Austerity Project: How it went . . .

Shame on me for not keeping up with my weekly posts! Life has a way of getting away from me these days with an infant and a toddler. I did however keep up with the project the entire month of January. Here is how it ended up:

Total Dollars spent on groceries and household items: $369.
This is much, much more than my $125 budget, BUT it is much, much better than my previous $750 average. So, I am going to call this little project a success!

Part of the reason that my budget was over my $125 was that I found some great opportunities to stock up on diapers and grocery items for super cheap! I realized that in order to save money, you have to spend money at the right times. When diapers come up for .14/diaper, you have to buy and buy a lot.

I continued watching what I spent in February and pushed it a step farther. In February I used an all cash system for groceries and household items. This worked out great and is THE new way for me. I budgeted $400 for the month and took out $200 cash on the 1st and 15th (my paydays). I carried that in an envelope in my wallet. It felt so different to shop with cash. It really made me stop and think if I needed something. Something about having that money in your hand makes you not want to spend it. I also kept up with planning our meals for the entire month. This is a great tool for me. And while it’s not set in stone, it helps me feel more prepared and it keeps the evening chaos to a minimum.

Overall I can feel a shift in how I shop and how I spend. I am making smarter choices. I am choosing to not buy things that I don’t really need. I am training myself not to feel like shopping is a “reward.” When I go to the store now, I focusing on getting in and getting out with the most money still left in my wallet.

Diapers

The growing stock-PILE of diapers and wipes.

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