Friday, December 18, 2009

My dance card is full

It took me two hours, not including the actual shopping. We inventoried all our goods, figured out what days we would or wouldn't be home, checked out cookbooks for recipes, and wrote out the list. We've got a solid plan for food now until February. Man, it feels good.

Going back to the money post, this is part of that plan. Strapping down the budget and using what we have, what's on sale and avoiding impulse spending. Much money goes to impulsively buying food because we didn't have a plan.

We're meat eaters so you see that a few times on the list. I try and keep it down though for cost purposes and because we just don't feel the need to red meat it all the time. Much of our meals are vegetarian. We've been on this new schedule for three days. By the Gods, the freedom! I don't have to pace nervously at 4 p.m. between the fridge, chest freezer and pantry because I'm not sure what's for dinner. So far, I've mostly come up with dinner plans because breakfast is usually just cereal and milk or oatmeal. Both of which we have plenty of and regularly buy.

The grocery list changed to more staples than convienience foods. Flour, sugar, coco powder, eggs, frozen veggies and the like. I took time to peruse the grocery flyers for Super Target and Publix adjusting the list as I found something to substitute for another. Used Excel to make a chart with quantity and estimated prices (if the sales flyer didn't list it). I did good, folks. I could have only done better if I had coupons, which I didn't since I just started this up but I will from now on.

I'm working on the entire month of January plus the remainder of December. Obviously, fresh produce and other perishables won't last that long and there will always be a few things -like milk- that we have to replenish but for the most part Groceries are done. We spent about $350 for the next six weeks. My usual budget per week averaged about $150. I'm thinking maybe another $100-150 for the perishables, buying produce in season plus the milk, to complete us until February. Still, if I can keep it to what I estimated we've shaved approximately $400 off the grocery spending. Not chump change, that's for sure. Another thing that will help is utilizing the cloth diapers we have already on hand and Max getting off formula in the next few weeks.

So far so good. I can alreadysee how we were so terribly loose with our spending. We got a little holiday bonus and our first thoughts were "how are we going to spend it?" We're really trying not to, though. I see buying that little voice's megaphone would be a good idea right about now.

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