Thursday, July 12, 2012

Some Days are Overwhelming

There are some days when I wake in the morning and before I even get out of bed I feel overwhelmed. Nothing has changed in our household, I just begin to think about all of the things I'd like to accomplish that day combined with what needs to be done and I feel a little suffocated.  Today is one of those days.    We wrapped up breakfast and I was torn in several different directions:  cleaning up the kitchen, gathering the laundry and getting it started, creating a grocery list, and contemplating heading to the gym.  I had to slow myself down and focus on one task at a time.  After a bit, my kitchen was clean, the laundry was started, and I was rounding everyone up for a trip to the gym.  I should have felt better, but I didn't.  It was time to check-in with myself and try to figure out the root of my anxiety.

After I thought about things a bit, I realized there were two areas in my life that were bothering me:  our budget and my time management.  Today I'm going to tackle the budget.  I need to prepare my grocery list, so it seems like the perfect day to do so.  Time management will wait until tomorrow!

As I have mentioned before, we are trying to switch over to a cash system and put those magic debit cards to rest.  I've been working hard to begin this process with grocery shopping and I have seen some improvement.  The problem, however, is that eventually the cash runs out before it's time for the next round.  I need to shake things up a bit.  Obviously what I'm doing isn't working!

Here's a little background about our thoughts on food.  Please don't judge (I won't judge you!), it's just where we stand.  Since I am a stay-at-home mom, it is important to me to prepare meals for our family that are fresh and nutritious.  I do my best to avoid processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, and MSG.  We buy organic milk and yogurt, as well as some produce.  I have stopped buying "filler" snacks, like Goldfish crackers and other munchies, and focused more on offering fruits, smoothies, and vegetables as an alternative.  Naturally, this drives up our food bill a bit.  Now I am trying to compensate for this price difference.

I do prepare our menu for the week and try to work in some of the sales at the local stores.  While I like to use our money to buy just what we need for the week, some of the meat sales are a bit hard to pass up.  I guess by the end of the month it will have probably balanced out, but it's hard to see right now in the middle of the month.  It seems like many of our essentials (cereal for example) have drastically gone up in price and the "sales" just aren't great anymore.  It is really making sticking to this budget difficult!

I am going to really get serious about sticking to this budget.  Payday is tomorrow, so I'll be heading to the bank and getting my cash out.  Per some tips from some of my Facebook friends, I am going to check out our local Aldi.  I am hoping that I can find some items there that will help cut our costs.  I am most optimistic about the produce, though I'm sure there is not an organic selection.  I will continue to shop around and pick up the various sale priced items at each store.

Eventually I will figure out where I need to be shopping in this area to meet our budget.  It will just take some time.  Stay tuned for weekly updates on this project.  If I can find some money-saving tips, I will gladly pass them along!  If you have any ideas, please leave a comment.  We can learn a lot from each other!

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