Thanks to Jessica at Good Cheap Eats, I get to join in with her pantry challenge this month! And boy, do I need this goal-setting incentive. I've got some stuff in the freezer that needs to be used soon, and my pantry (dry storage, fridge, and freezer) could use a good cleaning!
And our food budget. I've gotten a little off-track and could definitely stand to go a month buying just mostly necessities and stashing the extras into savings. We do well on a small(er) budget, but groceries is the one variable that I have some control over and could cut. (Other areas? Not so much.)
I would love for you to post more about your general budget. I always enjoy reading how others budget their household...plus, I tend to learn things from this.
The last time I wrote about our budget was near the beginning of this year (2011). I'm happy to have met quite a few of those goals! Going to Costco every 2 weeks (where we buy most of our groceries) has definitely helped our household grocery budget. Moshe has been in cloth diapers, Ruth has been potty trained for 4+ months now, and a family member generously helped fund my trip to Ohio to see my family!
Of course, as life always seems to, for nearly every goal met, a curve ball was tossed our way as well. ;) Our medical expenses (even with insurance) have been greatly increased this year. Thankfully, we have a savings cushion! God has always provided and continues to do so. With so many unemployed in this country right now, we are blessed with a steady income and health insurance! :)
I don't say that lightly. I feel very blessed! I do get tired of going over our budget trying to find things to cut though.
I could sum up our budget by just saying "We try to spend as little as possible." I know that doesn't really help anyone!
In more detail: We use cloth-everything (except toilet paper), we have 1 vehicle and stay home a lot, we don't go out to eat, we don't have cell phones, we don't have Cable, we do most things at-home -- like haircuts.
What DO we spend money on? Food! We love to eat well. ;) So this month I will be focusing on eating well while spending less -- much less -- than normal. ;) I WILL be spending some money though. Milk, fresh fruit, vegetables, and toilet paper are all things I'll need to buy.
I'll also share my grocery shopping trips for this month, to help keep me accountable. ;) Here is what we've bought so far this month:
Bananas, strawberries (on sale), and corn on the cob (on sale).
Now, I also took pictures of my pantry, fridge, and freezer. I didn't organize anything first. Hopefully by the end of the month things will look a little cleared-out and tidier and we'll have saved a few hundred dollars as well! :)
Read more for pantry pics: