We're finally getting back into real life from our camping trip to Takhlakh Lake and nothing got us there faster than the shock of the hubby's dismal fishing season. There's nothing like a drastic cut in your income to snap you back to reality and have you re-evaluating your spending habits. I don't know if it's a bleak sign that the fish population has been decimated or that the fish have wised up to our tricks, either way our family is feeling the pain.
We've buckled down and cut our spending. No longer are we making impulse buys or buying things just because we want them. Everything must be planned out and big things must be scrimped and saved for. Our groceries require a bit more research and planning on our part (something I despise) and we've now dove into full on meal planning. Plus, I've refrained from renewing any of my monthly magazine subscriptions. Every little thing helps, right?
We've always been pretty good about creating new meals from leftovers which seems to keep us from getting bored from the same thing over and over. I can create 4 meals out of one $4.99 rotisserie chicken. What I struggle with is using up our produce before it spoils. I don't know how many times I've purchased two bunches of kale for my green smoothies only for the 2nd bunch to rot. And we're also not much of a processed food family which seems to be what most of those amazing coupon deals are directed towards so we'll have to get creative with our groceries and find ways to spend less. Luckily, we have a year's supply of all-natural liquid laundry detergent that cost less than $5 to make. I'll definitely be creating more all-natural cleaning solutions to save some money and keep our house free of all those harmful chemicals. That's a win-win in my book.
In addition to watching where we spend our hard earned dollars I'm also looking into getting a job. Entering the working world is a bit scary after being out of it for a little over 2 years and the thought of not getting to hang with my little buddy, but I would much prefer to work and live stress free than be burdened and bogged down by the fear of not having enough money. It was something that always left me with sleepness nights and once even a hairless eye back when I was a not-so-responsible college student. With little responsibilities, fun frequently tipped the scale. Now with a lot more at stake I just don't want to return to that place. So, that means work for me and school (daycare) for Luke. Which might actually be a good thing for each of us. More adult time for me and more learning opportunities for the little one.
We're making little changes to make big changes in our bottom line. What changes have you made to help your family live more frugally and what tools or tricks help you stay on budget?