Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I have some weeding to do

Here are some photos from my front yard:

But this isn't the kind of weeding I was referring to in the title! Although now that you mention it, I do need to tend to the flower beds too ...

Actually I was referring to weeding out unnecessary things from our budget. Now that I will be unemployed we have some reevaluating to do. Is Netflix really worth it? (My husband thinks so and is unwilling to give it up). I gave up my $200 membership. We're giving up eating out, and I'm slashing my grocery budget. I'm also cutting back on thrifting, crafting, and buying fabric. Yes, my friends, buying fabric is on the chopping block. I think four (er, five) super duper large totes filled to the brim is enough for now!

I had a long talk with my house and told her that she needs to hold it together for the next few years. I don't want to spend any more money on her for awhile. She already has a new roof, remodeled basement, new grout in the bathroom, newly painted kitchen cabinets, a new garage door, a window replacement, a new garbage disposal, a new fireplace mantel, new carpet throughout the second floor and basement, and a new fridge.

So I went through my old credit card statements for the past five months and added up how much I spent in four categories: eating out, groceries/toiletries/etc, gifts for others, and gasoline. Here's how we fared:

  • $432 on eating out at convenience stores, fast food and sit-down restaurants. Average of $86.40 a month
  • $1567 on groceries, diapers, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. Average of $313 a month
  • $1184 on Christmas gifts as well as Mother's Day, Valentines Day, and five months worth of birthdays. (The Christmas number should actually be higher because I buy lots of Christmas gifts throughout the year so I don't have to cram it all in December).
  • $409 on gasoline, most of which was spent by Jason. Average of $82 a month.

I think I can weed out quite a bit. Eating out will be reduced to almost zero. I'm aiming for under $200 for groceries. Gasoline will have to stay about the same, but we will not spend nearly as much on Christmas this coming year, saving us a great deal.

Also, this month I will be participating in the Eat from the Pantry Challenge. You're allowed to buy fresh produce and staples like milk, eggs, and bread, but other than that, you're supposed to avoid the grocery store like the plague. That's going to be difficult for me since I just found CVS-ing, but I think I can do it.

Must. Not. Spend. Money.

If it's practically free after coupons and catalinas then I will allow myself to buy it. Even if it is the seventeenth bottle of body wash in the cupboard.


  1. Oh, I feel your pain. When I became a stay-at-home mom we had to get rid of lots of things. It was worth it, but tough at times.

    Those flowers are gorgeous!

  2. Hi! Thanks for joining the challenge! I think you are doing great at your monthly expenses. Great job for taking the time to go through all that. That is a lot of work.

    I had to laugh at your last comment. A great deal is SO HARD to pass up. I just bought 10 1 lb packages for .50 each!

  3. I don't know what your financial commitments are, but with your already frugal habits you should do quite well. If you google "living on one income", I reckon you could find more tips and tricks than you know what to do with!
    Think of the 'homemaker' role as being a job in itself- your job is to stretch the money you have and learn ways to make a quality life for your little family with what you have.
    Like I said, you're already doing big things in fruagality!