Friday, April 16, 2010

$40/week budget revisited

Here we are at week 2 of the $40 budget. For some reason, I feel a little paralyzed by my missing $10. I am really thinking about things differently. Instead of thinking about what's super cheap and stocking up, I feel like I'm focusing more on what we're REALLY going to need/eat for the week. It's a little silly because we're only talking a $10 difference, but I also feel like this is a little more "real" of a situation. Like for once, I have a really small grocery budget due to need rather than due to choice. Now I know what it really feels like, and it sure isn't great. Unfortunately, we've had somewhat of a similar work situation this pay period too. I am not sure how our budget will break down quite yet, but it is possible than our $40 budget will persist for the upcoming two weeks as well. It's not just our grocery budget that has suffered. We've had to cut back on our 401Ks, college savings, our personal spending money, and our Christmas club budget -- basically anywhere where we could. College savings and Christmas club budgets have been nil since the first of the year, but reducing the 401K contributions, our grocery budget and our small amounts of personal money to the bare minimum has been a more recent change. We're really not suffering though. We have everything we need, and we trust that God knows what He's doing. It's just a little bit of a switch while we ride this out.

Here is what I got at Hy-Vee today --

1 gallon of Minute Maid OJ
1.4 lb deli ham
2 Yoplait smoothies
2 boxes of Mini Wheats
3 cans of generic black beans
1 single serving of banana Nesquik
1 bag of frozen cranberries (except the charged me for 2. Going to have to keep my receipt!)
15 lbs of bananas

My pre-tax total was $19.00. We'll make one other trip tomorrow.

See this week's other purchase here.

See last week here.


  1. When I have to reduce my budget drastically (and 20% is drastic) I too have to focus on immediate needs, rather than long term savings. But, it just makes us more creative and I like to think it is working my brain more and making me smarter to have to figure things out on less. Good luck!

  2. Hey,
    I've been starting to get into reading "frugal blogs" (for lack of a better term), and I wanted to say that you are the first person I've seen mention college savings. I think it is really great to see a blogger drawing the full picture and considering costs which others might consider "splurges." I am curious if you know of/use UPromise. It's a college savings site that hooks up to your grocery savings cards, and helps you save money toward college with the products you already buy. It's usually just 1-2% of what you spend (on particular products) but your kids are young enough that it could be a chunk of change by the time they reach college years. I didn't start until late MS/early HS and we still had about $200 saved. I'll look forward to reading mroe of your blog.