Friday, January 18, 2008

We need to be more frugal

With the economy going the way it has been, my husband and I have decided we must be more frugal. No more eating out regularly, so no more reviews for some time to come. I think maybe we'll go out somewhere new once a month, but I don't know. I am trying to sock everything I can into savings at this point to have a safety net to fall behind on. I don't know about you, but I have been watching the news closely (a bit too closely) lately. It's scary to think of what might come from a recession (and that is what we are in, whether any of the politicians want to admit it or not, we are in a recession, ask people in various industries (especially the affected ones) and they will tell you that), so we have to be prepared in the case of layoffs.

My husband, as mentioned before, is a laborer and works in manufacturing. That's taking a hit. I don't know about my industry, but my father has tried repeatedly to reassure me that my industry is a good one to be in (healthcare/insurance). Honestly, I am a dealing with a bit of anxiety and trepidation over my new job, but I work hard and know I can do it. I just hope that I am not affected by a layoff in the near future. Must . Stay . Positive. Right?

Speaking of inflation, besides fuel/oil, have you noticed the price of groceries lately? Scary, isn't it? Thank god for Costco, but I need to get us back on track with eating healthy, although I have cut down our spending money for groceries and I'm wondering how we can do that on a meager budget (try $300/month for a family of three and that includes non-food items such as toilet paper, etc). We try to buy everything in bulk so it stretches...and I am hopeful we can do it. We MUST do it, we have got to be more frugal.

What do you do to try to save money when going grocery shopping? I am terrible with clipping coupons and remembering them, which sucks for me, but I honestly am not that good with them at all. I'd love to hear your ideas on frugal grocery shopping!

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At 4:29 PM, Anonymous Ben said...

Hi Jennifer:
I think healthcare will boom if anything. This is because all the baby boomers are aging and starting their retirement age. You are safe!

At 5:06 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

That's exactly what my father said! Thank you!

Regardless though, I will have a safety net this time...when we were younger we did not, and it was VERY hard. I am wanting to be more prepared this time around should anything happen.

At 6:56 PM, Blogger Cakespy said...

You know, as silly as it might sound, my tip is to not shop when hungry...or to walk to the store (not hard, without a car ;-)). That way I won't buy as much either way--either I won't be hungry or won't be able to carry more so I prioritize nicely!

At 7:30 PM, Anonymous Kristen said...

I try my hardest to make a menu plan a half month in advance and then I do a major shopping trip...with a list and only buy the things on the list.

By doing two major trips a month, it eliminates the random store runs which usually end up costing $20+ of impulse buying!

At 6:51 PM, Blogger TitanKT said...

My grocery budget is a teensy bit more roomy than you allow yourselves... I give us $400/mo. for two also including various household and toiletry items.

I shop for paper, plastic, cleaning supplies and as much toiletry and cosmetic items as I can at the Dollar Store. Stuff's much cheaper there. Also buy store brand or generic whenever practical. Note that some store brand or generic food items ARE way inferior, so sometimes it doesn't pay to use generic... but if we're talking about mouth rinse or cotton swabs... not such a big deal.

I plan for leftovers. Make one or two big pots of soup or casserole and then alternate leftovers and add either sandwich or salad to make it a little different. Or if you make a soup or stew, serve it different ways... over rice, pasta, baked potato. Saves money and saves you from cooking every single night. More time for EXERCISE!

NEVER eat out, including lunch. There are some very inexpensive options out there for stretching... I happen to really like Ramen noodles or Instant Lunch and those are both the cheapest food items you can buy. Not the healthiest, but noodles for lunch a couple of times a week saves money and doesn't do damage to a diet.

Also, crockpot cooking. I still need to get my stuff together to make crockpot meals. I have a cookbook and TWO crockpots and still haven't gotten organized about it. But I sure will.


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