Friday, August 1, 2008

August Challenge

Is it seriously August already? How is that possible? It feels like I just bought the blow-up pool and sprinkler yesterday. Granted we haven't used it in like 4 weeks, but still.

As much as I like summer and the fun in the sun that goes with it, I LOVE FALL! So, I think I'm ready for summer to be over. I know fall doesn't actually start until late September and it stays hotter than blazes here in the Midwest for several more weeks. But for me, when school starts, it's fall. Having said that, we're starting our new homeschool adventures on August 12. That's less than two weeks away, just in case you haven't looked at your calendar recently.

We have been feverishly working on several projects around here to get ready for school. I'll be having a little "themed" week on this here blog next week. Remember my diligent days of summer? Well, I have been somewhat diligent and we have lots of finished projects to share. So, starting Monday, I'll be putting up a new post every day on our finished projects. If you are remotely interested in organizing, planning, and scheduling, you will at least find them interesting! (Though, if you are a sanguine, you may find them more amusing in the "she's fallen off her rocker" category!) Join me on Monday for some serious Organization Overload.

Until then, I want to share something with you that I am implementing this month. A little challenge of sorts. I've mentioned before that I am a great planner, not a great follow-upper. I've planned and now I'm following-up. I've been working on the ole' get the grocery budget under control thing for some time. I finally bought the e-book Supermarket Savings 101 a few weeks ago. If you don't know what it is, go here. Money Saving Mom manages to feed her family of four on $35 a week. No, that is not a typo. I'm not even kidding. Oh, and that includes toiletries. Yes, mam it does. She wrote the e-book (kind of an e-course) to help other people learn how to do what she does and her blog is fantastic too.

Anywho, I'm following some of her principles as much as I can starting in August. My goal is $100/week for food and toiletries combined. Some of you may already be there, but let me just say, we've been way over that for awhile now. So this is a serious challenge for us. At the same time, we're trying to eat healthy (post coming soon on this too), so that makes it even more challenging. So, our August challenge is two-fold.

1. No eating out. At all. (This is more to break the fast-food addictions and quick-dinner-solutions we've developed since moving and having crazy schedules!)
2. Only spend $400 total this month for food and toiletries combined.

I'm approaching this in a couple of ways. First of all, I'm covering this with prayer. God is able to help us do this and I believe it honors Him, so He will! Second, I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm not going to be ridiculous and inflexible, but it's a challenge and I'm going to stick with it! I'll be posting a weekly update just so you can see how it goes, probably on Sundays, since those are my weekly planning days. So, anyone have any pointers for me or care to join in with a little challenge of your own?


Heather said...

Way to go - I'm waiting to be inspired by you. :) I'll join you in the no eating out... can I start on Wednesday and end on the 12th? :) Those would be our days at kamp.

Meghan said...

Oooh, I LOVE organizing! I also can't wait to see your projects etc... We have a hard time with the whole grocery budget thing as well. We are ALWAYS way over! A lot of it is laziness on my part - I'm not really a coupon clipper. And meal planning has basically gone way downhill since Lydia was born. August is our month to pull it together as well, so I'm really interested to see how it goes for you and to read any tips you might have!

Emily said...

I can't wait to see how it goes. My grocery budget, for a family of four, has been $100 per week for food, toiletries, etc. Everything. We try to buy organic meat, fruit, coffee and dairy. Usually, I can make this work. It does take a lot of planning and watching sales, but YOU CAN DO IT!! I love that you are praying over it, too. Good Luck!

Hope said...

Thanks for your support ladies!

Emily-I would love to hear how you manage to do organic meat and dairy. We were doing organic milk for awhile, but it was putting us way over, so we've gone back to regular until I can get things better under control. Do you ever find coupons for them?

Emily said...

Milk here is around $5 per gallon for organic. BUT, two of us don't drink it due to milk allergies, so it's just Ava and my hubby. Usually one gallon lasts one week. That's with Ava drinking it for breakfast and lunch.

Our grocery store has a 'specials' section for meat that expires that day, so I stockpile it when I can. Here's the thing with meat. Chicken and Pork are hormone free by law. So beef is really the main one to watch for. Foster farms is the closest to organic chicken without buying organic, and they also make chicken corn dogs!

I break my grocery budget into $80 for food, $20 for all other (toilet paper, toothpaste, etc.) and buy it when I can, not necessarily when I need it. Whew! I could write a novel because it's such a consuming part of my being at home!

For organics, watch your grocery store sale ads. Not too many coupons out there, but our Walmart has started stocking LOTS of organic products which are WAAAY cheaper than the grocery store. You just have to look for them.

Hope said...

Thanks for the information! That is very helpful!

I'm going to have to figure out if our grocery store does any meat specials without me having to rely on the sale items for the week because my husband is pretty picky about what meat he will eat.

I would love to eventually get to the point of doing mostly, if not all, organics while reducing my budget further than it is now. But for now, it's a start.

Thanks again for your help!