I feel like over the past few months our budget has got away from us. With me going through morning sickness my first trimester and then vacation (which we did rather well on monetarily speaking but it’s still an extra expense) I have been less then proactive with being frugal and doing things like avoiding eating out like the plague. When a meal at a fast food joint for one person costs the same as a meal for all five of us at home, it becomes much harder to justify eating out. And now that I’m feeling better I need to get my rear in gear and work on ways to avoid the excuse of eating out because of time or tiredness.
But watching our food budget carefully this coming month isn’t the only thing I plan on doing. Here is my working list of things I want to try this next month to whittle away at our bottom line.
July Frugal Goals:
Keep the lights off as much as possible.
Close the shades at the appropriate time to maximize our air conditioning.
Keep the a/c at 78 during the day and 76 at night.
We’ve just purchased and installed two new ceiling fans for the bedrooms and we already have one in the dining rm/living rm area so that has already made it easier to keep the temp cooler. Who knows, if this works out well I may turn it higher!
No dryer all month.
I want to line dry all our laundry this month.
Unplug the tv when not in use.
We don’t watch much tv right now, so it makes sense to start unplugging it, along with the other devices that go with it, when we’re not using it. I also plan to turn off my laptop at night and unplug it as well.
Take time to look through online coupons and use what I can.
I’ve got out of the habit of printing coupons out since the printer we bought at a g-sale doesn’t print correctly. We only paid $5 for it, so we’re not out much, but I still don’t have one and the only way I can do it is if I go over to my in-laws and print them off their. I’m going to try and do that this month though.
Write down the price I think I will pay for each grocery item when making a shopping list.
I find that when I have a rough idea of what I plan to spend at the store I tend to scrutinized each item on my list a little more and subtract the items that are wants and not needs. Our current grocery budget is $400 and the past few months I have gone over and we’ve eaten out quite a bit as well.
Make a menu plan that I’l stick to.
I’m really pretty good about making menus. I usually do it in two week increments since it seems life changes too much for me to plan a whole month. This also allows me to shop sales a bit better. I do have a bad habit of putting meals in the schedule that I or my family don’t really care for but do it anyway because they are cheap meals and then avoid that meal like the plague. I recognize that we need to suck it up and eat the meal, but I will not be putting them in the schedule multiple times in the month. Once is good enough for me.
Eat from our garden.
I’m hoping our garden will start producing so we can include some of it’s produce and save us some money at the store.
Make my own bread.
This is a hard one since I have said this every month for several months now. But I have decided this IS the month it’s going to happen!
I hope to find other ways this month to save money as I go along. I do have a couple of obstacles this month that may challenge my July frugal goals and my budget. First I am hosting a 31 handbag part in July and will need to provide snacks and drinks for that. Second, my family will be in town for several days and so I will be feeding them as well. We also have the fair next month and though there are lots of free things to do there, I would like to spend a little money on the kids since we didn’t spend any money on vacation doing extra fun stuff (we stuck to the swimming pools and canoeing which were free.) Oh, ya and the 4th of July! My goal is to still keep within our grocery budget even with the extras coming up. I will have to keep a watchful eye for deals and mark downs! It seems like a crazy month to try and be super frugal, but on the other hand, I think it maybe the only thing that keeps us from completely blowing the budget out of the water!
Do you have any ideas or ways you are cutting expenses this summer you can send my way? I can use all the help I can get!
I’m linking this to Homestead Barn Hop!