12 September 2008

Frugal Friday - Cutting Back

Happy Frugal Friday!

I have spent a lot of time lately trying to think of ways our family can start cutting back on unnecessary expenses. Some things have been pretty obvious like cutting back on take-out, others more of a challenge.

I've made a budget, and for a while was doing fabulous at sticking to it! I was spending just $40 a week for our family of four. That $40 covered all groceries and household items. You notice I said was.

The past few weeks have been a real struggle for our family. My husband and I are both college students, and we just started back to classes. My oldest son started back two weeks prior. Life in general has been much more hectic and time crunched as we all adjust to our new schedules.

As we are finally getting back into the swing of things, I have came up with a few ideas to get us back on track.

End The Take-Out
In our season of busyness, we have became entirely too dependant on junk food, and it's very expensive!

Budget For Drugstores
I get most of our household supplies, medicines, etc. at Walgreen's and CVS. This month I am going to try a new idea and allocate a certain amount to these stores. I am still going to take this out of our grocery budget, but I am planning on doing so at the beginning of the month rather than by week. I'm planning to put the fund directly on gift cards for each store, so I can keep myself from going overboard.

Snack Pack Anyone?
One simple, although time consuming, thing I do is to buy snacks in bulk (think this weeks Chex Mix deal). Once I get them home, I pull out my measuring cups, divide them into portions in snack size bags, and put them in the "snack drawer" or fridge. My boys love the snack packs, and having the items ready to go really helps with the temptation of eating out.

Leave the Card at Home!
This is a big one for me. I am going to try it and see how it works out. I'm planning on leaving my debit card at home while at class, again to try to eleviate that eating out temptation! After all, I'm not going to starve (by any stretch of the imagination)! Nor will I be tempted to make that extra CVS or Walgreen's run!

Pack 'Em Up Before We Move 'Em Out
I'm also going to try to use weekends to get sandwiches, rollups, etc. made that are freezer-friendly for the following week for my husband and I to take for lunch. Obvious, I know.

So, what is your family doing to try to save money? These are just a few of my ideas. Leave a comment and share your own!


Ken said...

Very cool! I'll put a link to your blog in the school newsletter. I'll also send a link to my wife. She'll love it.



Crista said...

I've been baking a lot more. Yes, it takes a little more time, but we save money on sweet things and they are a bit healthier than the pre-packaged sweets that are more expensive and loaded with chemicals.

I've also been planning my grocery trips a bit better. I go once every two weeks and ONLY once. Before going I look at the ads for the three major chains in town and compare the sales to maximize our food budget. Luckily, I live close enough to the three stores that I'm not spending too much more in gas to go to all three stores to take advantage of deals.

I'm not quite coupon clipping yet, but that is more because I get completely overwhelmed with it. If you have any good tips for organizing them, please share. That is my biggest problem with coupons is that I can't keep them straight and they usually expire before I get to them.

I've also taken to using only cash at the store so that I'm not tempted to spend just a little more. If I only have 100 dollars on me, I can only spend 100 dollars.

Love the idea for the blog! I will definitely be an avid reader!

(This is Cathi's sister BTW. :D )

Beulah said...

Going with only cash is a super idea. This is one I'm planning on doing myself with my calculator in tow of course to prevent myself from going over! Remember that Wal-Mart does price matching on actual dollar amount deals (think grapes on sale $.99/pd) and store coupons. Sometimes that easier than the extra run.