Feb 26, 2012

I really need to do better

Most people think I am the most organized person they know. This might be true in some areas in my life but lacks so badly in others. I have been doing a really bad job with my food/household item spending. I think from watching Extreme Couponing and seeing all of the people in the stores with monster-sized binders I have become very turned off by it all. Strange huh? Usually shows like that and seeing people save a ton of money should be motivating. It's just not the case for me. I have decided that I need to take action and maximize my dollars. I am starting with picking one day a week to do grocery shopping. I will make an organized list and use coupons accordingly. This will mean meal planning. I think I can only meal plan for up to a week. I have been noticing the popular trend of "freezer meals". I need to look into that. If I stick to that plan maybe it will keep me out the store more and save not only on impulse purchases but also fuel.

Speaking of fuel, I was startled to see that some cities have already hit the $5 and some change bracket. That scares me since I do a lot of local back and forth driving. We decided as a family that we will not be doing much dining out or even attend birthday parties of other social events that can add up. It sounds like we are being cheap but the bottom line is what the heck do you do if an emergency hits? I know that I plan on keeping my rainy day fund! I have been very free with my spending lately and I know I need to do better. I had to go on Budget Billing with our power company since the weather has been so wacky. To say that we have not had too many freezing days I still have seen so higher than normal bills. Maybe I cook too much? Wash too much? Who knows, I just figured if I publicly talk about what I need to do I might feel pressured to keep at it.

Do you have any strategies in place to keep your finances in check? Do you have any meal planning sites you can share? Thank you, I need all the help I can get!

Shelly, Mom Files

8 comments:

  1. I know for us we chill at home alot just to save on gas. I don't cook daily and some days is free for all and while I may feel guilty my kids are perfectly fine with a microwavable dinner or a bowl of cereal lol. I can't say I have any particularly helpful sites but I have limited my daughter to one after school activity because of gas prices and I still have to take time for me and playing cab is not what I like to do . I also go food shopping maybe every 2 weeks, alot of that is because I cannot stannnnnd the grocery store. Meat wise what we do is buy our meat in a bundle package from a meat store which is about $50 but we get lots of chicken , beef franks and porkchops.
    Then when I go grocery shopping I don't have to worry about the most expensive stuff which is the meat.

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    1. Thanks Krystel! I have been thinking about going to the meat market and purchasing a special. That is a great idea and I think I need to try that out!

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  2. I'm shocked, shocked that your not organized :) I use to have a typed grocery list with items organized by super market section that I print and take with me. That way I already knew what I needed and could pull coupons for.

    Notice I said use to. Hardier to do now but still good idea

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  3. Interesting that you'd speak on "freezer meals." I read last month about them and tried and really enjoy the idea. It's not as time-consuming as I once imagined (only main dishes, thus far) but it's very time-organizing after I take one day and prepare and store three meals in the freezer for the week.

    We attend eateries mostly so I remind myself to not allow any meal to go past one week.


    I believe I have a built-in money organizer, it seems.

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  4. I also need help in this area! I have used mint.com to help budget my accounts. It's a great website once you set it all up. You can connect credit cards and bank accounts and then viola, you have spread sheets. I also have done coupons but I haven't used any lately. And it kills be to shop without them. Even I only save $5.00 I feel better putting that towards gas than on food.
    PS I think I also cook too much because even though my air hasn't been on, my bills are crazy!

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  5. My meal planning is lackluster at best. I've asked around on Twittter for 30 day meal planning ideas. We have such a larger than normal family and I'm running out if ideas.

    We're trying to find free events hosted in our town to attend this summer. Events that are close to home. The gas prices here (like everywhere else) are slowly creeping up on a daily (if not hourly) basis!

    Hugs and Mocha,
    Stesha

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  6. I definitely agree that making lists is awesome - it's the only way I can save money and stay focused in the grocery store. I usually meal plan (but can only do it for a week at a time) and I try to do that around what's on sale for the week.

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  7. Yea, we'll be cutting back on some of our travel as well. We're also looking into getting hybrid because I don't foresee myself ever paying $5 for gas. That's just crazy!!

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