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Change in spending

October 16th, 2015 at 04:08 pm

It's weird. I find myself really looking at my pennies and wondering how much we'll be spending this month. I don't think we're on a budget but rather a strict diet. The less we spend the better. Like the less we eat the more we lose weight. I don't know how this will change us for the long term.

When we are back to earning an income will we go back to eating out more, traveling, etc? Will we just prioritize differently? Will we spend freely?

I didn't realize how much we spent freely before. We were conscious about not eating out too much and we don't window shop. But it's been many, many years since we've really watched grocery ads and bought only what was on sale.

I'm sure many people feel this way that we'd gotten to the point where I felt that since we were eating at home and cooking, I was "saving" money because we weren't eating out. So whatever I bought to prepare meats, seafood, vegetables, fruit, cheese no matter what the price it was less than eating out. And honestly it was. I mean the same pizza you eat out could be $5 a meal at home but $15 from Dominos. Or the one pound of shrimp for $8 would be $30 from a restaurant.

So I felt virtuous in not eating out but still spending freely at the grocery store. Now however I'm trying to curb our spending period. Not as much excess and I'm shopping ads and only buying what's on sale in the circular. I still won't menu plan but instead I look to create meals once again based on the cheapest things on the flyer.

How do you manage your grocery budget? Do you have any tips to save a lot of money? Our eating out budget has been reduced by about 75%. I'm not sure yet about our grocery but I wouldn't be surprised if it is about the same but feels tighter.

8 Responses to “Change in spending”

  1. My English Castle Says:

    I do stock up on things on sale. Not ridiculously, but I buy three or four weeks' worth of nonperishables when they're on sale. I

  2. Laura S. Says:

    I transfer $150 a week to my debit card. That covers gas, groceries and spending. It is separate from my main account so that is all there is available. When it's gone, there is nothing left to spend. On a positive note, it keeps it all under control!

  3. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I don't only buy things that are on sale, otherwise some things would rarely be purchased. Smile But when the things I DO buy do go on sale, I will stock up. The amount depends on the item and the space in my pantry/fridge/freezer. Smile

  4. snafu Says:

    I'm puzzled by your objection to meal planning. I've always enjoyed it, checking flyer or digital ads for the 4, grocery chains nearby to choose potential 'loss leader' meals and 'plan-overs,' that supports items already in the pantry and freezer. I need the menu plan to create a shopping list. While I can be flexible if something is 'sold out,' looks unappealing or is value priced, going without a list feels like going to a new destination without GPS [for me].

    The menu plan allows me to verify having all ingredients needed for two weeks of meals that mesh with our schedule. I'll prep for crockpot dinner if I've no idea what time I'll get home or DH's has a late meeting. This summer I've surprised myself with how many take-it-to-go meals we enjoyed outside or in stadium seats waiting for an event. We did two cook-outs at the big park in spite of the fact that it's easier to BBQ at home on the gas grill. It can be fun to pretend you're in the 'wilderness.'

    I get bored making the same old stuff, if I catch a MS segment or one of the ethnic cooks on TV, making something that is appealing, it only takes a moment to joint it in the planner. Alternatively, big stroke reminds me of dishes to never, ever make again, didn't go over well!

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    Why won't you meal plan? It is extremely helpful. Even if it is just a loose idea with the ability to swap things around, it does make a difference.

  6. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    Probably because my DH doesn't like the idea of having meals on set nights. He cooks actually at least half the time and does a very good job of it. So he tends to balk at meal planning.

    We do tent to cook enough for leftovers and always have. He wants us to have a staple of meals we can make in a pinch and are easy for us to whip up.

  7. CB in the City Says:

    I only plan my meals day by day. It doesn't work to make a weekly menu, because there are always surprises in schedule. And there are always leftovers. The daily menu helps a lot, though.

    I think putting a sharp focus on wasting nothing is a great way to help the budget. Also, set a limit when you're shopping. For me, the limit is what I can carry up stairs! But that's just my individual hurdle. Setting a dollar limit is good, too.

    I'm not a big fan of stocking up. I've done it in the past, but it didn't really lead to savings. My tendency was to stock and stock, always fearful of not grabbing the latest "great deal." It led to a swollen pantry, and too much spending.

    However, if you know what you like to have on hand for quick meals, it's a good idea to buy two or three when it's on sale. The real issue is USE IT!

  8. livingalmostlarge Says:

    I agree I have to be careful with the stocking and not using. I tend to do that. I have to use my stockpile. Before we moved I managed to use all our paper towels and toilet paper and realized I had to use up as much as possible cleaning supplies and other goods! OMG it was hard.

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