(I’m awake, holding a falling back to sleep baby. She slept so awesome the past two nights when Mark put her down, and while she didn’t make a peep when I put her, asleep, in the crib for bedtime, she only lasted six hours. Hmm. Wonder who she loves best. 😉 )
Have you ever used the envelope system for budgeting? You can google to learn more, since I can’t link from my phone, but basically it’s setting X amount of cash aside, in envelopes, for all the categories in your budget.
Practically speaking, I prefer to use debit or credit cards (and the credit always gets paid off monthly), but we are going to try paying cash for groceries & household items (which are normally separate in our budget, but household should be minimal this month).
Every month I am amazed at how much our little family spends at the WalMart Neighborhood Market, Targets, farmer’s markets, the liquor store, etc. So this month, we’ll be amazed that we spent an appropriate amount! 🙂
Keys to keeping costs down: buy fewer avocados (man, we love them, but last time they were $1.88 each), entertain fewer times/fewer people (we have one definite night that we’re hosting people for dinner…and two other maybe nights, so I’ll just have to keep the menus reasonable), go meatless a couple nights, eat red meat only once a week (this is also for health reasons), and finally, shop more often!
Oh and coupons. I should try some of that! 🙂
Anyways, shopping more frequently seems counter-intuitive to saving money, but I think it will help. We have a problem with food waste (I’ve posted photos before and should keep doing that). If I’m only buying food for three-ish days at a time, I can buy smaller quantities of produce and do a better pantry check before shopping so I don’t buy two boxes of linguine when we already have three. (I totally did that a couple weeks ago.) Hopefully more trips won’t equal more impulse buys. We’ll see.
Wish us luck! 🙂