Saturday, March 2, 2013

March Money Madness!!

First- because a post without a picture is just sad.... here is one to satisfy the need :)
With a new addition to the family, the ol’ budget is a bit tighter than it used to be.  In addition to everything we used to buy, we now have diapers, baby food, formula, baby toiletries, doctor visit co-pays, daycare, medicine…. the list goes on and on and on…. AHHH!!! It makes my head spin!!  Every month I think, “this is the month I’m gonna to put together an actual budget and stick to it!”  I start the month all excited and then I have a day where I just really don’t feel like cooking so we eat out.  Then, since I didn’t cook the night before, we don’t have leftovers for lunch the next day, so we have to eat out again.  Or we’re at the grocery store and all of those expensive little snacks are just calling my name…. (not good for my post prego body or the budget by the way).  I need to fight the temptation… Qdoba is my weakness…. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it…. I mean, I would marry it if Chris wasn’t in the picture.  At first I thought no one could pull off the budget that I had laid out, maybe it was just too tight and I needed to loosen up a bit.  Then came the moment when I typed in “Grocery Budget” on Pinterest.  People are feeding families of 5 on $200 a month!  We only have 2 adults and a pip-squeek and I sit back and watch as we pass $200 on by (way on by) every month.
So I thought if I put my intentions on here for March and know that people have seen them and are going to be judging me (that’s okay, I do it too) maybe I could stick to it for once!  Our problem areas are groceries/ household supplies and just basic spending on impulse items- I don’t know exactly how much we are spending, but I know that each time I try to plan a budget, we pass it up and I get frustrated and stop keeping track. 
Here is where I want our budget to be for the month:
Food/ Household Supplies- $300 (this includes baby supplies like diapers *Am I being over-ambitious???*)
Spending money- $160 (this is $20 a week for each of us to just throw away on whatever we feel like)
Entertainment- $50 (this is for us to take a date night)
So here’s my plan.  
  •  I’m going to plan out meals for 2 weeks at a time, so I will only go to the grocery store twice in a month.  There may be stop-ins for milk/ bread/ produce, but as far as big trips- only 2.  Less time in the store= less time to be tempted by impulse items. My budget is $150 for each trip.
  • I’m planning to make lunches for the freezer for those days where there are no leftovers.  I’m still looking into what all I want to make, but right off I know I’m going to do chili and pepperoni rolls.  I’m also going to have homemade snacks at the house pre-packaged and ready to drop into lunch boxes.
  • I’m going to make some breakfast items for the freezer as well so that we can grab breakfast and go even if we’re running late.
  • Chris and I both get $20/ week each to blow.  This isn’t for gas or anything like that, just fun money.  I felt like we needed this little bit of freedom to make it work.  If we don’t allow ourselves anything, we’ll go crazy and end up going on a spending spree.  If we want something that is over $20, we’ll save for a couple weeks to get it. 
  • Since I’ll have packed lunches at home, if Chris or I choose to eat out for lunch, it will come out of our fun money.  Hmm… this could get interesting… this will probably deter my Qdoba habit.  The meal I usually get at Qdoba is around $7.  If I decide that I want Qdoba, it will only leave me with $13 of spending money…. Worth it???? I think not.
  • $50 is reserved for us to go to dinner and rent a movie or two.  This money is for us to do things together- consider it “date money” even if those dates now include a screaming baby diva J  Okay, so I know you’re thinking $50 is not a lot for dates, but that’s the point.  Usually the most expensive restaurants we go to are Red Lobster and Olive Garden.  Usually our meals there come to a max of $40.  That leaves us $10 to rent movies or go do something else.  Or, we could go to our favorite pizza place for $20 and go out twice that month.  If we’re out of Entertainment money for the month, we’ll have an evening of homemade pizza and board games J  Sounds more fun anyways!
  • I’m gonna take a swing at making my own baby food.  Crazy right?  I really wasn’t thinking of doing this until Khloe’s pediatrician mentioned it.  She has a 1 year old, so we she has just gone through the stages I’m going through now.  She said she bought the steam-fresh veggies for $1.50, steamed them, added water to thin down in a blender and it made enough food for a whole month.  Right now I’m paying $1 for two meals for Khloe.  So $15/ month compared to $1.50/ month??? Yes please!
  • I’ve been following coupon sites that list the best diaper deals and stocking up on diapers whenever I find a good price, so hopefully we can stick to the budget when it comes to diapers… that’s mostly up to Khloe J
  • Use coupons!!
Okay, there you have it.  I’m declaring my own brand of March Madness for our family this month.  March Money Madness!!  If we can stick to this, we'll be able to put a nice chunk of change in savings every month.  WOOHOO!!! Let’s do this thing! 
One more thing, I've made a Facebook page for the blog.  I'll no longer be putting a link on my personal Facebook when I post, so if you want to see when I post a blog entry on Facebook, you'll need to follow the blog page.  Here is a link to my Facebook page!  Thanks!!!

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