Sticking to a budget down to the penney is difficult. I am not detail oriented, but relate more to the big picture, and round numbers! I have a friend who knows (down to the penney!) what they spend in every single area of their finances, and I am inspired. And tired. I do, however, know what my budget is for groceries, and have recently gotten a little grocery happy, to be honest. I mean, that bottle of wine and chevre looked perfect for a summer evening (ok, and it was worth it.) BUT, now it's time to tighten the belt once more. And I have a few new budgeting tactics I'd love to share.
First Order of Business:
For everything that I can't get locally/weekly, I am going to shop for once a month instead of once week. We've had this discussion before: how easy it is to spend way more on BOGO's and other great deals (that, um, you actually didn't need) but felt like it was too good of a deal to pass up. I love a great deal, too, but every time I go to the grocery store, I get things that are great to have, but not on my list. I am hoping that it will be easier to save money if I can go once a month, really plan and cut coupons, and not to mention, save on time and gas during the rest of the month!
Second Order of business: A sub category to the grocery shopping is to go ALONE. SANS CHILDREN. One, it is very difficult to concentrate, add up my bill as I go, take my time, etc. when two children keep getting out of the cart to grab shiny objects!! After all, the grocery store (flying solo!) is a mini vacay! Thanks for watching the kids, honey!
Third Order of Business: After stewing over our budget, there was nothing obvious to cut besides groceries, but then it dawned on me. I budget a certain amount for gas because that is how much I use. Well, that is me letting my life dictate my budget instead of my INCOME determining my budget. BIG MISTAKE. I quickly decided that I have to give myself a gas budget within my means, and once it's gone, it's gone. Hence, why cutting my grocery trips down is a great way to also help with strategy number three. I am planning on getting $50 worth of gas at a time as well instead of filling up all the way, so it makes budgeting that much simpler and easier to track.
I hope these three budgeting tips help you and your family save a few bucks going into the new school year! I am REALLY excited to take even more control of my finances while my family works towards financial freedom!