As I’ve been reading other posts out there on the inter-web, I’ve noticed more and more posts about living a more frugal lifestyle. I’m feeling really convicted about this lately, because I have been struggling with our budget. Some of this is because our food costs have been spiraling out of control again, and some is because we’ve had to slow down a little on our debt reduction and it is so disappointing to me.
So I think it is time to work a little harder at living smarter.
One thing is that my husband and I need to be much more disciplined in packing our breakfast and lunches. May was a BAD month (so bad, I still haven’t written about it), and while June has been better, we are still pushing beyond our limits. One of the things that has been a tough balance is that I have been on Weight Watchers since early January (it works – I’ve lost over 25 pounds in 6 months). This means that we really can’t use most coupons (because they are for processed foods), and that we need to stay on top of our fresh produce and use it before it goes bad. This also means more work.
A full-time job, grad-school at night, taking care of the house, trying to work out regularly and making sure to connect with our friends…who has time for more work?
Turns out we need to make the time – our finances require it.
So what are we going to do?
- Price Book – We’ve used a calendar and food-plan before and we try to limit our trips to the grocery store/Costco to 1x/week. But I think we need to be even more specific when we go to the store and we NEED to get our price book together. What is a “Price Book,” you ask? It is a book (paper or electronic) that keeps track of the prices of things that you normally buy and tracks it at the 3-4 places that you shop. That way, when you go in, you generally know what you are going to spend, so there isn’t a surprise at the check-out.
- Pre-pack – Ugh. I really hate this, but I’m going to do it anyway. We’re going to have to pre-pack our breakfasts and lunches before we go to bed. Well, breakfast for me – hubby can eat at home, but I have to wait at least an hour after I take a pill in the morning, so that means that I eat at work. But this will mean that we have insured ourselves against having to dine-out because of poor planning.
- Balance – Ugh. This seems like more work, too, but you know what…oh, well. Time to be more disciplined. 18 months ago, we were really, really on top of our budget every single day. Why? Because I balanced the checkbook EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Time to go back to it. It will keep us more accountable and make sure that our purchasing decisions are informed and *not* emotional.
Well, there you go. This is my plan to start working some of this out.
Are there any other folks out there on Weight Watchers who have found some tips on cutting costs while staying on plan?