Monday, December 28, 2009

Accepting the Challenge!

I was pleasantly surprised when I read Money Saving Mom this morning! I had been planning on doing an eating from the pantry month in January, so this fits right in with what Crystal is doing with Fish Mama from Life as Mom. I guess a lot of us have the same idea here this year and I'm excited to be able to join in!

So, what are my rules for my family? I don't have many...

The biggie:
$50 for the whole month! Yes, folks, that's $12.50 each week!

How? I went through my cupboards, fridge/freezer combo and pantry tonight and will go through the deep freeze tomorrow AM with the help of my Mom (who leaves for home on Wednesday). I have a list of what we have and will be planning meals from that. I have a preliminary plan for the whole month outlined and hope to have it completely filled out by January 1 so we can jump right in. I'm planning to buy milk, a bag of salad greens and fresh fruit each week. I'll also need to buy some fresh veggies occasionally and might go after some killer deals as well depending on how much I have to spend that week and what produce I have left from the week before. It's a good thing I'm doing this - we have WAY more stuff than I thought we did and I need to use up some of it!

What I'm trying to decide:
Whether to include toiletries or not. We have enough of everything except dish soap and TP to last the month (in my estimation anyway), so I'm currently thinking we'll say yes to this.

Miscellaneous stuff that might come up:
We do eat out about once a month - either lunch or dinner depending on when we can get a sitter. This is just for John and I as a date so we usually have some kind of 'easy' (i.e. prepared!) food for the kids to have with the sitter - chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, etc. I'm not sure how we're going to handle the convenience foods yet. The eating out comes out of our "recreational" budget category, so that's taken care of separately! Additionally, coffee comes out of a separate budget as well, so I may buy a bag or two of coffee depending on how much I drink of the stuff this month. We did get two big jars of yummy homemade drink mix for Christmas - cocoa and mocha - so I might just have to have that instead! Darn. :)

Other stuff I'm hoping not to spend money on this month:
  • Clothes - we're good and John needs to buy new uniforms for work in February so we'll save up for that
  • Gifts - I think I have everything we need for most occasions until May rolls around
  • Household items - we just bought two new beds (Missy and Buddy got big kid beds!) and a new futon frame to replace the one that broke, I don't want to buy anything else right now!

I'll write more about this later on, but that's the general idea.

What am I going to do with this 'extra' money I'm not spending (after saving for John's uniforms)? Save for tuition for spring semester and summer session! Not that exciting, but necessary. And every little bit helps!

Are you joining in? If so, go to Money Saving Mom to post your link!

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