Food Budget

Feeling fall!!!! <3

Hi everyone!  As we start into this wonderful fall season, I have a confession to make.  I’m really really obsessed with baking and cooking.  It’s an all year kind of thing, but especially in the fall!  For some reason I feel super in-tune with the season.  So, why does this have anything to do with being a money magnet?  Because being a money magnet is all about being wise with your money.  Bringing in more than you spend and investing in yourself.

Which brings me to my next point – the dreaded food budget.  So, to be completely honest, I usually blow our monthly food budget in 2 weeks.  I love experimenting with different recipes and many times I need some new ingredients that I would otherwise not have in my pantry.  

Budgeting for food can be tricky.  But, it should be one of the first three things you spend money on (once you get your $).  The reason it should be a top priority is because its super hard to be productive and on your a-game if you only have ramen noodles and cereal for a week. (Not to say cereal and ramen noodles aren’t amazing, but its not super healthy for your body!)

I don’t know about you guys, but I LOOOOOVE going to Costco.  Its kinda funny because I go in for a couple things, $400 later I’m out the door and my trunk is about to explode!  Haha!  The great thing about Costco is the buying in bulk – we end up getting our years worth of laundry soap, dish soap, toilet paper, paper towels, etc once a year.  That way, I get those big items out of the way and my grocery budget is just for that – groceries.

Mmmmmmmm!

We used to be the family that went out to eat ALL THE TIME.  It was getting so expensive!  Since I love cooking and baking, I decided I would do it all myself and all the extra that we used to spend eating out could go into my pocket for fun stuff.  Hey!  Cooks gotta get paid too!  😉

The easiest way I set my food budget is bi-weekly.  The night before payday, I clean out my fridge and pantry and take a little inventory of what I have.  Since fall is here, I’m all about the soups!  And my family is all about the breads and cookies.  So, I’ll sit down and rummage through my cookbooks to get some inspiration on what I’ll be doing for the week.  

I’ll make a list on lined paper of Monday through Sunday and put down what I’ll be cooking.  Off to the side I write down general things we love to eat, like milk, bread, eggs, cereal, and yogurt.  Below each day, with the meals written down, I put down the things I’m missing that I need to pick up.

Hope this helps 🙂

I have discovered the MOST AMAZING THING EVER!  Most stores let you order your groceries off their app (like Walmart and Smiths).  You just go through, pick what you want, choose your pick-up time (or they also deliver to your house!!!) and pay with your card.  The first time I did this, I was so skeptical, but I’m in love with this process now!  I have my shopping list right in front of me and only pick what we need (instead of mosey-ing around grabbing unnecessary items).  I’ve found this has helped me save a TON of money sticking to what we need and not having random half-eaten things laying around the house.  And, since we all know that time flies by WAAAY too fast, this is a HUGE time-saver as well!

Soooooooo, here’s the ultimate goal when coming up with a food budget – figure out a way to spend a little less on what you already get so you can pocket the rest!  What do you need?  How much do you want to eat out?  What would you like to try?  Have some fun!  If you need any exciting ideas on baking and cooking, just comment!  I’ll hook you up!  

The Value Of YOU

Believe it or not, you are either an asset or a liability when it comes to your money.  We trade our time for money (work) and we trade our money for stuff.  So, how much are you worth?  And how much of your time are you willing to part with?  

When I first started realizing how important a budget was and how important it was to track my spending and where it was going, I realized the value of ME.  Its so easy to blow through money!  I mean, come on!  There is so much cool stuff to get!  I know you’ve probably read it a million times, but the truth is – time is the most precious commodity and it’s one we can never get back once its spent.  

Some of us work at a building that we have to punch a time-clock.  Some of us are able to work from home.  Some of us work during the day, and others at night.  Some of us have a boss, and some of us are the boss.  Some of us get monetary compensation and others don’t (think stay at home mom or volunteers).  Whatever your work situation is to bring home the bacon – you are trading your time for money.  Whether it be salary, hourly, or commission.  I’ve experienced all 3.  Bottom line is – we work to make the money we spend.

Shifting your mindset on making and spending money can add value to your life in ways you never thought possible.  Once I started viewing spending my money in terms of how long it took me to make the money, I was much more aware of where my funds were going.  I used to get my nails done every 3 weeks.  (I just liked pretty nails that didn’t chip!).  So, on the times I just got my fingernails done, it ended up being close to $60 including the tip.  When I splurged and got a pedicure along with it, I was looking at around $100.  Needless to say, I have since got all the equipment I needed to do my own gel nails and pedicures at home.  I realized that I was spending about 15 hours of my life a month just to have pretty nails.  (OMG!).

So, where do you “spend” your time?  Anything you are spending on that you don’t really need?  Anywhere you are trading your time for that could be allocated somewhere else?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on what your favorite splurges are!  Or what you once thought was an important buy that maybe now you’ve changed your mind on!