Since today is the first of October, I sat down and implemented my first idea. I made a meal menu for the month. Wow! I know, this is not news. A lot of people make menus and many authors say they are key. I agree, but there is a difference between saying and doing. A difference between looking and following. I have made menus in the past. Usually, I look at the menu and decide I really don't feel like tacos which is on the menu and opt for something else instead. Before my gf days it was a phone call for Dan to please, please, please, pick up a pizza. Some days other things came up that I had not taken into consideration. It is hard to make polenta and roast if you aren't home because it is your turn to drive for dance! Then there are the times where you finally decide to look at the menu at 3:00 only to discover your crockpot meal should be finished in the next two hours, but unfortunately it is still in the freezer. So when working with a menu, you must first write one, second plan carefully, and third follow it. Today my menu said tacos and tonight we served tacos. Step one....good so far. I will keep you posted.
Another idea I have read about repeatedly is taking only cash with you to the grocery store and keeping the amount for the month in an envelope. I have tried this too, in the past, with success. I am not sure why I quit, except perhaps, old habits die hard. I really want to try this again. Dave Ramsey, who I absolutely admire, recommends an envelope system. If you have never read any of his books I highly recommend The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. I have read this book a couple of times and his advice is great! So, I have my $500 in an envelope. I am ready to go!
Okay, there is a slight problem. As I said in my first post, we raise our own pigs and my husband, Cinnamon, and Allspice are hunters, so how do I account for that, if I am honest and really trying to cut the budget. This is what I came up with. I figured the cost of raising our pigs and divided it by 12. I did the same with the venison. So, to be more accurate, I took out a hundred dollars and now will work with $400 for the month.
I will be honest here, this looks a little daunting. Three teenagers who eat like there is no tomorrow! Gluten free foods! Only 400 bucks when I have been spending more than double that amount! I guess that's why this is a challenge. We get used to things and forget we sometimes need to stretch ourselves. We are so blessed! God gives us so much and yet sometimes we feel like there is never enough after that visit to the grocery store where 30,000 products whisper to us. We leave with bags of groceries, yet we can feel deprived. I want to feel thankful instead.
So maybe I can learn not only to cut the budget, but to spend a little more time being thankful for all that we have.
God can even make simple little flowers bloom amongst life's rocks.