i am now on a budget – sometimes i love it, and other times i hate it.
i wouldn’t say i am a shopping addict, but i really like to shop. it doesn’t help that i worked in corporate retail environments for 9 years where you were always wanting her to BUY! my biggest hurdle is that once i realize we need something, i want to get it right then. it must be the activator in me (for all of you strengthfinders folks).
to try to curb this behavior, i focus a lot of energy and time prepping my weekly grocery trip. i like to think of it as christmas time around here (a good attitude doesn’t hurt my cause!). i make my shopping list once i have all of my ads and coupons for the week. i wait a day or two and see what extra savings the blogs i follow bring to my attention. i check my list twice and confirm i have pulled all available coupons for the items i am purchasing and that they are in order – being organized is half the battle! i may double check for coupons online for any items i don’t already have a coupon for. i have been surprisingly lucky – lots of major brands offer coupons on their websites that you can easily find through a google search. i reserve this hunt only when i have extra time… which doesn’t happen often.
i shop late in the week, without kids if at all possible. with my coupon binder in hand, i keep my calculator handy and enter as i go. i try to allow a few dollars flex if i find something unexpectedly on sale (for which of course, i have a coupon!) that will help my stockpile. i am laser-locked on coming in under a set amount. i am totally in the zone.
and for the record, i have nailed it.
the monthly meal plan also helps keep things under control. if i look at next week’s menu prior to any grocery shopping, it helps me quickly determine needs. i should note, there is a huge difference between NEED and WANT. this is one of the hardest things to overcome especially if you’ve previously been able to buy without being on a strict budget. these days, if we don’t need it, it generally doesn’t come in the house.
i don’t browse retail websites as much as i used to… too tempting. i have a list of what we need for the family and when the budget allows, i weave it in. we don’t go without, but we do show some serious restraint thoughtfulness. right now, i would love a new pair of running shoes and the want is gradually turning into a need due to sore feet. but new ones are +$100! i have a coupon for a local running store that we can hopefully check out this weekend… i will take deep breaths… i will not click SUBMIT on that online order… i can wait… i can find a deal… i can do this…