I’ve never been good with cutting back on expenses. I can save it fine. But following a budget practically kills me. There are two things that are my most major downfalls. My kids and the grocery store. I’m the queen of going to a store with 10 items on my list and coming home with 43 items OR MORE. I also have trouble grabbing something for my boys and justifying it because it’s for the kids. A few months back I made a big effort and started making weekly menus. It helped a ton. Seriously it cut my groceries back so much but mostly it cut back on waste. I used to be bad at letting veggies go bad or having too much meat or buying 400000 bottles of creamer and then letting it go bad.
I began making menus. They featured 7 days worth of dinner. However they didn’t account for other meals, breakfast, my lunches, Brandon’s meals etc. So the list I would go there with would be exactly what I needed for husbands dinners and lunches. I would end up getting there and think, oh well I need bread, and I need crackers for me. Brandon needs……and before you knew it POOF $200.00 vanished to the grocery fairy.
Lately things have gotten kind of tight financially. I am still not ready to talk about it all but I will tell you that last week while browsing around online I came across the envelope system. It was the strangest moment in my life. It was as if clarity had come right down and hit me on the head. This system was totally doable and it involved my favorite things MAKING LISTS AND SORTING THINGS! I immediately set to work reading about it and learning about it. My awesome computer guy also got me this book which I’ve been slowly reading when I don’t have kids trying to eat the pages. I thought and thought and thought about and decided that I can do this.
This week is my first week on the envelope system. I started a whole entire new checking account on my Quicken. I created a budget and suddenly everything is falling into place. I saw where we were going wrong, I saw how quickly a couple weekend meals out could add up to $100.00 and I realized that haphazardly throwing things in the shopping cart was killing me.
I created a new menu this week that includes everyone’s lunches dinners and even breakfasts. I based the menu on things I had at home. I have beef, pork sausage, onions, garlic, rice, cheddar cheese and so on. From that I know I can make stuffed bell peppers, breakfast burritos, and meat loaf. Then I looked at my condiments and sides and realized I can create a full week of meals with only minimal purchases. I’m going to try and start using everything I have and create based on that.
I’m also terrified. I’ve never walked into a store with nothing but cash and a store savings card. I’ve always known that if I wanted to throw extra specials in the cart it was fine because my debit card would fix it.
Anyway because of this I will be starting a new weekly feature on the Tasty Temptations blog that is dedicated to meals on a budget. Shopping lists, meals under 10.00 and how to find the best prices and create meals around them.
I can’t wait to see what this envelope system does for my husband and I AND our checking account. I can’t wait to watch my savings grow! Email me if oyu have any great low budget meals, or any awesome money saving tips for the grocery store. I will link you and feature your tips!