Happy New Year Ya’ll!
This is an update to my post Frugal Monthly Budget – in that post, I specifically, stated word-for-word the following statement “This may seem like a challenge.”…well let me be completely honest with you my friends…this declaration was the most overrated statement for all of 2019! My frugal monthly budget challenge was great on paper only! I found myself asking aloud: “What was I thinking?”. At times, I felt it was like a traumatizing self-inflected painful experience. Despite my dramatic use of words, we all survived and no one was injured in the making of this challenge!
As I created a monthly budget for December in the latter part of November, in theory it was a great idea in my head and even more appealing on white printer paper!
For the first two weeks in December, we were lucky because I was able to prepare meals with what we already had on hand such as:
- potato and ham soup
- sandwiches – ham, peanut butter, salami, and egg
- baked chicken, and fried pork chops
- breakfast for dinner – like pancakes, waffles, and french toast, fried potatoes and eggs
- cookies and banana bread
- home made cinnamon pudding
By the third week of December, we noticed our food supply was becoming bare…which was good for us (this is what we wanted to make happen). It was obvious that we needed to head to the grocery store and soon!
While preparing our grocery list, we decided to shop for the next two weeks of December (3rd and 4th week) to cut our driving time in half into the next city.
The first thing I did in creating a budget for week 3 and 4 was to review our food budget – How much tangible funds do we have to eat for the next 14 days? (Since I am a visual person, I needed a physical dollar amount to work with to create a grocery list). Following this, I went online, reviewed weekly local grocery advertisements – Aldi, Walmart and HEB and went through our kitchen taking inventory of items we were running low on. With all this information on paper, I felt confident about heading out to the store – because we had a plan in hand and a budget!
As we entered the grocery store, I was immediately ambushed by 360 degrees of TEMPTATION – IT WAS EVERYWHERE! Instant gratification of my foodie faves, were all at my swollen finger tips!
My pregnancy cravings monster awoke from its quiet slumber with full intent of taking over my brain and crumbling my good decision-making skills to the point of NO RETURN!!!!
There was so much I needed to have in my life like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, mini pecan tarts, apple strudel, rocky road ice cream, popcorn, SALTY pretzels, chocolates, strawberry cheesecake, blueberry jelly filled donuts and those darn packages of frozen egg rolls that screamed out to me as I waddled on by – “Isla, take us home with you! It took a lot to stay strong and maintain focus on our grocery list.
After our grocery trip, we came home and portioned out various food items using zip loc bags and used a vacuum sealer machine! Every evening, I prepped meals a day or two in advance and then reheated meals before our routine meal times, 7:00am, 11:30am and 5:30pm.
Moving forward in keeping up with our monthly budgeting will take lots of time, effort and practice. I do firmly believe that we will be more versed in this practice so that we become a more frugal family.
It is our goal to spend money wisely, save more and waste less!