It's just one word. It's how I look at it. One word. Budget. Not Our Budget. Not The Budget. Simply Budget. Or otherwise known as "how do I pay for everything we have come to expect out of life with falling dollar values and increasing fuel and food costs?" That takes up a bit too much room to do regularly though.
Ugh. So I'm sitting here, playing a game of solitaire. My mind keeps wandering, as it does when I play games like that. It keeps wandering to the budget. Ugh again. I keep trying to figure out how I can cut our food costs.
Here's the thing. I only shop for food at Wal-Mart. Have done that since I started working there, which was shortly after we moved here to this house. It's a loyalty thing. It's also the fact that I KNOW I'm saving money over going to Meijer. I've done the price comparison. It's honestly cheaper, and I'm not just saying that to support "The Company".
So our grocery cost has reduced some because of that. No more Meijer. I don't shop at Save A Lot anymore however. I'm wondering if I need to start doing that again. In all honesty, what I would get at Save A Lot were the boxed/canned goods. Some frozen foods. A little refridgerated stuff. Otherwise, I went to Meijer. Since I've been shopping at Wal-Mart all the time, Save A Lot has been cut out. We use store brand items as much as possible. That cuts out quite a bit of cost right there. We buy in bulk, so we can save 20 cents a pound on meat and use the extra freezer to stock up, though that may no longer be an option, which I'll get to in just a second.
There is also the option of NO extras. No chips. No soda. No popscicles. No breakfast sandwiches. No snacks with lunches. No cheese sticks. No higher quality lunch meat. No higher quality cuts of meat at all. No frozen pizzas or pizza rolls. No yogurt. No cereal bars. No granola bars. No marinades.
Wow, that cuts out about 1/2 of what we eat regularly. And everything else would be the cheapest of the cheap. I really don't want to live like that however. I will fight that with tooth and nail, kicking and screaming the entire way. I lived like that with Homer, with Chris, I won't go back to it. It's a miserable existence.
Jason takes the bus back and forth to work. So that cuts down on gas usage. I will only be going out of the house for errands if I ABSOLUTELY have to. Otherwise, I'll do my shopping after work. As it is, I'm not sure how we are going to finagle the kids' school/fall/winter clothes. All four of them have grown. They will all need refurbishing to their wardrobes.
I'll be going through the boxes in the storage room, looking for things that used to be Katy's that Jayden can now wear. It was about this size that I started keeping everything. I should be able to find some stuff, hopefully. Listing stuff on EBay. The kids old clothes. I need to become much more Gung Ho about that. Treating it like a part time job. One that I do late at night, after everyone has gone off to bed. I can take the pics during the day in the sunlight and then edit and post the items at night. Go and do one to two bulk mailings a week.
Jason is still looking for a different job. Right now, I'm not sure if I should be or not. The job I have pays decently. It works according to the availability I have. I don't get asked a bunch of questions when I change it a little to better suit my home life.
The freezer. Ah yes, it seems that our 2nd stock up so we have it fridge/freezer is taking a dump on us. Well Crap A Doodle Bob. There is no way Garry will replace it. It's our 2nd fridge. He was going to take it out when we moved in a year ago. I looked on Craigslist. There is a listing for one for $50 about 20 minutes from here. Jenn says she can get it in her truck so we could go pick it up that way. However, if it's gone, I'm out of luck. Jason is going to have a fit about buying a new one as it is. He wants to get rid of the 2nd one. He feels that we'd save energy by not having. I'm sure we would, but I highly doubt that unplugging one fridge will save us much more than MAYBE $20 for an entire year. Our energy costs are elsewhere.
So I do this, I sit and I worry. It makes me feel like crap. It wears me out and I just feel like I'm dragging ass all day. Trying to walk through a swamp as I'm slowly sinking. I can't even see the shore that I'm working toward, but I keep getting reassured, by the voice through the over head speaker, that it IS there and it WILL be worth it. There are many days where I want to just say "Fuck it!" and stop walking. I keep going. Cause I have to. Ugh.