Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cheap Challenge

My husband and I just finished chatting over the changes that are in store as Fall approaches. Decreased salary, increased expenses. You know the story. We spent an hour or so pouring over the family budget - trying to sneak ten bucks here and twenty there. But honestly, it doesn't seem like there's much room for cutting expenses. And Lord knows we've tried it before. "Honey, can you do your best not to spend so much at the grocery store" inevitably turns into me hiding the receipts the minute I walk in the door. How deep in this trash can I bury this darn thing?

Cutting the grocery bill down has been something I've been tasked with for the past two years. Have I succeeded? NO. Will I succeed without making big changes to how we're eating at home? NO. I'm not into cutting coupons. Nor do I have the time to search for online specials or which grocer has the best price in town. I need to walk in that store and walk out. Three little kids at home, husband working full time AND in evening grad school full time, me running my own business. Seriously... I'm impressed when I've both showered and brushed my teeth in the same hour.

With our new future coming at us quick, I need to figure out how to cut my grocery bill in half. Just like the coupons, I'm not into putting Ben & Jerry's on the credit card. That is insane.

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Like my grandpa used to say, "You don't have the money for it unless you have the money for it." Following in my grandpa's shoes, I begin my journey into buying what I can afford. Which as of 11 o'clock tonight, looks like we won't be buying boxes of cereal or loaves of bread anymore.

I don't think this challenge would be too hard if it weren't for one little thing... 4 out of the 5 of us in this family are Celiac. That means we don't eat $0.69 pasta, 2 for $2 bread, $0.39 mac & cheese, or $0.33 corn muffins - like in the old days. Rather, we've been spending $5.49 for a loaf of bread that is half the size of your average Wonderbread. And we go through five of those a week, at least. That's just the start to our "special" foods - rice milk, almond milk, all-natural meat, gluten-free granola, gluten-free pizza crust, gluten-free granola bars, and the list goes on. My challenge is to cut expenses in every corner of the grocery mart. We start tomorrow...

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