Since so many of you can feel my pain of not spending unnecessary money, I thought I'd give you a run down on how we are accomplishing this and the ways in which we have deviated from our Pact.
*Keeping up on grocery shopping and trying new recipes. Okay, so this is kind of self-explanatory. Fine, it's completely self-explanatory, but I'm going to explain it anyways (insert evil laugh here). We have been going to the store a few times a week to make sure we have as much fresh food as possible (apples, nectarines, red peppers, onions, avocados, bananas, etc). We also run to the store as soon as we are out of a staple item (half & half, pasta, milk, spinach, canned black beans, etc). This way we're not looking in our kitchen going, "UGH! I'm hungry, but we have NO food!" Okay, maybe I still do this, but at least it's mostly untrue. We are also trying new recipes to make meals fun and exciting. We have a few cookbooks and with the internet there is endless possibilities for finding easy, simple recipes for whatever you're in the mood for. In summary, even though we might be spending more on groceries, we are still spending less then if we were to eat out.
*Eating before we go out and coming home for lunch/dinner. Okay, this used to be a major "thing" with us. We'd get all ready to go somewhere (which takes hours because, hello, we have 2 children and Benji has a massive beard), and then by the time we leave the house, we are all hungry and cranky. Enter fast food here. Not good! Not only we were feeding ourselves a lot of unhealthy foods, but we were also forking out money left and right. Now we make sure to eat before we go out or we come home at the first signs of hunger. We've also been bringing snacks with us, such as: granola bars, cereals, mixed nuts, apples and string cheese. This is seriously saving us a ton and all we are doing is being deliberate about where we are eating: home!
*Avoiding certain stores/Making lists. What was I saying about being self-explanatory? Anyways, this has been something mainly for me. As I said in this post, I used Target as a get out of boredom card. That has stopped completely. I have gone to Target, but I went there with a purpose: to buy Avalene diapers, and I avoided wandering around the store. This ties in with list making. If I must go to a place where I would usually spend money, because I need one or two things, I go in intending to buy only those things. It sounds so simple. Yet is is so hard-waah!
*Staying home. So profound, but it's true.
*Fun, FREE activities. The obvious one here is public parks. It is purty dang hot around these parts, so unless we go on an unusually cool day or at 2am, it's a no go. However, there are other options! Splash pads. SO. THANKFUL. They can often be found at outdoor malls as to bait young people to the surrounding stores-not on my watch Candy Store! We have been going to the one at Scottsdale Quarter on Scottsdale Rd, but there are plenty around. We also frequent mall playplaces. Especially since My Mom works at a mall (HI MOM!). I am just sure to avoid wandering too much or going when we are going to be hungry. We also have a Phoenix Zoo membership that we can use, which rocks.
This is jigga long yo! I think I will break here (my children are running amuck and most likely naked)! Check back later today for more money saving ideas and the ways we've broken our Pact.