Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Budget 2010: Here We Go!

We have been pretty good at budgeting groceries for the past year.
The tab includes
all food,
cleaning supplies,
and hygiene items.

50 dollars a week, no excuses.

If I know something will cost more (like if we have a birthday coming up, a fancy meal calling for pricier ingredients, or Gwen needs diapers), then I have to spend less the weeks before to save up for it. (Formula was a bear to fit into the budget. Thankfully Gwen is on whole milk now!) Menu planning is essential.
I usually gestimate how much an item will cost (it is easier to do this once you've been shopping for that item in the past), then I make sure my plan doesn't go over 50. When I get to the store, I keep track of how much things are costing (just in case my guesses were way off) and carry a calculater to add everything up as I go along. Then it is just a matter of disciplining to not excede the budget. Just last week I had to put back a bag of oranges, marshmallows (we were planning on hot chocolate after date night), and some supportive inserts for shoes for Eric since he's on his feet all day. It'll have to be another week.

We had our budget 'talk' last night for 2010.
We are going to cut out 5,000 from our spending this year.
That will take the discipline we've been using for groceries and
carry it over into


Don't get me wrong: we weren't ghastly extravagent in 2009. Not counting tuition, we spent 29,000 dollars (which sounds like so much money!), usually a little here and a little there. but this year, it is going to be less. No more purchases--even small ones--just for fun unless we account for it in one of our budgeted categories, no more exceeding the funds for gardening or canning, or no more spending SO MUCH MONEY on Christmas. We might only do E-cards this year... and I am GOING to discipline myself and stick to 100 dollars a year on ALL craft, cake decorating, and sewing purchases (I have been known to go sorta crazy with fabric sales)! But No More!

Here's to the New Budget for 2010!

We'll see how it goes. :)

anybody else workin up a small sweat with budgeting? What I'm really curious about is when YOU make a budget cut, what gets cut and what is last to go? I think it is interesting what different families value... for example, we have a 20 dollar a month "preparation" budget for gardening, canning, and emergency preparedness. Many families might see that as superfluous...while we would cut gym memberships, movies, and clothes first, someone else might cut out date nights and canning expenses before they'd sacrifice their daily workout or Netflix. What would you hold on to as long as possible?


  1. I am very impressed with your sticktoitiveness (i made that word up). I am hoping that I will be able to stick to our budget. Cutting 5000 is an ambitious goal. I cannot imagine being able to do that. Maybe if I can stick to a budget for a year or two then that will be the next step. Good luck to both of us!

  2. Adam and I try to be very careful with our budget. We don't spend money on cable or eating out, clothes get mended, and the duct tape comes out medaphorically speaking. $200 a month on groceries is impressive for a family of 3. We have $250 and usually just make it.

  3. I admire your strong will to stick to such a disciplined budget. You are my hero! Budgeting isn't my strongest suit. I just don't spend money unless I feel like I HAVE to.

    A good way to budget for Gwen's clothes is at the thrift store. The LAST Tuesday of each month, EVERYTHING Is 1/2 off. That's where I buy Whit's clothes.

  4. Can I say that when Justin got his job our first time out together I was so excited to work out our budget! We hadn't really had one in about 4 months because...well...we didn't have anything to budget! BUT, it's so nice! and now, we've just made our final purchase of classes and prep classes...so now the REAL budgeting, planning, saving, and rewarding come into play!

    I remember doing the same thing: putting things back! I like doing the self check out more for that reason; then i can watch what the price is, ring things up according to priority, and stop when I've reached the limit. I do get embarrassed when I have to call someone over and have them cancel something. They ask, "Why don't you want it?" i say..."well, I can't afford it." That took some getting used to.

    I'm not usre I could do diapers on the same budget...not with Caleb's expenses! (but, cloth diapers ARE on their way!)So props to you!

    For us, date night gets cheaper, presents get cheaper, saving for big things gets slower...and yes, food amount decreases.

    I thoroughly enjoy budgeting. Is that odd?

  5. We have had a detailed budget on all our spending since we got married. When we were both working full-time it helped us save money and now that I'm a SAHM, it helps us not go over on things. We spend minimally anyway because we're just not making a lot right now but when we need to make cuts, it comes in things like entertainment, eating out, and cell phone usage. Elder Hales' recent talk on provident living has helped us talk more candidly about why we make purchases and to make sure we just get what we need.

