Tuesday, October 9, 2012

how we save money {on groceries}

while in college we were bringing in two incomes. He from his job and me from grants, but since graduation last year and no job for me we've gone from two incomes to one.

In all honesty, I think it's a HUGE blessing because it's allowed us to cut out a lot of spending. Hubby still has a weakness for fast food, but don't all cops?

Since we bought a house in April and with me still not being able to find a teaching job that's forced us to cut back even more. Here's my breakdown from the amount of research I've done over the last few months and what really works for us! 

These two women have been my biggest inspiration... but I shouldn't forget this guy either!! 

I haven't spoken much about this, but last year we were in major debt! we were able to make our payments every month, and we weren't behind on anything, but it was such a burden on us because we could never get ahead! 

We refinanced my husband's truck (mine was paid off), we moved in with the in-laws the day after Thanksgiving   , and used our tax refund to pay off some debt. I can't tell you how much money we saved doing that. We had no rent, no power bills, a very small grocery bill... it WAS fabulous {financially}

So now that you have the short version of our financial history.. here's the meat of the post! 

The month we moved into our house I was in the middle of taking Financial Peace University. I paid $89 {hubby was NOT happy about that} and received a hardback full of worksheets to help us budget and keep track of our spending/saving and misc purchases. {along with the CD version of the class, an envelope system, and a copy of his Money Makeover}

If you are interested in taking FPU, I suggest you look at flea markets or ask friends if they've taken it, because I honestly didn't think it was worth $89. It might not be a lot for other people, but that is a lot of money for us. 

anyways, the most helpful part of the class was the envelope system. I don't really use it anymore because it was too much of a hassle... I kind of modified it to fit our needs. Instead of actually using the envelope system for spending I use it for saving.... so when we take money out for the girls' clothing it goes in the envelope so we don't have to keep up with it in our actual savings account. 

We spend about $600/month on groceries for a family of four... which roughly comes to $125 a week, which I think is pretty good, because that includes cleaning products, toiletries, and diapers for the baby.
If there is any money left over, it goes in the envelope system, but most of the time, there isn't any.

Here is my system.
1. menu plan {I'm planned up for the year}
also, while menu planning, always have a leftover night every week {ours is Thursday}
we also eat out on the Friday nights hubby get's paid
2. write down EVERY INGREDIENT you need for the week/month
3. Shop your pantry first. Maybe you bought a meal that you didn't use one night and you have leftovers
4. withdraw cash out of your checking account, that limits impulsive spending {I didn't withraw this week because I really didn't feel like going to the ATM at 8 o'clock at night}
5. buy generic
6. When you see Buy One Get One, take advantage!!!
{from what I understand, Publix's BOGO is really two items for half off and Winn Dixie is truly BOGO}
7. Go by yourself 

Here are my receipts from last week's trip! 

I always go grocery shopping before buying toiletries because I feel like I can convince hubby to extend the budget if I ever need to since toiletries aren't really groceries. My grocery bill isn't usually this much, but I took out $10 so big girl could go to the book fair.

Once again, I usually don't buy food from Wal Mart, but hubby kinda sorta snacked on the food designated for big girl's lunch for the week.

If you add everything together for the week I spent &127.70 .... and if you subtract the $10 for bookfair, I spent 117.70

$8 under budget!!! 

I know that might not be much to you, but $8 can add up quickly... maybe a date night out for "free" in a month to 6 weeks! 

and when you see this USE ITT!!!! I cannot stress that enough. I started to get into the habit of it, and I remember they didn't print one out a few weeks ago and my heart was broken, HA!


Thinking about starting a menu plan series going like Danielle, up there. Anyone interested?

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