Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mid-year Resolutions

We are trying some new things around here, like budgets. We are so many and we only have one income, my poor hubby can only work so much! So we are trying to reign in our spending so that we can afford the things we want, like new floors, vacations, books...
Our grocery bills have gotten out of control, what with teenagers and preschoolers that eat like teenagers. I think our biggest problem has been running to the store several times a week rather than meal planning and shopping accordingly. So.
Last week on pay day, I made a trip to Costco for meat and other essentials. I made it out of there having only spent $275! Amazing how much less you spend when you avoid the ready made foods and books,and clothes and other extras. Then I made a hundred dollar trip to the Superstore to get produce and a few other things. I assumed that I would have to make at least one more trip for produce this week as my teen eats 10 pieces of fruit a day at least. But I am going to make it until payday without having to go again. (Well I did make a stop into another store for the specific laundry detergent that we use, but we combined it with another errand.)
This week, I only need a few things like toilet paper, flour, and produce and milk, so I will be way under my allotted weekly grocery budget. Yea! (I was about a hundred over budget this week, but we were out of everything. EVERYTHING. All the overage will be snuck into savings before we can spend it.
We made a deal with the kids last night. We will forgo eating out and fast food and take-out and timmy's and VANILLA BEAN LATTES (oh the humanity!) for 12 months. And the money that we had been spending in that area will go into a vacation account. This was particularly timely as we told them that we will not be going to visit our best friends in Vancouver this year as we had planned. And boy are they motivated. My 11 year old was giving dad the gears about wasting time on the computer and using our electricity. Then he harrassed him about buying a case of Coke until Daddy pointed out that the case of pop for $2 was a huge savings over the $2 bottles of Coke he would be tempted to buy at work.
I am so looking forward to our success in this plan, not only will we take a fun vacation, but we should all be healthier and skinier. Plus, I am super motivated to cook wonderful meals. Last night I even made my hubby his favourite, scalloped potatoes. (I know, so not diet food) Something that I have only made once or twice in our whole married life. oops. I even precooked some things and threw them in the freezer to make life easier. I rawk! Domestic Diva-dom, here I come!


  1. I love these kinds of plans. Kids really learn valuable life skills when they participate in setting and achieving specific goals.

  2. I'm a coupon fanatic like no other. I swear by them! To me---yes, they are worth the time to either print out or cut out of the newspaper. So, that helps me save on grocery $$.

    I also spend less when I plan out meals for 2 weeks, based on what we have in the pantry & make my list according to what remaining ingredients I need, and the meal planner.

    Grocery shopping: once every 2 weeks (or less if I can help it!) except for milk, bread, & fruite.

    The other thing about the grocery shopping & meals.... use the fresh up first. Hubby's still working on this concept.
    Dinner? On the list of several options...he'll choose the frozen lasagna that we just pop in the oven, when we have fresh veggies that need to get eaten up. So, I've reduced our waste by harping on this subject too.

    Outlet stores: they have Mrs.Bairds outlets here for breads & baked products. The snack cakes & treats: buy them here & save the difference!

  3. how fantastic to get the kids motivated to work toward a family goal. And some point in the future, you'll have a fantastic family vacation to show for it :)

  4. you do rock!! I am living this right now too.
    Hey little tip I found out by accident: if you go to the grocery store in the am (early - I know, I know I didn't say it was easy) the meat that was packaged last night is often marked down.
    Can you believe I even said that?! Crazy stuff!
    Oh and I actually read my fliers now...yes! It's true! I try to stock up on meat when it's on sale and often it lasts two months.
    YAY to us! We should share tips!!!

  5. You DO rawk! Go girl! You have convicted me mightily...groceries and misc spending (a few dollars here and there) are killing us. I do good about meal planning for a month, then I fall off the horse for about two. That's my pattern. But unlike you, I don't see a noticeable difference in what we spend because of grocery overlap. We eat a lot of fresh produce that won't last a week, and since ie so healthy, we justify the money :-) I have always wanted to be on a cash-only budget, but have never quite had the guts to do it. But I think that is the only thing that would force us to be good.

  6. Oh, I'm interested to hear updates periodically about this!