Well we survived the first week of no spending. We did need to buy shoes for the hubby and the boy child. I also picked up some split peas to make soup from the leftover ham in the fridge. So not completely spend-free, but much better than other months.
Almost immediately after making the decision to not shop I felt an urge to go shopping. The thoughts in my head were about what I wished I could buy, even if it wasn’t a need. I wanted to go buy more pasta. I wanted to pick up fruit bushes. I wanted to buy bleach. Then there is the problem of 9 & 11 year old kids. We had gotten into the habit of grabbing snacks at the Dollar General or buying fresh fruit or vegetables at the grocery or string cheese for lunches. We have plenty of food in the house, but not the “right” food for our silly desires.
Monday dinner: pasta and asparagus
Tuesday dinner: split pea soup
Wednesday dinner: fiesta pasta
Thursday dinner: sloppy Joes on garlic bread
Friday dinner: pizza
Saturday dinner: roast chicken
Sunday dinner: chili made by boy child, Jelly roll made by girl child
I’m really uncertain if this is the actual dinner list, funny how fast it leaves my brain.
Here’s on to another week.
Goal: I need to plan better so that I know what I plan to cook each night and can pull items out of the freezer or pantry.
Exciting development for us – we have finally reached the threshold of not qualifying for assistance. The wonderful dreaded point where suddenly we are on our own financially. No medical assistance for the kids. No help through the hospitals to pay for medical bills. A boost in income that leads to a downfall in income.
After much frustration through the new health systems, we discovered that the kids were officially no longer covered by MA beginning March 1st. I was able to get them enrolled in my works insurance as of March 15th. As is lovely in health care they were able to bill us for the full month even though they wouldn’t extend coverage for the full month, and they billed me 2 months in advance. To catch up I am spreading out those 2 months bills through my next 4 paychecks. This is in addition to the amount withdrawn for actual monthly bills.
Enter the ultimate in budget rearrangement.
For the next 3 months we are hoping to avoid all grocery and farm purchases. If you see this and panic for us, you need not worry. We have 2 full chest freezers, and rows of canned goods. Beyond that, we have access to free food distributions (Matthew 25) and I also know about Ruby’s Pantry. But ultimately we shouldn’t need either of these.
Food and farm budget line items are not the only ones being slashed. We are cutting everything we can cut. No more gym membership. No more emergency coffee or candy purchases. No clothes. I will pay everything that must be paid, but it might be smaller amounts when I can manage it.
I am hoping that by receiving these ultra tight checks we will be able to fix our budget problems in the long term. I have watched our food and farm budgets blow up in recent years and I want them under control.
So who wants to join me in a pantry challenge!