Hello friends! My husband and I have made a commitment to each other to STAY ON BUDGET this month. I normally track our spending weekly, but we went way over our budget almost every week last month, so I decided to divide everything into categories to see where our money was going.
I started off by making a spreadsheet with categories like: housing, groceries, gas, home maintenance, auto maintenance, lifestyle, dining out, health, hobby, and savings. I then logged every single expense into my spreadsheet to see how much we spent per category. The. Results. Were. Shocking.
I couldn’t believe how much we spent in lifestyle and dining alone! We were also over on pretty much every other category as well. After a long discussion, we decided we needed to really watch our spending habits. That little trip out for ice cream, stopping for lunch while out running errands, and picking up pizza for dinner really adds up quickly.
So far we are on track for success. It is only the 11th, but I am confident we will be either under or on target for each category this month. One thing that has really helped has been meal prepping our meals on the weekends. I always meal prep my meals during the week, but we were constantly going out to eat on weekends. (My husband travels for work during the week, so the weekends are really the only time we get to spend together. Combine that with lack of planning and lack of motivation to cook and we (understandably) were turning to takeout or fast food. )
Meal prepping our weekend meals has been a lifesaver. All I had to do to get started was buy disposable pans. I bought mine in bulk on Amazon, but if you want to start small you could get yours at Dollar Tree. As far as recipes, I just searched for freezer meals on Pinterest and picked a few that sounded good. So far we have had baked spaghetti and garlic bread, cheeseburgers and baked fries, homemade pizza, broccoli cheddar soup, smoothies, and BLT sandwiches. I also serve our dinners with a salad to make sure we are getting some veggies 🙂 Obviously you can’t freeze the tomato and lettuce for the BLTs, but I made a bunch of turkey bacon and froze that along with the sandwich bread since we don’t eat it that often – they turned out so good. The best thing is, since it is just the two of us, I was able to get at least two full meals out of each recipe. Talk about stretching our dollar! 🙂
I am very excited about our new goals this month. Meal planning has been so life changing for us. If anyone has any tips, please let us know!
Until next time….cheers 😉