Today is PAYDAY! Can you feel the joy?
I enjoyed the pantry challenge. Really . . . I did.
The first three weeks I was excited, felt a great sense of pride and accomplishment, and thought I could probably go on doing it indefinitely.
Last week, I was mad. I think I actually said at one point to hubby when he was tiptoeing around me, “And I’m so tired of this stupid pantry challenge!”
Yes, I’m very mature.
But I did learn a LOT. It helped me refocus my true frugal nature, reminding me that 5 dollars spent to stock up on an item that we’ll never finish before it goes bad . . . is not 5 dollars saved; it’s 5 dollars wasted.
The biggest eye-opener that I experienced was using cash. I’ll definitely keep doing that. My weekly budget will double, but the cash will keep me from spending the last half of the month’s budget in the first two weeks. It also helps me evaluate how much “real money” I’m spending. It may feel good to pay 8$ at Walgreens and get back a 10$ Register reward, but when that’s 8$ cash gone from the envelope, it is still spending.
I was able to make my goal of saving 100$ from January’s grocery budget to go into the emergency fund. That felt fantastic! I’m making it a goal to do the same this month! As a SAHM, this is my way to “earn” money.
So what now? Run, don’t walk, to the nearest grocery store and buy like crazy? No.
My plan is to keep eating from the pantry, but start stocking up on sale items. This week’s menu is based primarily on what we already have, but with more “have to buy” items to complete the meals.
Monday – Brisket with gravy over mashed potatoes. (The link is to another MPM post where I shared the recipe. You’ll have to scroll down a bit to get to the recipe.)
Tuesday – BBQ chicken sandwiches
Wednesday – Meatballs in mushroom gravy over rice.
Thursday – Salmon croquettes and oven fries.
Friday – OUT to EAT!!!
Saturday – Pizza pockets
Sunday – Taco Soup using precooked ground beef and frozen pre-cooked beans.
I’m linking up to Menu Plan Monday over at orgjunkie.com. Go there for lots of great inspiration. I’m also linking at Moneysavingmom.com’s Pantry Challenge update.