The Joys of Moolah

When I look back over the past two years since I quit working full time I am always amazed at where God has  taken us and what He has done. I’ve done some part time ventures during this time, but we’ve pretty much been living off my husband’s income. During this time, we’ve paid off a good bit on our credit cards (half of what we had in debt), paid off a car loan (no car payment is heavenly!) and are about to refinance and reduce our mortgage about $300 a month.

All that to say, we are going back down to only one income this summer and potentially for the next year (have I mentioned that we’ve pretty much decided I’m not going back to work full time? HUGE relief!) In that, I’m really hoping to use the next month to try out some new budget savers. Here’s my attempt to share what we are doing 1) for accountability from those friends that know us and read this and 2) to get ideas from others and 3) maybe to give ideas to others.

Here are our goals:

A) We honestly do not eat out at all like we did when I was working full time, but lately it’s gotten a little out of hand for our standards. We went out last night and at the end of a fairly blah meal for nearly $30 I declared a challenge: no eating out for the month of May (except we are going out for dessert for our 12 year anniversary!)

B) I joined the Grocery Game for the trial. I’ve looked at this before and looked at other free options and honestly just wanted to give it a try. I just read her book (check your local library!) and she had many good ideas. It’s a big change in how I think about meal planning though. I have a menu sheet that I’ve created that has the top 6-8 meals a month that we will eat every month. I’ve got those spread out over 4 weeks (for example, the first week of the month we always have tacos, the second week we always have sloppy joes etc). But Teri encourages you to plan your menu’s around what is on sale and/or what you can or have stockpiled.  I’m going to go through my menus and make a master list of those things we love to eat and then as I plan for shopping each week I’ll just pick through that. Seems small, but a big change from what I’ve been doing.

C) Cable…ack!! So we just upgraded in December to crazy cable, but when our bill went over $100 we both got really irritated.  We’ve been researching other options for phone and cable and are still trying to figure out what to do. We are stuck with our internet provider.

That is about all I’ve got for now. I’m sure there will be more as the month unfolds.

Anyone got any good ideas or tips?

3 thoughts on “The Joys of Moolah

  1. Oksy, so can I say how happy I am that you have decided to stay home one more year?!!!

    You will not regret it.

    Lots of girls at my church do the gorcery game…I am wanting to, but it is hard to kind of transition from your regualr menu planning.

    Kenny keeps a excel spreadsheet of all of our meals we make…even down to the ingredients they need.

    This might help with shopping when considering the coupons.

    It also might help with not going out. When we are tempted, we just try to go to the spreadsheet and find something that we haven’t made in a long time to spark our desire to stay home.

    Get crafty…give your family a point system on celebrating saved money. Like we have been keeping our thermostat 3 degrees higher and doing windows more while we can all to see if we could knock down our electric bill. $50.00 saved just from last month!!!!

    Cable…it’s pricey…yuck!

    We just cancelled our home phone. Could you get rid of trash/recyling pick up and take it yourslf?

    Goodwill for kids clothes?? The first weekend of every month is 1/2 off at Goodwill. I go every first of the month to find deals. I have gotten lots of the boys play clothes there and even some good clothes. I find lots of good things for me there too. I even get Kenny his teaching pants from there.

    Vehicle it per month if there is no fee. It has helped us out a TON as opposed to every 6 months.

    We are getting ready to see if we can pay our mortgage 2 times a month to break it up. That could be a great thing too.

    If I think of more, I will send them on.

    I’m not great at this, but any ideas will help I guess!

    Above all, just pray. Pray for God’s hand to steer you. He has already done an amazing job with the decision of your heart to stay home. Praise be to Him!

    .mac 🙂

  2. I would love to get together with you and get help with the menu planning and grocery shopping. Those are my biggest weaknesses. I could use support and guidance in those areas! I get so frustrated because I want to eat healthy, but it seems to cost a lot more to be healthy.

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