I was printing out my grocery list and my budget for May this morning, when it occurred to me that somebody else may benefit from my Grocery Double Check List, so I am uploading it. While I’m thinking about it, here is my Budget Form as well.
A couple of notes: I try to save my receipts from week to week, and anything that isn’t already on my grocery list gets added, along with the price, before printing the list for the following week. The question marks are things that I haven’t bought since I started keeping track, or things that I have forgotten to record.
We use one of our savings accounts to pay for yearly expenses such as income tax (I’m self-employed, so we almost always owe) and property tax. You could also use a savings account to save for vacations or health care.
Our tithe is variable because my income varies from month to month. We pay tithes on our gross amount, so in the rare years that we actually get money back from the IRS, we don’t have to pay tithes on that (it’s already been done).
We always give ourselves a small monthly allowance. We try not to make any unnecessary purchases from our budget. If my husband really wants something, he buys it from his allowance, and I do the same thing. Unnecessary purchases usually include things like eating out, books (my major pitfall), and video games, but soda and other frivolous snack foods, such as beef jerky, fall under this category as well.
Jesse and I have an agreement that whoever suggests eating out pays for it out of their allowance. Needless to say, we don’t eat out as often, but when we do, it feels like we’re on a real date because one person is paying for the other person’s meal. It’s always very sweet and intensely gratifying, regardless of whether you are the giver or the receiver.
Personal allowances are also nice because we can buy whatever we want without checking with each other first to see what kind of shape the budget is in. It also keeps me from feeling guilty for buying things that are only for me. And if I really, really want a $30 book, I can buy one without feeling silly in front of Jesse.
Something that saved us $700 last year: we switched from Sprint to Net10. We signed up for $15/month plans (200 minutes that roll over). We save almost $60/month.
We don’t pay for cable: Netflix is way cheaper, and we can almost always find something that looks interesting from their instant library.
Occasionally, I will go on a freezer-cooking spree. It’s nice to have food in the deep freezer for months when we are over budget on groceries. I keep thinking that I will make some appetizers to freeze for impromptu party invitations. That would keep us from having to run out and buy soda and chips every time someone invites us to a BBQ, etc. I haven’t done this yet, but I know some moms who really seem to be on top of things, so maybe the idea can help you save a little more money.
Hope somebody out there finds this post useful! If you have any favorite money-saving tips, feel free to send them my way!