That would be me, blowing all the dust and cobwebs off of this here blog of mine. No excuses, just crazy busy.
This past Friday, my son Connor had a camping trip & hike with his scout troop. Before dropping him off, I went and picked up a few snacks just for him. Kind of a "Mom loves you here is a bunch of junk food" kind of snacks. I spent around $5.
I then went to Costco where I picked up a large pkg of Gatorades (I believe it was $15ish) & a package of lunch meat($10ish), which were headed to a band completion the next day for my older kids. I also purchased snacks for them to have.
Friday night, found my husband and I plus our two youngest at the very last football game of the season, for the band anyway! We paid $20 to get in. We dropped another $19 on various refreshments during the game.
Saturday morning, I dropped my kids off at their school and gave them the only cash I had ($15) to split between the two of them for dinner. So, just adding up those two days (and that doesn't include household purchases while at Costco) I spent a whopping $74!
Lately I feel like my wallet has a hole in it! This was just a small sampling of what my life has been like.
I feel the need to reign my shopping in, which is hard to do at this time of year. How am I going to do it? Like this...with these 5 tips!
1. Plan ahead. If I had planned a little better, I would have bought their snacks with what was on sale with coupons. Not just picking things out at random. I could have grabbed Powerades on sale at Ralphs for .59 instead of going with the easy route of grabbing a case. Plan, plan, plan.
2. Keep up on coupons & sales. I have a huge stack of coupons that need to cut and filed. Yes it takes time, but it is WORTH it. If you don't personally coupon, at least watch the sales. It is the best time to stock up on a lot of products!
3. Not using cash. I know, I know. A lot of people will tell you to stick to cash only. But I find that if I just use cash, I don't keep track as well. It just comes...and goes. I have a free checking account through Capitol One, and my husband is going to start directly depositing my grocery money into that account.
4. Using cash envelopes for gift purchases. We set a budget for each child/family member at Christmas (example $100 on each child) but I don't always keep to it. Why? I will find a great deal somewhere, grab it and add it to my gift box. I usually will just take it out of my grocery money. However, I don't "pay myself back" and find myself going over my food budget.
5. Stop eating out. I have an eating out budget. It is not big. Depending on where we eat, it could be 2 fast food meals or ordering a couple of pizzas...but lately it has been happening too much. In all of our busy-ness, it has become an easy way to get dinner on the table. One night, I *gulp* spent almost $40 getting fast food for my family. I could have made a breakfast food, grabbed pb &j's, a package of hot dogs...
So how about you? Do you feel that you are spending too much? Do you have a hole in your wallet? What are you going to do to reign it in?