m gonna dust off my Tightwad Gazette copy

It has been so many years since I read through this 900-page tome; in fact, I think I’ve gone nearly my whole 16-year blogging career without cracking it open.

I thought it would be interesting to take a fresh tour through this frugal classic, especially now that I have been writing about frugality for so many years.

tightwad gazette copy.

I smiled when I read the preface; she said she never wanted to write a book (same!)

And she said that she liked the newsletter format because of reader participation (via letters back then).

“I solicit reader participation, which provides an enormous pool of expertise to draw upon. So even if my knowledge isn’t well-rounded, the newsletter can be, and because I constantly learn from my readers, the newspaper is a growth process for me as well.” -Amy D

Doesn’t that remind you of what we have here? The process is a lot faster now because we can instantaneously connect, but otherwise, the experience is very similar.

I’ve basically just been running an internet version of The Tightwad Gazette. 🙂

I’m sure my trip through these pages will inspire some blog post ideas, so I’ll share sporadically as I go.

If you’re having a day off today, I hope it’s relaxing and fun. And I’ll see you back here tomorrow for Five Frugal Things (a feature Amy could definitely have included in her Tightwad Gazette newsletters!)

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Thursday 30th of May 2024

LOVE tightwad gazette and I re read mine usually once a year

Gina from The Cannary Family

Wednesday 29th of May 2024

I don't know how I missed this post on Monday...I signed up for a free dietician meeting weekly through my benefits at work. Similarly, it is causing me to focus on healthy habits, weighing myself, taking my BP, and adding in exercise. There's no way I will track food - I eat only when I am hungry and am re-thinking a lot of what I buy at the grocery store. Eating out is so much less fun than it used to be, even without the price increases. You can always always fix yourself something comparable and healthier, with just as much satisfaction.


Tuesday 28th of May 2024

What is that soup in your post? It looks so delicious


Monday 27th of May 2024

Nicotine gets a bad wrap due to its normal intake to the body - smoking or vaping. In reality, it is quite the perfect drug. Gives you a boost when you need it, relaxes you when you need it. I know a couple of people who once they stopped smoking - which is supposed to be THE BEST THING you can do for yourself - discover they have UC (ulcerative colitis). Evidently the nicotine must constrict/otherwise keep in check the inflammation (or whatever kept the UC in check). SO I do find it a bit of a quandary when said employer part and parcels a person due to a nicotine test. Which I'm sure does not identify the source of the nicotine.

Central Calif. Artist Jana

Monday 27th of May 2024

A list of responses to this most welcome post today. 1. Does it bug anyone else when people say "Happy Memorial Day"? 2. It seems that prices have risen far more than the Consumer Price Index indicates. 3. Just the idea of a personal trainer causes my blood pressure to rise, reminding me of stressful PE classes with mean teachers, and irritated "jocks". 4. I am surprised that the new place of employment hasn't been sued for their hard-core no nicotine requirement; after all, in spite of being horrid for you and smelly, it is a legal substance. 5. My sister gave me her copy of the Tightwad Gazette back in the late '90s; she was furious when her MIL gave her a copy, feeling insulted and disgusted (probably a bit of an overreaction). I thought some of the tips were hilarious, such as cutting a broccoli rubber band in half to use it for what? Can't remember, but do remember it as an extreme measure of frugality.


Monday 27th of May 2024

Hahaha, I don't know that I would ever, as a mother in law, give that book to a daughter in law. Too much potential for insult, unless you KNEW she'd love it (for instance, if I was the daughter in law. lol)

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