So I recently joined mint.com. It's an online budgeting tool that integrated in with all of your various financial accounts so you can see how much you're spending where and on what. If you haven't checked it out - I highly recommend it.
Unless you like burying your head in the sand...
I started doing this officially at the beginning of the year but I hadn't updated all of my transactions by categorizing them until today. And that's when I realized that I spent a whopping
*drum roll please*
THOUSAND DOLLARS on groceries in January.
All of the couponers out there are cringing at this admission, I know.
Yes, I coupon and I usually get great deals, but maybe, just maybe, I buy too much, or the wrong stuff, or too many exotic things for new recipes I make. Who knows? I certainly don't because it doesnt FEEL like we eat wagyu beef every night sprinkled with truffle oil. But we might as well!
So, I'm on a mission. I'm not going grocery shopping the rest of this month (as I've already reached $661) and I'm determined to spend less than $500 next month. That still may be exhorbitant for a family of four, but I've got to start somewhere and I figure that even $500 will take some getting used to.
It's odd to me that I'm having this problem. I clip coupons, I follow several deal websites and I buy a lot at discount stores like Target, etc. I dont feel like I have the time to be an extreme couponer, but I do pretty well. Apparently, though, I'm missing the key element of sticking to a certain amount each week and then monitoring what I'm spending on a more regular basis.
So here I am. I'm coming clean. I'm a grocery over-spender. Join me as I try to figure out the best way to feed my family (as well as buy them household cleaners, laundry detergent, paper products, foils, etc) for half of what I'm currently spending while also not spending lots of time at the store, eating ramen or more than 15 minutes a day clipping coupons. We'll see how this goes....
**If any of you have any tips and tricks for making this work for a family that likes to eat things other than chicken and rice casserole 5 nights a week, please let me know. We're foodies and I like to buy a lot of fresh fruits and veggies for the kids. I'm hoping I can still maintain a level of excitement about our meals while eating on a budget. I need all the help I can get!**