With the beginning of the New Year, comes the standard desire for change. At least for the majority of us. Well, we happen to be no different in that we know that we can do better. Therefore, when we had our end of the year budget meeting to go over all of the numbers, we decided to make a big change with our budget.
I don’t know about you, but as our family keeps getting larger so does the cost of our holiday gifts. Due to this, we keep coming up with more and more creative ways to pile more presents under the tree for less. Sometimes, this can be tricky, since all of the kids want everything they see, plus we have family to buy for. And this doesn’t even include the food! But this year, we found yet another way to save money and keep below our budget.
When it comes to household expenses, food almost tops the list. This is true of most American households, which makes it one of the best places to start cutting back to save money. But how is it possible to do that with the ever creeping price of food? Oh, it can be done! Sometimes, we just have to be a bit creative, but cutting the food budget is definitely something that can happen.
Editor’s Note: Hi everyone! Please welcome our new staff writer, Shanah Bell. Shanah will be sharing her story and advice on the blog twice/month. We thought she’d made a great second voice on the blog in addition to Laurie’s. Enjoy!
Teaching children about money, and the power that it truly has to make or break your life, is one of the hardest parts of parenting. As a family of 5, with the age ranges of our children vastly different, that gets even more difficult to navigate. How we need to teach the 5 year old is completely different than the way we can teach the 12 year old.
For most of the nearly twenty years of our marriage, we never had any money in our savings account. Oh, we’d occasionally shove some money into the account for a week or two, but we’d always find a reason to take it out and spend it. Either we’d spend it because we needed it to pay bills (because we spent our bill-paying money on other stuff), an “unexpected” expense would rear its ugly head, or we’d see a “new and shiny” thing that we “needed”.
We read all the advice about paying yourself first, but, you see, that “didn’t apply to us” because we were “different”. We didn’t make as much as others. We had more expenditures than others. On and on the excuses went for many years. Read more
Gardening for self-sufficiency is different than gardening for fun. When we lived back in the suburbs, we had a small 10×15 or so garden plot, and each year we’d sit down and talk about what “fun” types of things we’d attempt to grow for the year. Preservation had that same “fun” theme, as we’d can pickles for the purpose of always having one of our favorite foods around, and we tried freezing green beans simply because we wanted to learn the process.
However, one of our goals in ditching suburbia for the sake of country living was that we wanted to begin to really turn our garden into a serious source of food for our family of six. What started out as a fun hobby is slowly becoming a vital source of food for the entire year. As such, the gardening we do now is vastly different than the gardening we did back in the suburbs. Read more
Earlier last month I talked about how we feed our family of six on $400-$450 a month, yet we still manage to eat organic food for much of our diets. Regardless of what the critics and naysayers tell us, healthy food does not need to be expensive. In fact, if you know a few hidden secrets you can feed yourself and your whole family with healthy products and still keep your food budget low. I talked last week about the benefits of organic foods, and how we eat organic foods for a decent part of our diet, and manage to do so inexpensively compared to what most people spend on their grocery budget without buying organic. Today, in order to give you more insight on how to feed your family a healthy diet I’m sharing five great places where you can get healthy food for yourself and/or your family without going over the grocery budget. Read more