Part of my austerity measure belt tightening is to pay real attention to the outgoings of cash and credit card use. While we pay off the balance each month, it adversely impacts the cash flow the following month, perpetuating that crash I feel when I look at balancing the budget. While DH is the worst at derailing my grocery budget, his little treats, while they add up over the course of the month, really are more amusement than actually groceries. As much as he might like, he can't survive on his ice cream, chips, and last nights indulgent, mini peanut butter cups.I've decided for my challenge, I am only going to count grocery items I buy, and real grocery items he buys in the $300 grocery budget challenge. As I don't want to go back and recalculate, I'm just not going to count this weeks splurges, but previous treat purchases are in the sum. I'll be back Sunday night with a drum roll and the final. Still, if not counting those purchases in groceries, we still need to be mindful that it is an expense.
Meals out and entertainment is the next area to focus some penny pinching skills. We had a nice $14 savings on a movie night out for DH and DD while I was away for work. I had purchased three bags of M&M's back in June, on sale but also with a deal that gave you a voucher for a free movie ticket if you took a picture and faxed the receipt. As it had a value up to $14, and our theater is only $7 per ticket, they used and got both tickets covered. The deal may still be going on-check it out. I'm always looking for low cost things to do, but am in a slump this summer. Ideas are welcome.
On the meal front, I am using my inventory and list of meal ideas I wrote about on Friday to pull off some tasty menus. Sunday was my throw away day at the lake with easy grilled hot dogs, salads and chips. Suppers though have been/will be:
Sunday- Each of us just sort of picked for what they felt like eating.
Monday-Tacos, with rice, beans, beef, cheese and tomatoes
Tuesday-BBQ sliced chicken sandwiches, potato wedges, cucumber salad
Wednesday-Chili, already made, with crackers, sour cream, and cheese
Thursday-Hamburgers, baked beans, hash browns
Friday-Tuna noodle hotdish with peas
Saturday-either chicken fried rice, or broccoli, rice hotdish with chicken or ground beef
Sunday, no meal prep as it will be a work day. I'll bring muffins and maybe some Rice Krispy bars for snacks, and call it a week. Planning will be needed to shop for the first two weeks of August. With being gone for almost eight of them, I don't want to over buy fresh foods, though my niece will be here with pup so need to leave a few goodies for her. How is your July shaping up. Like me, are you challenged with eating and playing well on the cheap?