Monday, May 31, 2010

Budget Challenge! Eating Cheap in the Month of June

The Monthly Budget Committee Meeting has ended only moments before I sat down to type this entry. This was the first BCM we've had in several months and a review of our spending habits has shown a dire need for belt-tightening and penny-pinching (even more than our usual!). I'm a tightwad, but will happily spend money if given the chance...seems like a contradiction, but I love spending money! And I love spending money on killer deals the most. So, when I find a good deal on something, it often takes restraint on the order of Biblical Proportions for me to not spend money I really shouldn't.

Today's BCM projections have given me a HUGE challenge. The month of June will include a $30 a week budget for all household consumables...groceries, toilet paper, diapers...YIKES! Now, there is the very real possibility that we'll be able to up that each husband's pay varies weekly and it's so hard to budget...but if his take home pay is not more than what we've projected, that's it. Some people may panic seeing numbers like that, but me...well, it makes me roll up my sleeves and start figuring out how I'm going to make that work. I love a good challenge!

Fortunately, I have stocked up on a lot of things, I make my own soaps and detergents, and have friends that are into swapping needed stuff or services so that helps stretch the budget. Tomorrow, I am going through the pantry, the refrigerator, and all my little squirrely storage places to see what I have and don't need to buy this month. A time-consuming endeavor, for sure, but I don't know how many times I have purchased something and forgot about it later so I'm bound to find a lot of what I'd normally buy.

I recently requested and received Miserly Moms: Living on One Income in a Two Income Economy by Jonni McCoy through You can check out her website at I love her ideas for saving money and the menu plans and recipes. Since I've made some changes in what we eat, I think it may be a bit more challenging to eat cheap and healthy...but, as in all things, there must be balance and moderation. I know that not eating pre-packaged foods laden with chemicals and devoid of nutrients is good for us...but I do have to be realistic - if I don't have the money to spend on organic, first cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil I can't justify buying it no matter how much better it is for us. And eating some of those foods occasionally won't kill us. It's not ideal, but you do the best you can with what you have.

And so, I am starting June off with the daunting task of making a dirt-cheap budget actually work...I can't wait to see how this turns out!

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