Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Update

I know you all will join me in saying- Thank goodness it's Friday! It's also payday for me and wow can it couldn't come any sooner. I get paid on the 15th and 30th of the month and some months it seems like forever since my last check. Even though February is a short month, my paydays sure weren't any closer.

Many of the blogs I read fall into the same category- saving money and paying off debt, cleaning/organizing, and cooking. And like them, I am trying to achieve this to improve my family's lives. Years ago, I was an avid couponer. I even purchased a beautiful and easy to use coupon holder that is super organized. But then for some reason I stopped. I have no idea why and can only guess that I became lazy and careless. We do not have super high paying jobs but because we only have mortgage and student loans to finish paying off, we are able to add to our savings and meet our household bills with no struggle.

Still, one day as I was reading Dave Ramsey's website, I began searching blogs to see if anyone else out there was into paying off debt. Can you say naive? But I was so glad to meet others working toward the same goals. But it wasn't just debt reduction that kept me reading. It was the changes made by using coupons, cooking meals at home, etc that really struck a chord with me. When my husband and I first started out, we had little money and using coupons and making meals at home were an absolute necessity. But over time, we secured jobs in our chosen fields and paid off bills. Perhaps it was around then that we let go of our frugal ways. We didn't incur debt or anything like that, just stopped clipping coupons and starting eating out 1-2 times a week.

So why am I obsessed with going back to those days of coupons and cooking more at home? We have great paying jobs that meet our bills and saving needs. Luckily our jobs are secure -although I am sure mine could go if my agent thought necessary. As a tenured teacher Jeff is pretty safe. Even with me changing careers and losing a good portion of my salary, it hasn't affected our budget. As I wrote about before, it's actually saving us money. Still it doesn't mean that I should throw money away. I also worry about eating so much pre-packaged processed foods. And I am always in need of help when it comes to organizing and cleaning. That's why I love reading your blogs!

Pheobe from Cents to Get Debt Free is asking everyone to share tips and tricks to help save on grocery budget. Sorry there is no link- I am still learning about all this computer stuff! For me strange enough, I have saved money by asking my children to put together a list of dinner options they like. Because my kids are in school all day, all I have to worry about is breakfast and dinner. Lunch is not a big deal even though we do pack because they enjoy simple things like sandwiches and chopped vegetables. But dinner was always a hassle. The kids were always wanting to eat fast food since I get home from work late and would many times forget to plan ahead something for Jeff to throw in the oven. They usually would get it twice a week which was never enough for them and complained that they didn't like what I made (or Jeff). So I put the task on them to tell us what they did like. And it worked! They put together their own lists and we told them that we would pick and choose some each week with the promise from them that they couldn't complain. This has really helped cut down on making separate meals for us and them and less fast food trips. It was really counter productive making a meal and then having to throw something else together for the kids because they didn't like what I made. Less food used at each dinner thus saving me money and time. Head on over to her website to see all her and others ideas.

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