22 March, 2013

Quest to SAHM..... UPDATE 1!!!!

I have been reading my book "America's Cheapest Family" very carefully over the last several days..... On one hand I'm realizing that I am already doing a few things right, but at the same time picking up lots of new tips and things to implement into our financial strategy. On the OTHER hand, I'm, well, overwhelmed and wondering how this is going to even be possible! Here's why:

  • Groceries - This is the first real chapter in the book. This family shops once a month. They DO coupon, and plan meals for the month. They suggest that limiting your trips to the grocery will cut back on your overall food expenses - which I agree with, but in my couponing experience, sales change weekly, and that being said, what I'm paying $2.00 for today, I might get for $.50 next week, and I can buy quadruple and have extras in stock for later..... I'm still reconciling that. 
  • I'm also going to practice making a monthly menu using the "theme" method. Ex: One night is pasta, one night is chicken, one night is Mexican.... Here's my only issue with that. They mix in cheap meals with more expensive ones - and by cheap, I mean one night's dinner might literally be macaroni and cheese. While my nine year old will be ecstatic, I can't see asking my Hubby to eat a bowl of macaroni and cheese for dinner. I was just brought up differently and thus have a bit of a different mindset. I can probably change this, but we'll see. 
  • They don't shop at bulk stores. I already avoid this for most purchases, with the exception of meat, dog food, and 2 liter pepsi. I find I can get better meat and the same price or cheaper in Sams than at Walmart or even Publix.... So I will probably stick to this practice. 
  • They feed a family of SEVEN off $350.00 per month, we probably feed our family of three off of this, and possibly a little more. Can you say redoing the grocery budget?? I'll definitely have to scale back on WHAT we cook, and stretch what we DO cook. 
  • In the book the Wife makes extra portions of all the meals she cooks. That way leftovers are taken for lunches, etc. She also homeschools, so she's got kids at home to feed every day of the week..... (And they STILL eat of $350 a month??)
  • I know that a blog I read says that she MAKES all of their bread, muffins, hot dog buns, etc.... The Wife in this book doesn't make hers. She DOES shop at the bread outlet, she buys bread on special (4/$1 - no really), then freezes the extra bread. So, I guess it depends on your preference. If you just enjoy making it, then great, if not, shopping on special is great. Personally, I'd like to make some bread, just because I'd like to try it. However, I happen to live close to several bread outlets.... So I get the option to do either. In fact, I may hit the outlet this weekend. 
  • They also invested in a deep freezer. This is something I do not have. This makes me sad. I'll be searching for a deal on one so I can have room to store the extra food. We currently have a VERY small freezer section on our fridge.... I certainly can't store extra loaves on bread in there!
  • Produce - She says to buy what is in season - and that they also buy several pounds and freeze portions of it for use throughout the month. We have started a garden, so we will save money by growing our own. Has anyone noticed the price of bell peppers these days!? HOLY MOLY!!! So, of course, I have a red and a yellow pepper plant, and several green pepper plants.
There is so much more to this book, but I'm learning something new in every chapter, and I'm looking forward to implementing more of this into our daily budget. 

I also saw an update on Dave Ramseys Facebook that he was sending out copies of his "Guide To Budgeting".... I was hoping for some forms, etc. It does offer some really great tips to getting on track with a budget. I'm one of those people that needs forms to fill out so I can see the numbers, etc. He gives tips on setting up the envelope system. I may be looking into that - or rather, giving it a shot, this week. I'll let you know how that goes.... 

So, suffice it to say that I am still very much in the research phase..... ad I'm sure I'll be there for quite some time to make sure I've got it all together. 

Until Next Time!

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