Although I'm not excited about leaving Violet this week (I'm back at work), I am excited to say that I will be receiving a full paycheck again (finally). And on top of that our home equity loan will (finally) be paid off, so I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel.
In the meantime we've been looking for new ways to save more money. We have quite a few goals and we need to find a way to finance them:
- Replenish our general savings
- Start some sort of college savings (Roth IRA, 529 Plan, Insurance Fund?) for Violet
- Start saving for a down payment on a larger home
- Save for me to be off again with (hopefully) a future baby
- Cutting cable (unthinkable in the Hubster's opinion, and, to be honest, I'd miss it too)
- Spending less on the house (difficult for me because with blogging I'm constantly seeing beautiful new products and inspiring homes)
- Spending less on groceries. (We both like food!)
I always wonder what other people spend on groceries. Sure you can compare on Mint.com or ask friends or even poll people on a forum, but I always think that these comparisons can be so inaccurate because people mean different things when they say 'groceries'. For us, groceries include our food, cat food and litter, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and baby items.
When I see people say that they spend $50-$60 a week on groceries, I am floored. I know that there are some serious coupon clippers out there, and I suppose it's possible depending on what you buy. But even with coupons it just doesn't feel doable for us because we buy mostly whole fresh foods, and you just don't see coupons for things like asparagus, bread, or salmon in the newspaper or the coupon clipper. (At least not in ours!) I feel like I use this as an excuse sometimes though, so I've tried to think of money-saving options we do have available:
- clipping (and using) coupons for toiletries/cleaning supplies/baby stuff
- meal planning (we're not very good at this)
- using our store bonus card
- setting and sticking to a budget
- comparison shopping
- envelope system (sometimes the card works against us even though we do get rewards points)
P.S. Have you seen the tumblr Things Organized Neatly?! If you haven't check it out - it's equal parts therapeutic and insanity-inducing.
Pennies Image by Bob Dinetz Design via Things Organized Neatly
Ingredients Image by Carl Kleiner for IKEA via Things Organized Neatly