Over at Biblical Womanhood today Crystal listed some of her financial goals for 2008. I had been planning on sharing my goals for 2008 with you soon anyway so I decided to do that for my Frugal Friday post rather than what I had planned which I will save until next week.
Some of my goals are frugal related and some are not. I thought it would be fun to share with you because maybe you can help remind me to keep on track. Also I thought maybe you would like to share your goals with me and hopefully we can encourage each other to keep them. Anyway here they are:
- Cutting down our food costs. Currently we have $350 budgeted for food every month for our family of 6 in Northern MN. Though I don't think that is a bad amount to budget and we are able to afford it, I think it is possible that we could go lower. I am excited because I discussed with Ken the possibility of donating whatever amount of money that I am able to save from going under budget and he said that would be fine. So that gives me a real motivation to work on it. I am hoping to spend only $300 hundred or less a month on food. I will try to let you know how I do. Here are some of the new ways that I hope to save money (this will add to the things that I have already done a long time.):
- Using coupons. I have been using coupons quite a bit for a couple of months now but in the whole scheme of things I am fairly new to this. I hope to really make this work for me this year. I have learned that I don't want to buy everything that is cheap with a coupon. Even if I can get candy, a snack food or canned soup cheap with a coupon it doesn't really make it a good deal because I wouldn't buy it at all otherwise. (There will be exceptions to this rule, but for the most part it is true.) The place that really got me motivated to couponing was Money Saving Mom, if you are not already a reader of this blog I would highly recommend it. I also read a book "Shop, Save and Share" by Ellie Kay that was helpful.
- The other thing that I really want to concentrate on more in order to save money on food is using up what I have. We glean potatoes every year and pick up over 1000 pounds ( a group of us.) Usually there are some that go to waste because they go bad. I want to really try to eat a lot of potatoes as they are free and available. I also have many canned tomatoes on hand, a bunch of squash and pumpkin. So I am going to work very hard to eat what we can get free or very cheaply and then wait for extremely good sales on the other things.
- I am also excited because I recently was given the contact number for ordering through Azure Standard and being able to pick it up locally. I have looked at a friends catalog before and they seem to have a lot of good deals on bulk items, also on organic stuff if that is what you buy.
- We have been getting our milk cheaply at the dairy and I plan to continue to do that. We drink a lot of milk though and that price still adds up. I am thinking about starting to drink water at lunch instead of milk to lower our milk consumption slightly.
2. My next goal for this new year is to not do any blogging at night (my normal blogging time) until all of my dishes are done. I had gotten in the habit of loading the dishwasher but then leaving any of the other dishes that didn't fit until the next day much of the time. I have decided that this is quite gross and I don't like to get up to dirty dishes, so the rule is for me ~ no blogging until they are done.
3. Another goal is to do more bible study. When I started this blog I had planned on writing about what I am studying on frequently on my blog. I have done that a little but not nearly the amount that I think that I should. So my goal is to have a post on bible study at least once a week.
4. I also have a goal to reach a certain level in my playing for both the violin and cello by the end of this year. That means I need to do a lot more practicing!
5. Last year I set a goal in March to go at least a year without buying any clothes for myself. That included new or used shopping and all clothes: Shoes, underwear and coats included. So far I have done pretty well. The only time that I didn't follow my goal was when we went out to Oregon this summer for a wedding and the airline lost the bag with my dress shoes in it. (It did turn up after the wedding.) So I broke down and bought a pair of flip flops (which was what the whole bridal party was wearing at the outdoor wedding so I didn't look out of place.). I have been given clothes but that doesn't count. I think it looks like I still have tons of clothes so I don't plan to buy any this year either.
What are your goals for 2008?