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New Year New Budget

Budgeting can be a dirty dirty word.  I mean dirty.  Who wants to think about money and the allocation of it.  Not me.  I just want to be able to go and do/buy what I want and the money magically be in my bank account.  This is, obviously, not realistic.

Big Daddy *finally* got paid today (praising God) and so our new plan began.  I downloaded this cool phone app “favado” and you can use it to select any stores that are in your area.  I chose Walmart (which I rarely shop at), Kroger (main place because of the gas discount), CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens (all three good places for couponing).  Each week, you can pull up that stores ad.  It will have all the “good deals” and if there is a coupon that can be used, it has a little paper clip to the side.  You click on that paper clip and it takes you to where that coupon can be found.  You click on each item that you are wanting/needing and you save it to your list.  Very easy.

I also downloaded the Kroger app because of the e-coupons that can be found there.  Now, you can’t double e-coupons, or any for that matter, now at our local kroger…sadness, but you can still rock out the deals and match those great savings with store or manufacturer coupons.  This week, they have several items that are 10 for $10.  I skimmed through the favado app to see what was on that list.  There were some canned foods that were on the list, but I can buy that stuff cheaper at our local Priceless IGA (formerly Save A Lot).  I got pasta, parmesan, pizzas, hashbrown, colgate, spaghetti sauce, and the list goes on and on.

My goal was to limit my grocery shopping (only food) to $500/mth for our family of 8.  This includes breakfast, lunch, suppers (I homeschool, so we are always here).  My first goal was to get out my little baskets and to ravage my pantry/fridge/freezer for complete dinners.  I was able to get 10 dinners pulled together.  By going through my pantry, it allowed me to buy the 10 for $10 items.  Now, I have a great stockpile of things I can easily throw together for a supper.

As for breakfast…this can be a HUGE money sucker.  I am in the habit of buying 4 boxes of fruit bars, 2 boxes granola bars, 4 large bags of cereal, milk, special milk (almond milk), yogurt, etc.  It was eating us alive.  Today, I bought enough stuff to make up a mess of pancakes (I had a coupon for syrup), muffins, granola, and oatmeal.  Another cost sucker is bread.  We eat a lot of bread.  I have bought flour to make up my own bread which will serve for toast or bread crumbs (if you want seasoned bread crumbs add a tsp. of oregano, italian seasoning, and basil…then shake shake shake).

Lunch is hard to skimp on.  We rarely have leftovers, but when we do, the kids eat that.  I had been buying canned soup, but that is pretty stupid when I can make homemade soup..eat one day, freeze what is left for another day.  I was able to get bologna 10/10, so that is a good thing.  We do peanut butter (I am making my own) and jelly, sandwiches, hotdogs, lunch meat, fruits, veggies, etc.

Suppers, I feel like I have a good grasp on.  It totally excites me to see what all I can do with as little as possible.  I have growing kids…almost 4 teenagers and 2 elementary school kids….they eat and they eat alot.  I will be posting my dinner ideas along with some breakfast ideas and recipes.  I will also be posting proper ways to freeze different food items.

Since my husband gets paid twice a month, and today was that day, I have broken up my budget to include $500/mth for groceries; $50 misc (cleaners, pet food, bathroom stuff, etc); $100 gas; $50 entertainment (eating out, frivolous stuff that we don’t need, date nights, etc).

As I am a big Dave Ramsey fan (http://www.daveramsey.com), I will institute some of his ways, but I will tweak it to fit my family’s life.

Goal #1:  Set up a budget … done

Goal #2:  Make sure Big Daddy is good with said budget

Goal #3:  Beat Big Daddy into submitting to using budget

Goal #4:  Drink a coke

Goal #5:  Get out of debt (with the exception of our house, we have one school loan that my sister has yet to cut me a check for…..)

Goal #6:  With whatever is left over, at the end of the two weeks we have choices.  We can take all the leftover money and put it as an addition to my student loan (snowball effect), we can start our emergency fund ($1000), we can add it to our 3-6 mths worth of bills fund, we can let it go over into the next pay cycle and not take out as much or just have extra.  It really depends on what bracket our money is leftover from (grocery, misc, gas, entertainment).  We will probably not have any gas or grocery money left.  We will probably take that amount and add it to my loan.  Entertainment….we leave alone because there won’t be much in that area.

Goal #7:  Watch ads for their coupon cycle and try to stock up when it is in my benefit to do so.

Goal #8:  Coupon again (more on that later)

Goal #9:  Do the envelope system without the envelopes.  I will be keeping a running log of the budget for each thing and how much we have used.  I won’t be keeping cash….I’ll just be disciplined (bahahahahaha).

There is certainly more, but I have to finish supper.  It’s burning.  Plus, I found some great shaved parmesan on sale and it is calling my name.

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