Sigh. For the past few weeks, husband and I have been asking ourselves the ubiquitous question: “Where does our money go??” Husband pulls a pretty good salary and while we have some consumer debt and student debt we are still hemmoraging money somewhere. He and I set up separate checking accounts for our “fun money” which is kept separate from the household checking and we use that for our indiviual purchases… Starbucks, LYS (local yarn store), DSW, etc. So we used our handy, dandy Quicken and saw our spending in a graphical format.
There is was… GROCERIES! We have $100 a week budgeted for groceries and in the month of May, we spent TWICE that amount. There are four people in this house, one of which is 90% on breastmilk and 10% food, another is almost 3 and that leaves the husband and me. There is no way on God’s green Earth that we should be spending $800 a month on food! We don’t eat a ton of meat or processed foods, and while fresh produce does cost money, it’s not that much. You want to know what was doing it? The little trips to the market in between the main trips to the market. You know those trips… you run in for a bunch of bananas and you come out with $50 worth of stuff. Do that 2-3 times a week and it really adds up.
Do you know what we could have done with the extra $400/ month that we spent on food?
-Could have gotten a new pool filter to enjoy our pool in the 90 degree St. Louis weather.
-Could pay for a conference to start my journey to becoming a Certified Lactation Educator
-Could have added to the “snowball” payments to one of the consumer credit cards
As I am the primary shopper for our house, I take 80% of the blame for this. In addition to stockpiling food for a nuclear holocaust (I think it’s a throwback to growing up with not a lot, I tend to horde supplies) I, like a lot of people, fill the downtimes with the kids with shopping. I thought that it would get better once summer got here because we’d be outside playing and having fun and not cooped up in the house, but I forgot that I now live in St. Louis where it reaches close to 90 degrees before 9 am. I would justify to myself that since I was buying for the house, it wasn’t so bad, but now reality has struck. And to be honest, that reality sucks.
Talk to me! What are some of your frugal eating ideas? How do you cure the summertime boredoms when the heat is high? Does Dave Ramsey REALLY work?