  6. groceries are easy to budget because usually only one person is doing the spending: ME. It's when hubby gets involved that spending goes all over. I've given up budgeting. Our goal is to make enough money to cover the spending.

  7. Props to you and yay for budgeting!!! Larry allows me $100 a week, but I have been able to stick to a weekly grocery bill of $60 (for our family of almost 5 including food, toiletries, diapers, misc items) and the biggest help to that has been the menu planning. I make a monthly menu with breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and sometimes desserts. Then if I see things on sale I can swap a meal idea for the next week if need be. We also take out $10 each ($40) a paycheck, aside from our normal savings withdrawl, and put that in separate envelopes for each person. That way when I want to go fabric shopping or get my hair done, I have that money to use. And if the boys need clothes, shoes, and a toy here or there, we have that to use. Oh and if I have extra money from my weekly grocery allowance,(which I always have at least $30-40) we use that for fun lunch outings, dates, or it just goes back into our savings. Another BIG help in our grocery allowance has been making as many things as possible homemade...like breads, tortillas, desserts, pizza, jams, etc. It really makes a huge difference and tastes so much better. After reading your post of wanting to cut $5000, it really makes me want to jump on that wagon too! :) Sorry for my long post!

  8. Budgets are wise. Every family finds that their categories and allotment of money into those categories can vary drastically from one family to the next. For example, $50 dollars a week on groceries wouldn't cut it in my budget. I love cooking too much! The more fresh, homemade and gormet the better. I've turned into a food snob who insists on better cuts of meat and fish once a week. We prefer to shred our parmesean and so that means I account for it elsewhere. Such is how it would be for someone with a love of sewing or crafts. We all find out how to fit those essential, enjoy my life, things into our budgets. Living within our means is the most freeing act we can do for ourselves. Way to set such lofty goals for your family. Good luck!

  9. My sister posted a GREAT and my favorite tortilla recipe on our cooking blog. TheCookingChicks.blogspot.com I usually make a half batch of the recipe because a full batch makes over 60 tortillas. If you do make it, just know that the first one or two you fry up will be testers and then the rest will turn out great. They freeze extremely well and when I want a couple for quesadillas, tacos, and such, I grab a few, stick them between a couple pieces of paper towel and defrost for a minute. They taste great fried up and sprinkled with honey, cinammon or jam too. Check the recipe out! Its really my favorite! :)

    Wow, sorry for another long post from me, haha!

  10. It's neat to see what other people do! We don't have a budget, we're just pretty cheap most of the time. We spend around $60/week on cooking, but I love to cook and so that's also like an entertainment expense. Kris is really good at fixing cars and house issues so we save money that way and we don't pay for television. Kris made an coat hanger contraption that picks up the digital signal from the air. Free. If you're currently paying for the old tele, have Eric talk to Kris about it. That could save bundles!

  11. I'm nervous to even think about it this year...what with adding a child to the family and all. Surely our budget will be stretched with a new baby! Especially if it's a girl...means none of Christopher's clothes will work. Ugh. Thank heavens for Goodwill! And for Aldi.

  12. Way to go! Josh and I have also started a budget this year. I read the Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and it really hit home. I thought we would be paying off student loans forever, but with our new plan, we hope to have them paid off in the next 5 years. It will involve some cutting back (glad we booked our vacation before I read the book!), but I know it will all pay off in the end. If you are looking for any motivation, I highly recommend the book. Good Luck!

  13. Wow! All i can say is that I think I need your help!!!

  14. Wow! That's amazing! I think that Jon would wither away with a $50 a month food budget! That was actually the hardest thing for me to adjust to when we got married, I had never spent so much money on FOOD! I really really want to have a budget for family planning like you, I think that $20 can go such a long way towards food storage and it's so much easier than thinking that we have to go spend $500 all at once to build up our food storage.
    I think that the hardest thing for me to cut out of our budget this year was movie nights. We would spend $50+ a month just to go to one dinner and a movie. We are trying to get back to our dollar-movie routine because we got out of control there for a while with new releases. Do you guys even have a movie night in your budget? I think it's something we should probably just cut out altogether, but we both love movies!

  15. Wow--how in the world do you take out $5000 from your annual budget?! I liked this post--budgeting is always one of those things to keep working on. I know how strict you are with your grocery budget so I figured you were already that way with all your other expenses. I sure know what it's like to easily overspend! Good luck with your goal! Your grocery budget is ours too, but now with the girls eating more, we may have to up it. This phase of life has been great to teach discipline in spending!