Hello hello hello!
I hope you had an amazing holiday and a fabulous New Year! My husband and I decided (more like were forced to decide 😉 ) that our New Year’s resolutions were going to revolve around our budget. The biggest area that Dave and I had an issue when it came to spending was on food. We are a family of 4 and spending $1200 – $1500 a month on food (groceries, eating out, anything food related really) had become the norm. I knew we were spending too much money on food and eating out way more than we needed to, but I couldn’t figure out how to change that. By dinner time, I was so exhausted that I had no desire to figure out what to have for dinner, let alone actually cook it. Half the time I came home from the store I never had everything I need to throw together an entire meal.To be completely honest, I had no idea how much I should be budgeting for groceries either! I had less of an idea on how to actually (and realistically) establish that number and absolutely ZERO idea how to stick to it! I tried couponing, but that wasn’t cutting it. The number just wasn’t going down. I knew that meal planning was the solution to our grocery bill problem, but every time I tried it, I failed at it.
That’s when I found Christine at The Mostly Simple Life. She has a guide called Let’s Make Meal Planning Simple and let me tell you. Simple is right!! It has allowed me to save nearly $1000 every month on our monthly food bill. No, that is not a typo. I purchased the program in September and in October, November, and December I have saved nearly $1000 each month! I say nearly because Thanksgiving and Christmas were thrown in there so we spent a little extra during those weeks 😉 Let’s Make Meal Planning Simple is a complete meal planning guide that walked me through every step of the meal planning process, start to finish. I received step-by-step instructions that broke down each part of the meal planning process, making it so easy to master. Christine offers expert tips to help you spend less time both in the store and in the kitchen! She even gave me a weeks worth of meal plans (with yummy/simple recipes!) with my guide. This letting me get a week ahead of the game when I created my own, taking a ton of my stress away.
I could not believe it the first time it happened. Usually I go up to the counter and cringe when the cashier tells me the total, which always happened to be north of $300. The first time, I nearly had a heart attack. $179.82 I spent less than $200 on groceries for my family of four, for two weeks!! Say what? No way. I kept my lips sealed because I knew it HAD to be a fluke but then it happened again. And again. Before I started using the very simple tricks in Christine’s program, we were spending $1200-$1500 on groceries and eating out but now, we spend about $500-$600 a month for our family of four.
Where does your family struggle most when it comes to budgeting? Has meal planning been effective for you too? Let me know in the comments below!