On the crazy end of things…

My last no spending day was 2/11 which made for day number 7 for the month. And then it all went down hill from there.

Thursday was an unfortunate day. I spent the whole day running late which placed me in a panic mood. The day started with me being 30 minutes late to an 8:00am meeting. Yeah. Because of a major deadline, I ended up leaving work late and picking up my son 6 minutes after the 3pm cut off. I would have made it if it wasn’t for an accident on the road. So there went $6 wasted. Being late to pick up my son meant I was late picking up my daughter and rushed to get to 4pm swimming. All the while I was driving with literally no gas! I finally decided to pull over at the first station I saw and get $17.21 worth of over-priced gas.

Then the weekend happened. Each day, I somehow found myself at Target. Yes, I went to Target on Friday, Saturday and Sunday buying, exchanging and buying again. General summary of all my shopping: 2 pairs of pants and 3 shirts for myself, groceries for the week, taekwondo gear for my daughter, shoes for my son, clothes for my daughter, lunch with my best friend, turbo tax fees and Starbucks. Most of the items I had budgeted to purchase, but I went about $100 over my shopping budget. And I still need to get my son a bike for his birthday! This is a typical pitfall I stumble upon. Once I start wiping the debit and credit cards, my budget goes out the window. I have no self control when it comes to stopping the “blood shed” once I start swiping away. Damn you President’s Day weekend sales! Fortunately I have to work tomorrow so my no spending should return.

How did the rest of you do this weekend? Hopefully much better than me!

Why I refused to cook and grocery shop this week!

I started out this month with grand plans to meal plan, cook and budget. Since groceries and eating out consume so much of our budget, I thought this would be the easiest way to cut back. The plan was simple enough: inventory food in house, create meals, buy food within budget and cook lovely meals for the week. Everyone should be happy.

The reality was quite different. No one ate the food I made last week! Well, they ate it once and didn’t want to eat any more. My husband said he enjoyed my meatloaf and creamy shrimp. My son always eats my quinoa, but not this week (in hindsight, I added cumin for the first time). For some reason, I ended up eating most of the meatloaf on my own for every meal until it was gone. Gross! And a day after I slaved in the kitchen, I found my husband cooking chicken despite all the food that was in the refrigerator.  Even though I carefully shopped within our budget for week, my husband went out 2 days later and brought $66.21 worth of food! I felt defeated and discouraged.

This week I refused to grocery shop! We had plenty of groceries. I also had a feeling my husband would find himself at a grocery store in his days off (Monday and Tuesday). I decided that instead of double shopping, I would let him have at it. I cooked 2 smaller portion meals: chicken parmesan (well, we had no parmesan)  and baked some stewed beef. I was simply over it!  My family decided they liked my cooking this week. Since there wasn’t much for leftovers, my husband cooked some baked chicken and shrimp pasta on Monday and then made us chicken fried rice yesterday. On top of it all, he didn’t go grocery shopping either! The results have been wonderful; great food and zero spending!

When I decided to meal plan, I forgot that my husband enjoys cooking and has been doing most of the cooking for the family for the last 10 years. My goal moving forward is to come up with a good way to share the responsibility. I think I’ll make a plan to cook Wednesdays and Friday-Sunday when I am off, and let him have at it on Mondays and Tuesdays. Thursdays will be leftover days since we both work and are busy with kid activities. I also need to stop trying to feed an army and make smaller portion sizes! I don’t mind eating leftovers, but I am finding my family to be pretty picky!

2/10 – Zero spending Day #6

And the non-spending continues

Several day update…

2/6 – $2.15 It was Friday at 8pm and I hadn’t spent a penny. On the way home from a kids’ activity, the children start asking for treats. My son wants french fries and my daughter is craving ice cream. My son literally starts crying when I tell him we are going to eat something at home. There are few things he can actually eat that he enjoys with fries being an absolute favorite. I know I should say no for reasons including budgeting, no spending goals and general good parenting, but I cave. I have a Wendy’s key tag that gives us free Jr. Frosty with purchase. $2.15 on medium fries and free ice cream. Cheap treat, but still money spent.

2/7 – Zero spending – Day #3

2/8 – Zero spending – Day #4 – I did pick up a few food items at Fresh and Easy, a regional grocery store. However, I used $8 worth of rewards points and none of my own money!

2/9 – Zero spending – Day #5

I am learning quite a lot about our spending as I do this. I definitely didn’t realize how many times I buy the kids’ snacks. I am also facing major roadblocks with meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking, but that’s for another blog post. For now, its great to have a growing awareness of the leaks in our budget!

I am on a roll!