As many of you know, I have moved to part-time employee status in recent months. This has brought me many WONDERFUL freedoms which cannot be measured financially but also means that I have to be reminded on a regular basis that even though I feel so happy, my portion of the pocketbook is half as thick as it was before (and I can't say I was ever in it for the dollas in the first place).
Good things going on in the Wallace household as we feel united right now about where we are & the fact that Ryan is and should be taking classes online through Moody. But these things all add up right? Didn't think tuition would be a line item in 2008, or 2009, or 2010.
In order to factor in new expenses, I have started, for the 3rd time, to use a FREE online budgeting tool called "MINT" to manage daily transactions, like $2 at the Peanut Store on Swedish Fish & those little extras that just sneak their way into my heart...I mean cart! The thing that I quickly noticed using Mint is that we spend WAY too much on a regular basis on eating out. Way too much.
So, in my efforts to get creative, this is what I have come up with. I will commit to making meals at home on a more regular basis, give it a real trial for a one month and see what difference it makes in our spending habits and overall lifestyle. And because arts & crafts make everything seem more fun and maybe a tiny bit less grown up, here is what I did:
Grocery shop with a list in hand & meals in mind.
Consult monthly planner to identify dinners at home & plan for fun date nights and dinner out with friends.
Create crafty calendar to disguise the regimented meal plan using groceries as purchased in Step 1.
I will keep you posted on how it goes! Ryan isn't so much as convinced yet, but I figure one month can't kill anybody...As long as I don't try to make a low-fat version of his mom's hamburg pie again. Yikes.
Anybody else have any little helpful savings tips they use on a regular basis?