Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dave Ramsey, a budget, and stretching....

And I'm not talking about stretching before a run! I'm talking about stretching my faith and trust in Jesus. Stretching and Growing. Setting Budgets and staying in those budgets. My husband and I are going through Financial Peace University at our church. It's the Dave Ramsey program. It is going to be good and sometimes border-line good, I think. In the end, our plan is to be debt free. Owing no man, anything. I know that we can get through this because, "But He said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27 We were already {kinda} on a budget. At least, I thought we were until we filled out his Quick Start Budget. Then I realized, we were on exactly no budget. At all. We set aside $100 a week for groceries. Honestly, I was completely nervous about this. I had been getting groceries for $120-150 a week. I use to be able to get them for $75 a week and that was with diapers. So what was I doing to make my groceries jump from $45-$75 a week. I knew I could make this budget work, I just had to reset some things. Those things were:

  1. Coupons. I had stopped using coupons. I didn't think it made that big of a difference. I was wrong. I was...lazy. While I am not "extreme" by any stretch of the imagination, I do think that $1.00 off here and there do add up. Pairing coupons with "Buy one, get one free" sales = many products, little prices.
  2. Menu.  I create a menu for the week. I usually do four-five meals and two-three nights of leftovers. I spread the leftover nights out, that way there is plenty to choose from but we aren't having leftovers three nights in a row. I usually cook on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I use Wednesday and Sunday for leftovers.  I add what breakfast items, lunch items, and snack items we will need for the week. I only put what we need, not necessarily what we want on the list. This way we don't waste any food and therefore waste money.
  3. List. I put exactly what is needed for each days' meals. I try to factor in healthy snacks. Unless, it is just a drop dead, awesome,  once in a blue moon deal, I leave it on the shelf.  Not on the list, not in the buggy.(Unless, I actually need it and forgot to put it on my list. Not that it has ever happened before....)
So, with my not so new budget ideas in hand, I head to the grocery store. I have my menu planned out: 

  • Baked ziti and homemade french bread 
  • Katsudan(Japanese pork dish) for our date night{We are having date night at home while the kids go to my parents house. We are both able to get in the kitchen and cook and spend time together without, "Can we watch a cartoon, what are you cooking, it smells funny! I don't want to eat it, She's looking at me. Mommmmmyyyyy....." We are getting a dollar rental from Redbox. So by having date night at home, we are saving money!  Dave Ramsey, would be proud! :)}
  • Black bean burgers
  • Smoked Sausage Bisque
My list is ready to go! I'm not too confident that I'm ready but with my trusty side kick Micah beside me, I know that we'll make it work! I went to Aldi and Publix.  In Aldi, I spent a grand total of: $40.71! I left with a buggy full of groceries. If you have an Aldi close by and you have never tried it, I say go for it! Especially if you aren't "brand specific". If you're buying Wal-mart/Target brands anyway, buy Aldi. Your grocery bill will be cut in half. Now that I have shared my love for Aldi with you, we're moving on!  In Publix, I spent a total of: $34.52! And I only used  five coupons, two of them they doubled. So you know I didn't spend 40hours of my week working on coupons.  My grand total for groceries this week was: $ 75.53! Not only did I get all my groceries for a week, but I came in under budget! My list included pork chops, smoked sausage, cheese( 8 cups of shredded and 16ounces of fresh mozzarella!), Shout, carpet powder, toilet paper, paper towels, fruit, veggies, milk, cheese, bread, chips, lunch meat....just to name a few things. So, I hope I have given you some hope, in the fact that if you try really hard and make some changes, you can make a budget and stick to it. Maybe this stretching and growing thing won't be so bad!  Then again, we are only on week one out of nine in our class...... I'll let you know how next week goes! Many blessings on that budget! :)

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1 comment:

  1. I read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover over the summer and while I have tried to move us in the direction of being debt free and have FINALLY convinced my husband that that is where we need to be we haven't embraced all of the ideas in there... Mainly I have never been a big one on using coupons and I should be but in a lot of ways I feel like where do you start! Anyway We spend WAY TOO much on groceries! Maybe I should re-evaluate and try to get back on track! I would love to take the class with Michael but we haven't found one our here yet! Hope it goes well for you guys!!! Good Luck!


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