Tuesday, January 17, 2012

sticker shock....

Sticker shock for us actually is more like receipt shock.  As the New Year begins my family is starting to work with a budget for the first time.  I know, where have we been, right?!  Honestly, I'm a little embarrassed to say I don't really know how to do a budget.  By no means am I passing the buck, but I don't ever remember being taught how to budget.  So add it to the list of trial and error.

Everything seems to be about the same every month except for one pretty big area...groceries.  My husband does the grocery shopping so I never really payed attention.  He goes because one he likes to and two having three shoulder surgeries in the last twelve months has prevented me from lifting anything over five pounds. Did I mention I don't really like the grocery store?

So after looking over about four months of grocery spending we decided on a number for weekly groceries.  One hundred twenty dollars for the week for our family of five.  To keep it under this number we are going to try a couple of things. 

1. We are going to plan the entire weeks meals. 

2. The meals will have to be planned around what's on sale for the week.  Our local grocery stores weekly flyer comes out in the mail on Tuesdays and we my husband shops on Fridays or Saturdays.  This will give us a couple of days to decide on meals and give the kids a chance to decide what they want.

3. We will be going to the store with the cold hard cash in are hands.  When you have cash it seems to keep you more in check than when you are using the debit card.

4. Coupons, coupons, coupons.  Now while you're not ever going to see us on the Extreme Coupon show we are going to try to use coupons on the things we actually use.  Some people get so caught up in coupons and buy things just because they have a coupon.  Ummm hello, where is the savings on buying something just because you have a coupon?

I'll keep you posted on how the progress goes.  We know there will be some weeks we'll go over but there will also be weeks we're under.  But when we look at the numbers on paper at least trying this method could save us over ONE THOUSAND dollars a year.  That number right there is a huge incentive.

Happy Tuesday!!

1 comment:

  1. I am right there with ya.
    I need to start a budget, but I guess it's confusing at the get-go.
    Good for you!!