Saturday, August 20, 2011

Frugality 101 - the budget and a CVS deal

I have always done a zero based budget.  I don't really know any other way.  But when I do budget I tend to not have a lot left in my categories and I tend to spend everything I budgeted to spend (unless I am saving up for something specific).  There are just always things that I think I need to get - like a new bedding set for the boys room.  The good deal on clothes from the e-mail I got from Children's Place.  The deal on coconut oil from Amazon that was on someone's website. 

I see a lot of things that  would be a good deal and I would need to buy them right now because that is when they are on sale.  Today I was doing my little budget for my grocery/clothes/spending money (we have a separate small account for those things that I am in charge of).  I asked my husband's opinion because we are doing another big purchase of meat - this time half a hog - and I just couldn't think about my priorities and what I should get first.

He saw my spreadsheet and said - why don't you try something new.  Yikes, but I always do it this way.   His suggestion was a good one but one that scared me too - just don't spend it.  Instead of doing categories and spending each category because it is allotted, prioritize the things we have to buy now - laundry detergent (clean clothes are a must), diapers and a few other necessary grocery items and then just don't spend anymore.

You see I tend to take a zero grocery budget literally and I was down to a little bit of money to last us (grocery-wise) for about a week and a half.  I have had to be really creative and my husband said he was really proud of me for doing that and he thinks I could continue to do it. 

So, for at least the next month I am going to try this little experiment of needs vs. wants and put off some of my non-necessary buying and see if my little bank account will grow.  Now, I will still be buying some bulk purchases in the produce department because peaches and green beans are only in season for so long and those are already in the budget.

Today I went to CVS and decided I was only going to buy the free items and then diapers (which are very necessary) and see how much I spent.

$2.63 for diapers, a body wash, candy bar and band aids.  I really don't like to do coupons, but I will do them if they are printable and all of these were. 

I know how to be frugal.  I just have to do it - make it a habit.

I love this quote by Aristotle that I read on The Simple Dollar:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

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