Saturday, January 2, 2010

First Week of Eating From The Pantry Challenge

Week 1 of Eating From the Pantry Challenge.
Well the month started out yesterday. We had a nice quiet New Years eve at home. My precious husband made us Beef Stroganoff and we decided to change the apartment arrangement.
Our lives are busy with helping family with their business plus we buy items to resell on eBay. Mainly books but if something catches our eye it is added to the collection at home.
The last few months we have been working out of the living room, making desks out of card tables so we can work on the Internet and still watch our TV shows.
The living room got more and more messy.
I had the brilliant idea of putting our office in our bedroom since we have a cable hook up their and switch our bed room to the smaller bedroom.
So we worked most of New Years day moving furniture, vacuuming and confusing the poor cat. But we are on our way to making everything more comfortable and neater.
Time to go back to the posting of the first week of the challenge.
Since we made Stroganoff the last day of the year and our great home made soup the end of last week we have had left overs the 1st and the 2nd .
Remainder of the week menus will be
Meat Loaf and bake potatoes
Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Hamburger Stew and Mashed potatoes
Ham and scalloped Potatoes casserole

I will post at end of week any money we have spent on grocery items and any money eating out
Both are in different budget categories. I have decided to keep the money for groceries in one checking account and the money for eating out in another checking account so I can track better. We also put the money for gas for one week in the car. This way we can get a better feel for cost of gas and whether we need to increase this amount.

My goal for the month is the cut each food item in half if possible. My main challenge is I have very little meat in the freezer.

Thanks For Stopping By... Lets Keep Saving Together... Grace

Monday, December 28, 2009

Eat From The Pantry Challenge

Yesterday I posted my goals this next year regarding our grocery budget plus some personal goals. Today I read the post at Money Saving Mom . She and FishMama are putting out a challenge to eat out of the pantry, freezer and refrigerator from Jan 1 to Jan 31. Cutting spending on groceries and put the difference to charity, debt or savings.

Those who are joining in are linking their posts and setting up their own challenges and plans.
Hubby and I talked about it tonight and think we can cut our costs and put the extra into our savings plan for $1000 emergency fund. So instead of $62.50 I will cut this down as close to 50 percent as possible or 31.25 a week.

1. we will be buying dairy and produce as needed each week

2 we do not have a big freezer so will buy some meat. We buy a rotisserie chicken every week and will continue to do this plus what is else is needed for my menu plans.

3 plan menus around what I do have in the pantry and in refrigerator

4. I will allow myself to buy items that are free or close to free.

5. We do go out to eat on Sunday's with family plus again during the week for lunch. This comes from another envelope. I would like to see how I can cut this back during January adding that to our emergency fund.

If you are interested in joining us post your challenge on your blog and just comment here and at Money Saving Mom . Please go to Money Saving Mom and read the other posts. Everyone is coming up with their own plan and will be sharing recipes and ideas. Should be fun to see how we all do during January.
So between now and January 1st I will take stock of my pantry and plan some menu ideas around what I have. Anyone have any ideas for corn flakes and tomato soup. I am really stocked up on these thanks to good deals and coupons.
Thanks For Stopping By... Lets Keep Saving Together ... Grace

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2010 Budget Plans

Dear hubby and I have been working on our 2010 budget. Our biggest problem is we are in our 60's and semi retired. There is not enough income to cover all the out go. Our biggest challenge is to pay our own health insurance mainly mine.
I am pleased to see so many young people working on budgets, paying off debt and building up savings. I heard all this 40 years ago but never did any of it. I just built up debt and put off saving for retirement. We lived in the moment. Now our retirement is not what someone would want.
So here we are 61 and 66 years old and working part time jobs. We have a some debt mainly a car loan of under $10,800. But each month we are struggling to keep that part time money coming in and trying to sell on eBay for extra cash. We have sold on eBay since 1998 but with economy we are making less than in the past.
We will as in the past do taxes at H R Block for the season and this will give us income, but could interfer with the other part time income and not put us ahead. Time will tell.

So for 2010 our goals are to
Make enough money every month to cover the shortage of $1200 or cut back where necessary to balance the month.
Build up a $1000 emergency fund . We will be putting $150 a month into savings to do this. Savings is very little since my life insurance bill is due end of year and we did not have all money needed.
Give at least $300 a month to the church ear marking it to the needy or Salvation Army to feed the hungry.
Put money into a traveling budget so we can go home to Minnesota to see our children in 2010. and have an end of the year trip. We were not able to travel home this year.
Budget $250 a month for groceries and personal items . Should there be any money left over it will roll to next month grocery fund so if there is a refund I want to do I can have a build up of cash.
Budget $250 a month for eating out. Should not all this money be spent it will go into savings for our emergency fund.
Once emergency fund is at $1,000 then extra money will be put on car loan to pay if off sooner.
End of season at H R Block if there is a bonus this will be put either on emergency fund or car loan.
Any extra rewards at CVS, Walgreens etc will be used for groceries or personal items.
Refund / Rebates will go into emergency fund. I am waiting $58.00 in rebates to still come.

On a personal note
I want to excercise at least 3 times a week
Lose a total of 40 pounds over the year
Declutter my home, selling excess on ebay.

Are you preparing for next years budget and goals. I would love to hear your plans.

Thanks For Stopping By... Lets Keep Saving Together ... Grace