Tag Archives: budget

2 weeks + Family of 5 Eaters = $151 Grocery Bill

When I switched to working part-time, I revisited our budget several times to see where we could cut back. One category that was always extremely high was the grocery bill. At an average of $800/month, groceries was the third highest spending category – just after mortgage and daycare.

I’ve always wanted to use the ads, compare prices, and use coupons or money-saving apps. I’d never taken the time to do those things, and I thought I knew what a good price was. I assumed shopping at Walmart gave me the lowest prices, but after using a price sheet I realized I was wrong!

If you’ve read how I create and use my price sheet, this is where I show it to you in action!

STEP 1: Shop your cupboards. Take inventory of what you already have. I knew I had about 8lb hamburger, a pork shoulder, and 2 packages of chicken to use for meals. These were past sale purchases that I knew I would utilize in the future.

STEP 2: Plan your meals. For 2 weeks, I plan 8-10 meals, which allows for a couple leftover nights,1-2 nights of dining out, and 1-2 “Clean out the fridge/freezer” nights, if needed.  I found that getting groceries weekly resulted in a lot of wasted food.

STEP 3: Ad prices go on the price sheet. Find which store has the lowest price and make a store list. I shop from 4 stores – 2 are pickup, 2 I have to go in.


STEP 4: For the remaining items, I searched online Hyvee and Walmart to see who had the lowest price. I order online and pickup at both of those stores.

STEP 5: Go shopping and be proud of all the money you just saved!!

How You Need A Budget Changed My Life

“I’m on a budget.”

How many times have I said that and not ACTUALLY been on a budget?  Countless.

I didn’t even really know what a budget was. What I meant was “I know I shouldn’t spend this money because I have other things I should be paying for.”

Until You Need A Budget came into my life.  Basically, it changed the way I looked at and spent money.  The word “budget” can be scary, but the philosophy is that you can spend your money however you want, but you HAVE TO know where your money is going.  Spending is all based on what is important to you.

Each month, I assign my dollars to do “jobs” for me.  Important jobs like pay the mortgage, electric bill, daycare – money that I know exactly how much and when it’s due.

Then there are the jobs for things we know are going to happen but we don’t know when. THIS is what I was missing in my so-called fake “budget”.  Things like auto repairs or medical bills. We put in a little money each month to save just incase.

Next, we budget for things that will happen in the future, such as my daughter’s birthday, Christmas gifts, or summer camps. Saving a little every month rather than paying it all at once and hoping we have enough money for the rest…now that was a huge, positive change for us.

Can’t forget about paying down that debt!  Because I know where all of my money is going, I know exactly how much EXTRA I can pay towards my debt.

Lastly,  FUN MONEY! Dollars that are spent however we want, no questions asked.  This is a wonderful solution for couples who question purchases. He can buy shoes and I can buy clothes, no questions asked, as long as it’s within our Fun Money budget.

One thing that was a big change for me was actually assigning jobs to my savings account. I knew how much money we had in savings, but it was always “just incase”. Well, now we are already budgeting for those (see above), so this is truly saving for fun things like carpet (me) and a boat (John)!

After using it for almost 18 months, I have no clue how I knew what my money was doing before! I can’t count how many times I have NOT purchased something because either 1)I knew I didn’t have money for it or 2)If I wanted to buy it, I would have to take money out of my Carpet or Boat fund, making us that much farther away from buying either of those things.

There are so many other great things I won’t go into detail about like goals, age of money, graphs showing net worth, quick budgeting, and an app for on-the-go tracking. You can read about all of those on their website!

(Ok, I will give one sneak peak of one of the reports because I love them so much and think you will too!)

I highly recommend giving it a try if you’re stuck in a money rut or if you’re “budgeting” like I was 18 months ago.  They offer a 34-day trial so you don’t have to pay up front!

Click here to check it out!