Besides the mortgage, our main expenditure is food. And of course we all know food prices have gone up quite a bit. I noticed this morning that our food spending (while always a little over budget) is not any higher than in previous years. Why? Besides growing much of our own produce during the growing season, a few months ago I stopped buying milk (usually a selection of soy, rice, almond and hemp), bread, and cereal. Instead I invested in a SoyQuick soymilk maker, started baking bread, and making granola. They each seemed like little things on their own, but setting aside to do these 3 tasks every Sunday has served a padding for the other products that we do buy that have risen in price.
But this morning, alas, I realized that because of many factors (timecard error that ended up shorting me a day of pay, one of those "right of way assessment" charges from the city, some winter clothes for the kids, eating lots of avocadoes and ice cream, etc.) I'm not doing so great with my budget this month. In fact, I only have $126.83 left to spend on groceries for the rest of the month for a family of 4. And this month happens to include Thanksgiving. Great.
So I figure I'll do one of those pantry challenges for a while. You know, the thing where you don't buy any groceries and only eat what's in your kitchen as of...right now. Goodness gracious. It scares this compulsive grocery shopper to even fathom this task. As a matter of fact, it's already quite the feat that I haven't shopped since Friday!
I'm not sure how long I'll do this- But even a week will get us back on track with the grocery budget and reach the next paycheck. And I might make an exception for buying flour and salt because I'm almost out and they're real staples for us. Is that cheating? Maybe. But it would be a friggin' miracle if I only bought flour and salt for a week.
So tonight I am baking some cookies in anticipation of the sweets craving I always get at work. Instead of going downstairs and buying a ziggy-zag cookie from the co-op I'll have to bring my own. Wish me luck!
**Disclaimer to say not to worry about us too much. It's not like we don't have any money in savings that we could dip into if REALLY necessary. But I prefer to stick to my budget and leave the saving alone so that it will one day buy me a car with heated seats. Or a screened in porch with a hammock.