Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Where Will July End? $$ Questions

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?

8 comments:

  1. Challenged and failing here! We have cut our eating out budget to nearly nil, but I am doing some investment buying right now so my grocery buying has taken a big hit. Bummer!

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    1. Stocking the pantry is a great idea though. I'm only cutting back to this low number for July and August to cut some waste, force some planning, and get a little jump start in our cash flow. Come September, I will go back to looking for good buys, and self I can just move the overall average of spending to some level that I haven't quite decided yet is realistic.

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  2. Den gets $75/week and he can spend it on all the junk he wants. Once we started giving him an allowance, we stopped fighting over bills. His down fall is fast food. ICK

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    1. Subway, chips, and ice cream are his vices-and Taco Bell. That is a good idea to figure out what he needs, budget it, and let it go. Then I can be as micromanaging of the grocery budget as I want!

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  3. I had lunch out with a friend yesterday but that's a first in months. We don't do eating out or take outs as we would rather put money into the travel fund. We have cut grocery shopping down to £100 per week but this includes all toiletries and cleaning products so not too bad I'm working on reducing it further as I know from blogs I read it could be a lot less lol. No top up shops either. We have a wedding in August which means two nights away so that will cost and Somerset house open air film night which is another night away so more cost but this will come out of travel fund. We have also cut costs on our TV broadband package too so hopefully lots of travel coming up. Your menu looks great.

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    1. It's really not about "doing without" but about prioritizing and understanding where every dollar goes.Also the priorities are going to be different for every person/family, and the means to get there might make some of us and at some times tighten that belt even tighter! I'm not liking this reduced cash flow at a time with heavy savings/spending targets by years end, but it is what it is right now so best make the best of the situation. The open air film sounds wonderful-I think there are some around here, but I haven't participated as of yet-might even be free.

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  4. Our month runs from payday on 26th, so J was paid yesterday. We shopped this evening and spent £40. Apart from almond milk, that should be it until he gets pad again in August. That's the aim anyway, and as we are considering having a week away in September it would be good if it works out that way! The freezers and cupboards are full, and I just need to be fairly ok healthwise to make this work well.

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    1. You have that great allotment to keep you in the veggie and I too wish you good health.It is a good feeling to know I am feeding my family good wholesome meals (hot dogs aside), and not breaking the bank. We just got offered baseball tickets for early September, but the accompanying expenses are pretty high, so something to save towards, so I know what you mean about making things work leading up to an expenses.

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