Now, my sister and I have both realized that we feel better about the world when the fridge and pantry are full. Does this mean that we like grocery shopping? Maybe it means that we like knowing that well have what we need to cook or bake what we want. Maybe there is a deeper psychological issue from our childhood hiding in that statement..... (*note sarcasm*)
I do love to cook.
And I do love to grocery shop (I know some of my friends don't get that at all!).
For a while I was actually getting into trouble because of these loves. But this summer we sat down and took a look at our spending. It wasn't a budget. It was just spending. And it needed to be curbed.
I have tried cash budgets before, and I ended up tripping over too many categories, it was too much work and I failed. So we tried a cash budget again, but this time - just one category - "Spending". This covers groceries, household products, clothing, and any eating out that I would do during the week with the kids or stops to the coffee shop. Some months I'll need to stock up more on toilet paper and get shoes for a kid, another month, I find a killer sale on ground beef and stock my freezer. I don't have too much to spend, so I have to keep it tight - and this is good!
It doesn't include any eating out we do as a family - which is generally limited to Sundays after church; Shane's eating out during the week, or gas. We are into our third month of this single category cash budget, and I'm so impressed - it's working!
The biggest key to keeping my spending in check has been planning meals. I have several friends who are particularly good about regular meal planning. Some, even share on their blog every Monday, what their meal plan will be for the week. I may join them, not for any reason other than I would feel accountable to myself to see that I have done it. Although, I am finding it HAS to be done before I shop or I will forget things I need and buy things I don't need.
So - here's my plan for this week:
- Breakfast - Oatmeal with blueberries
- Lunch - Cheese and Crackers
- Dinner - (Community group night - I'm bringing desert - Grasshoper and Moose Pies)
- Breakfast - Eggs, Turkey Sausage and English muffins
- Lunch - PB&Honey
- Dinner - Chicken Pot Pie (from our freezer meal swap - no prep, just heat!)
- Breakfast - Oatmeal with bananas
- Lunch - Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
- Dinner - Chicken Strip Salads
- Breakfast - Cereal and fruit
- Lunch - Ham and Turkey Sandwiches
- Dinner - Cheese Burgers
- Breakfast - Cinnamon Rolls
- Lunch - out
- Dinner - Left overs -clean out the fridge
- Breakfast - Oatmeal with Peaches
- Lunch - PB& Honey
- Dinner - London Broil
- Breakfast - Eggs, Turkey sausage and strudel bread
- Lunch - Cold Cuts
- Dinner - Harvest Pork