Monday, March 9, 2009

back to basics

Have you started to make changes in your family due to the changes in the economy? Have you noticed that your money is just not going as far (or like me, noticing that there is less money to work with) to make ends meet? Are you cutting back on expenses? Canceling that vacation? Skipping those trips through your fast foods favorites?

For our family, it is a little bit of everything (although there was no planned vacation yet this year). I am trying my best to do/buy what I can on a lower than normal budget. So far, the grocery store is where I can see the biggest difference. I've started doing all of the basic shopping at Aldi & the dollar stores. I can get most of all the staple food items at Aldi, and love saving a few extra dollars by getting the same cleaning/paper supplies from the dollar store that I can get at Kroger. I've also thought about better meal planning so I do not overbuy, or trying weekly(or even monthly) cooking, or possibly meal sharing with friends. I've also considered ordering from Angel Food Ministries. My Mom's friend sent me an e-mail about it last year and told me that everyone is eligible for this program, there are no income guidelines.

I also would like to get back to basics as far as our possessions go. We all have too many clothes, and our (too little) house is overflowing with toys...most of which just get moved around the house, not actually played with. I feel that in doing so, my kids will take more pride and what they do have & HOPE that they will take better care of their things.

This economic situation is not looking good, but I am really trying to find ways that it can change my family in positive ways. Our getting rid of things can help other families with less than what we have. Cutting back on expenses now may allow us to afford a vacation later in the year, even on our lower budget. Teaching my kids responsibility about needs vs. wants - it's the perfect time. I am learning these lessons right along side Tim Horton's Coke is NOT a necessity :)

So what are you doing? Are you making some of these changes too?


Don't Lick The Ferrets! said...

We don't have cable, but we didn't before the economy took a dive (but those who do have it, seem to be cutting back more.) It "forces" the kids to spend more quality time with us, reading, playing games, etc. Come to find out, after a year, they don't miss it anymore and prefer the board games, etc!

...and she lived... said...

We're buying our first home this year so I'm planning on giving gardening a whirl. I learned how to can foods so I'm hoping that my garden actually survives so I can use those skills this year!

Heather said...

I have been trying to plan out meals as much as 3 weeks in advance. It does cut down on groceries if I can just buy what we'll need for each meal.

Confessions of a Mom said...

I like this post. I am always looking for more ideas to reduce spending. I am thinking your food program you mentioned is similar to our Fare for All program down here in Southern MN. I've participated in the past and recently re-enrolled. I did an article recently on good things coming out of a bad economy:

Hip Mom's Guide said...

I agree with Heather, but am also guilty of "Oh, blackberries are on sale. Let's get some." Planning helps--I just have to figure out how to do it regularly!