Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Womanly Wisdom: Budgeting for Groceries & Household Expenses


So I didn’t get the job (damn it!) Which is probably good since I’m 7 months pregnant and I don’t feel much like working. :) Ah well, the Lord knows what we can handle and what we can’t (I’m spiritual don’t ya know and psychic).

But, I WAS still a bit bummed out that I didn’t get it. I was looking forward to buying my LV purse with the extra income, as well as investing the rest for the future. But it’s fate. Since husband and I won’t have extra income to play with, we’ve decided that we should really get a handle on our budget and stop spending here, there, and everywhere. Mindless exorbitant spending is NOT the way to boost and bolster your nest egg! And it’s NOT the way to get to a vacation home in Northern France!

So the first thing I’ve done is create a

Budget for Groceries & Household Expenses.

Creating a budget may not sound like much…but my husband and I (just the two of us) spend over $1,000 each month on groceries, eating out, and buying “needed” items. It’s just ridiculous and it’s because we’re not really mindful of our spending. And my husband likes to shop and he also likes to give me nice things: books, dresses, and treats. But he’s promised not to spend any money except for gas, and I’ve promised not to ask for anything since he “has a hard time saying no to me.” (such a sweetie) We’ve decided to cut our grocery/restaurant/household bill down substantially, from around $1000 a month to $300 a month. Why? We could save/invest that money instead of blowing it.

In order to do this, I’ve decided that on the 1st and 15th of every month we will go grocery shopping. On each date, we will only spend $150 on groceries, toiletries, household supplies.   As a buffer, we have $50 “breathing room” for the month ($25 per 2 weeks) that we can use if we REALLY need/want something.  

 So on grocery day, if we spend LESS than $150 on grocery day, that money is put in our $25 per week “breathing room” which we use for eating out/extra expenses. If we don’t use the $25 during those 2 week, or only use some of it, the $25 is then put in our nest egg. And other than that, we are immediately putting a couple hundred into our nest egg on the 1st of each month, but have the potential of putting in an extra $50 into the nest egg at the end of each month if we don’t use any of our “breathing room” money.

Get it?  For example:

August 1st
put a couple hundred immediately into our nest egg
use $150 to buy groceries, toiletries, household items- to last at least 2 weeks.
set aside $25 for “breathing room”

August 15th
put $25 into nest egg (or whatever is left of it)
use $150 to buy groceries, toiletries, household items-to last at least 2 weeks.
set aside $25 more dollars for breathing room

August 31st 
put all “breathing room” money that’s left over, into next egg.

September 1st- start again
Now this might seem simple, but it takes some planning. If you’re going to buy groceries that are to last for 2 weeks, you need to buy things that are going to make all the meals you’ll eat for 2 weeks!

For 2 weeks, $150's worth of food has to supply:

14 breakfasts
14 lunches
10 dinners
38 drinks
42 snacks

Taking into consideration that our Friday and Saturday meals need to be FUN& date-like while Husband wants Sunday meals to be traditional Italian/Sicilian.

So week 1:
I just concentrated on dinners.

Mon/Tuesday-Cheesy chicken & spinach enchiladas

Wed/Thursday-Cobb Salad w/ French fries

Friday- Homemade Cheeseburger pizza

Saturday- …I’m drawing a blank actually

Sunday- Some sort of pasta dish

It was too overwhelming to try and plan 38 meals.
So I’ve got 5 meals planned.
We also bought a 2liter of Coca, a 2liter of Ginger ale, and will make lemonade and iced tea. We also bought snacks: tortilla chips, grapes, carrot nibs, etc.

I'm totally BEAT after explaining all of that! I'm going to lay down! 
But before I go....

Do you want to joint my BUDGETING CHALLENGE?           

IF YES, why? Are you saving for something or just wanting to fatten up your coffers? ;)

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