Wednesday, March 03, 2010

New Goals, $, etc.

So we are almost moving into our new house, and with the new house comes new bills, priorities, etc. We had an emergency sewer line put in $10,000, skunk removal and skunk fence$, plus carpet$, new baby on the way$, and a few other things$. Let's just say it has set us back more than we would like. So we are trying to be creative with our budget until things settle down(probably take us a year to settle down). So I decided that we need to have new goals and strategy of how to financially make it this next year(until next tax season) and also including the Lord in all our decisions. Yes, I already do a lot of these but need to get here we go!

So a few goals:
*$200 or lower for food, baby, all groceries

*Make date night a free night in all aspects

*Have a weekly menu that I repeat so that I know to the penny what I need and spend

*Read the entire Ensign every month(I have been struggling with that one)
*Get to the Temple AT LEAST monthly!!!!!

*Read the Book of Mormon more dilligently

*Keep a gratitude Journal

*Continue paying tithing even when I wish I had those extra dollars for bills
*Pray for divine intervention*Have faith and know things will pan out how they need to
*Keep all receipts and record every penny, even if it is for the $0.25 machine

If you have any suggestions for any of my goals or other goals I should incorporate, feel free to suggest anything, especially Menu ideas for cheap, my problem is affording fresh veggies and fruit without things going bad...I love fresh fruit, in fact I have been CRAVING strawberries-too expensive though. Or if you know how to make $ at home, I would love that too!

Anyway, wish us luck!


McMeegan and Thayngler said...

Thayne and I eat rice and beans a lot. Together it makes a complete protein! (although I add meat and a salad on the side), that saves a ton of money, used to buy fresh fruit and veggies. We also buy oatmeal in bulk, and that's ALL we eat for breakfast (with peanutbutter and brown sugar, delicious!)

Jami said...

I think you're doing an awesome thing by making tithing an priority... I've seen so many blessings in our lives because of it and can't afford NOT to pay it. We made a goal last year to pay fast offering every month and the blessings were double. It was amazing. Are you saying $200 a MONTH for groceries?? I spend that every two WEEKS. Good luck with that! :) Frozen fruit and veges are how we get them and not waste them, and they're cheaper. Also, they're picked at the prime of ripeness which means they're full of nutrients, where as fresh aren't (they're picked before their prime so they can continue to ripen but don't acquire the nutrients from the ground/plant they're growing on). I watch sales and use coupons and go to a couple stores instead of just one to get the best prices and it's been worth the effort. Also, if I get something like a roast, I make it go for three meals instead of just the one. I'm sure you have a lot of tips of your own and I'm preaching to the choir, so good luck! :)

Jeff & Michelle said...

Lots of goals, but they are all good! Good luck with all of them!

I think you guys have Sprouts in the Denver area? I buy A LOT of fresh fruits and veggies, but I keep an excel spreadsheet of the prices per pound/prices per fruit item so I can figure out how much I am spending. It helped me see how expensive some fruits are. It has also helped me to more easily recognize when the sales are good. I feel like we are always eating great fresh veggies/fruits, but not spending much on them. Bananas are always cheap here and the other fruit I buy is based on the sales for the week at Sprouts and the regular grocery store. I don't know if that will work as well in Colorado though, since TX could be different.

Also, use a program like Quicken or something for budgeting/tracking spending. It helps A TON and is totally worth the investment. We started by just tracking where our money was going and then we were able to identify "problem" areas that we didn't even realize existed. Then we based our budget off of that. It's worked well for us.

Anyway, sorry this is so long! Good luck!!

Hilary and Evan Biddulph said...

Thanks everyone, I will definitely try some of those... For the last year we have been keeping our penny by penny budget on a spreadsheet I made in XCEL. Michelle!!! I want a copy of your fruit spread sheet, that sounds like a cool idea. and Peanut butter in oatmeal...I should try that, interesting. Frozen fruit and veggies are a better idea..I am excited to see what comes of all of this!

Elneeta said...

My sister does a LOT of couponing with sites like There is a monthly fee, but it is worth it, considering she saves hundreds of dollars on everything from food to toilet paper and toiletries, it might be worth looking into. Also they list all sales prices for the local stores. It takes a little time but an idea. For fresh fruit and veggies try looking into co-ops like
that offer fruit/veggie baskets for a very small price.

Nezhone said...

Sunflower is another good place to shop for produce. It's pretty cheap and fairly good quality. Oatmeal and peanut butter is really good, and pretty filling for breakfast. I add a banana and it makes it really good.
One thing I do is take out cash for my grocery allowance, so I don't spend any more than I have. It makes it really easy to say no to things you want to buy. I have never failed by doing this. Good luck!

The Cheezy Burgers said...

John made an excell spreadsheet of everything that comes in and goes out, so I can plan months in advance to see where our money goes, and figure out where I can pay a little extra, or whether I can save a little more. John and I also got the idea from a friend to divy up the cash at the begining of the month and place it in a small acordian style folder. You can get super cheap ones like the ones that you put coupons in, or they also sell some really nice ones that are not to pricey. It has places like groceries, gas, misc, baby, etc. At the begining of each month we divy up the cash, put it in the designated spot and PRESTO! This thing worked like magic for us. It is so much harder to buy things when you have to see your cash really made us think twice, it is so much easier to swipe your debit card. If there is extra, we just add it on to the next month. We also give each other a very small allowance. I mean VERY small like $25 - 50 each a month. We use these things to buy things that we want, or to take the family out to dinner, gifts etc. Hope this helps!

Dylan, Holly, and Aspen said...

there is this website called and it's free. This lady looks at the ads for the week and makes meals depending on what is on sale that week. She has a family of 4 and she used to spend $120 a week and now she spends half of that. Anyway it's a pretty cool website she provides you with the shopping list and the recipes for that week.

Svedi Pie said...

Hilary, I would consider starting a garden. If you plan it right you can have a Spring, Summer and Fall garden. It's the best way I know of to save $ on healthy foods. (Also you can plant better quality, better tasting and more nutritious varieties. Commercial farmers have to pick varieties that last month or look best in the grocery store, but a home gardener can pick ones that may not last longer, but are cheaper and better because you'll use them faster) March is the best time to start planting a Spring garden. May is the best time to plant a Summer garden and July is the best time to plant a Fall garden - generally speaking. Good luck!!

Dave and Stephanie said...

we LOVE it is like quicken, but FREE! it has helped us budget and see exactly where our money goes. and it is synced with your credit card, debit card, bank accounts etc. so there is no manual shows exactly what you are spending.

Betty Biddulph said...

Still looking for an 'at home money making project?' Can't think of anything better than 'Hilary's Hits' from a 'Biddulph Bakery' - we'd sure be your most faithful customers! And with your 'to die for' cinnamon rolls - everyone would be clamoring for your goodies that no one can resist!

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