Friday, January 4, 2008

The BUDGET!

Don't you just hate that word! It sound so constrictive! Yet I realize that without out a good old budget the money just slips through the fingers like water.

So yesterday I sat down and calculated all of our bills. I found the averages of the electric, gas and satellite, these three all vary. I added up all the insurance totals, (home, auto and life) and divided by 12 to get the monthly average. Also I found the monthly property taxes total. So now its all written out on paper and its really not as bad as I thought. Beside the electric, so I will be buying one of these bad boys to hunt down the electricity sucker.

We have no payments besides the house, for which I am very thankful for especially in this economy. Our biggest expense is our health. Food and supplements for this family is crazy!!!!! Oh well, what are you with out your health? I hope these kids appreciate what we sacrificed so they can eat real food rotated on a schedule and not be hopped up on six prescription meds each. (On a side note the other day after swimming they kids got a sucker and of course it was full of crap and plenty of food coloring but we threw all caution into the wind and said they could go ahead and eat it. Racky wouldn't eat it "because it had food coloring" and the other two didn't finish theirs because it didn't taste very good. Poor things are so warped!)

So the hubby and I sat down last night and discussed the budget. We both can see were the money is spent and it is not just one person spending it.

Food is a killer but I am going to try to stick to 20 a day, $140-150 a week. You might think that should be easy but when they polish off a whole box of O's at $4.00 a box and that before 8:00am you can see how it gets interesting. So this too I started the pain staking task of figuring prices. I slice of rice bread .27 cents. So over a dollar for a slice of bread with dinner. You can buy a whole loaf of bread for that at Aldi's. Over 2 bucks in rice noodle for the kids on spaghetti night. Plus the free range ground turkey, the sauce the noodles for the hubby and me-YIKES I thought spaghetti was supposed to be a cheap meal. Brown rice is the cheapest thing for them to eat but it also is the most boring. So I have to bake more instead of watching them devour a $3.00 bag of spelt pretzels in one sitting. Make dairy free, egg free, wheat free pancakes instead of the boxed cereal. Our cheapest meals are fish and potatoes, white or sweet. It's going to have to be more chicken soup and less fried chicken. Well I'm up for the challenge I think. Any ideas are welcomed!

Here's to saving for our children's children in 2008! (Proverbs 13:22)

5 comments:

Sarah said...

We sat down and redid our budget too. I'm going to have to rethink ours since I found today that I'm going to need $3300 in braces - YIKES! I thought braces were for teenagers not 31 year olds!

Groceries is always our biggest expense beside our house payment and we don't even have food allergies. I'm sure I could do better if I tried harder.

Sheltie Girl said...

We are gluten free and have an allergy to nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and to a lesser extent potatoes) at our house. I make our own granola, pancakes, waffles, muffins and more for breakfast. Since so many gluten free foods have potato starch in them.

To make things easier on myself, I look for meals that can extend across several feedings. Things like, chicken noodle soup, split pea soup, vegetable soup, pot roast, beef stew. I stretch things by using less meat and more veggies. My family likes rice noodles with meat & veggies, vegetable fried rice and other types of Asian foods.

Because my daughter and I also have allergies to most grasses, I rotate our flours. I order from places like Bob's Red Mill, however some grains you can grind yourself with an extra coffee grinder, i.e. oats.

Try checking out your local health food store or food co-op (if you have one) or Whole Foods for buying some things by the pound.

You can also save some dollars by switching to cleaning with baking soda and vinegar. If you like the smell of lemons, just add a little lemon juice to your vinegar. I also use baking soda & vinegar for our wash since my daughter extremely sensitive skin. The one thing I do hang onto is the Chlorox cleanser...just enough to get rid of the mildew.

For your wash you can also extend your savings by washing in cold water on a short cycle. I don't dry our clothes all the way, I finish drying them on drying racks in the basement. To make this work, you need to almost do a little wash every few days so that you can keep things rotated on the drying racks.

Good luck with your budgeting,

Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

Sharon said...

I hope your electricity thingy works for you. And that is a nice and easy fix.

I am no help at all for you for your food since I wouldn't even begin to be able to figure out how to do a dairy free, egg free, gluten free, etc. meal. God has blessed those children in that He gave them such wise parents to be able to provide for them in the way that you both do. Every time I think about what you go through day in and day out I am in awe!

Gluti Girl said...

Hi Ester, I came to check out your blog. I was a home school mom! Mine is in her senior year now and taking classes at Community College. So I consider myself retired! We are looking at colleges now and getting ready for the SAT.

Budgeting is so hard with young ones. Especially if you have food allergies. When I was home schooling both kids, I always bought in bulk and I did monthly cooking and freezing of meals. I saved both time and money. I have been wanting to convert some of those recipes to gluten free since we can't eat gluten now. It's nice to be able to pull a meal out of the freezer and so much cheaper when you have prepared it yourself.

Trixie said...

Hi Ester!

Thanks for popping in at my blog. So sorry your stores don't double. Guess I didn't realize how lucky I am.

Stores don't usually like to double because they only get reimbursed for the face value of the coupon + 8 to 20cents less the cost of the clearing house service they use. The doubling is just to get the customer in the door. So in areas where doubling is not historically done, stores do not want to start:)

Take Care,

Trixie