Saturday, August 21, 2010

First trip on cash, and LOTS of tomatoes!

Today was my first shopping trip under the new budget rules, and I think I did pretty well. First stop was to the farmers market for a LOT of tomatoes for salsa. Our own tomatoes got fried in this heat, but our hot peppers are thriving. Also picked up 3 green pepper, 2 red peppers, and 3 pints of cherry tomatoes. Total for the farm market run: $25.75

Also made a stop at the feed supply store. I had a coupon for a free 5-lb bag of dog food!

Picked up some mozzarella at Kroger to go with the cherry tomatoes. Also scored on B1G1 bologna, $1 each for the salsa and the lettuce and the Chex Mix was $0.50 after coupons. Total for the Kroger run: $30.18!

It felt really good to get so much, and get under my $60 budget!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Moving to cash-only

Our budget, after almost a week of tweaking, digging through piles to find past copies of bills, and discovering those couple of credit cards that somehow failed to make the "list", our budget is complete. And to be honest, it's very scary to see how much we were relying on our credit cards to do so much of our purchasing. Now that incomes aren't quite what they used to be, it's caught up with us.

So we're going "cold turkey", as my husband calls it. Cash only! Now, that doesn't mean that the whole paycheck gets cashed (because most of it would go right back into checking to write checks for bills), but the debit card will be our primary purchasing unit. Allowance (for eating out and "fun money") is still in place as cash, and now the grocery purchasing is becoming strictly cash as well. For me, that's a little bit scary (okay, a LOT scary). But it's inspiring me to be much more creative! Our new budget is now set up on, allowing us to track EXACTLY where those funds are going!

It's also requiring me to be a better steward, to be more responsible for my finances. The Bible mentions finances over and over, and it's taken until now to realize that I'm not just doing this for myself, but to improve my finances in the eyes of God. He calls us to be without debt, and that's my goal someday. In order to get from point A to point B, I have to determine what is really necessary in my life, and what has become material or "idolistic".

So I sit here tonight, doing my electronic coupon print for the week! Not needing much of a grocery shop this week, so I may spend a little of my funds at the Wilmington Farmers Market. The heat is killing our tomatoes, but the cayenne peppers are thriving. Thinking I'll invest in the local economy, and purchase somebody else's tomatoes for another batch of salsa!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Becoming more financially frugal

Nate and I have made quite the financial adjustment over the last year. I lost my job, he changed his, and now we're rethinking our financial future even more.

Years ago, my parents introduced me to Crown Financial Ministries and learning to budget. Granted, I've made my own mistakes, and sometimes I've learned the hard way, but we've worked hard to make ends meet. In order to make sure we can begin to dig out from under our debt, we're reconstructing our budget.

Crown Financial ministries has a free 30-day trial of their budgeting software. Pair this with for tracking your newly-created budget, and you have 2 free tools for becoming more responsible for your finances.

We spent some of our Spiritual Study time last night working on our budget last night, and I'm working today to finish it. I'll keep you updated!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Everybody loves Shrimp Scampi!

Sometimes I just can't resist it when Kroger has shrimp at buy one-get one free. It's one of the few culinary splurges I make, especially for my husband. This is from Pillsbury's "Cooking for 2" collection. If it's just you, or you-plus-one, their recipes are perfect for those who want to cook, but don't want to eat the leftovers for a week.

Here's the link to the recipe:

Shrimp Scampi

Happy cooking!