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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Budgeting, Meal Planning, Stockpiling, and Morning Routines

We did it!!  That's me and DD, we set the Budget, Planned the Meals (or borrowed somebody else's meal plan), got our Morning Routines done and made the big shopping trip to Aldi.  Now our stockpiles are set for a month.  whew!

If I truly had a full stockpile system in place, it would be for the better part of a year, not just a month.  But this is a starting place.  And it's done!    We have bought all the necessary ingredients for 25 dinners and it came to just under $180 Aus.  This is the meal plan shared here  ( ).  I bought nearly everything on the list, and made up for the few I didn't get by picking up a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread just because K loves it and a few other items.

Overall, I am very pleased and surprised that food prices here in Aus are that close to what they are in the US.  In my own mind, I had figured we were paying double.

In our budget, we set aside $100/wk for food.  This is specifically food, not household goods, not hba, not cleaning supplies.  Just food, but it can be any form -- fresh, frozen, bulk, seeds, etc.  So I expected to spend more than just $100 for this shopping trip and expected (hoped) it would be worth it and we wouldn't be down to pb&j sandwiches for the last week of the month.

Without a budget in place, I wouldn't know if making this trip to Toowoomba to shop at Aldi would be a value, but now that I've done it, I see that it is, even with the cost of gas included.  And gas prices were 10 cents per liter less in Toowoomba so I'll fill up there next time instead of Dalby.

As far as the budget goes, out of the $400, I still have $220 left for the month to cover breakfast, lunch and snacks, but really I think I can bring it down at least to $100; afterall most lunch are just leftovers from supper and breakfast is cheap as cheap can be (eggs from our own chickens and oatmeal).  That should give us a savings in food of $120/month!  That's $1440 for the year!

Next month will be a test as I write my own meal plan.  I'll definitely keep some of the meals in, but some of our favorites will be plugged in for others.

And we never would have gotten on the road this morning without our Morning Routines.  I got up and got mine done, then got DD up and got her started on her own morning routine.  We set the goal of leaving the house by 8:30 which turned into 9:00, but that was ok.  We had snacks/lunch and water bottles packed, along with a box of toys for her.  Before leaving town, we had a stop at the ATM for cash and another stop at the gas station to fuel up the car.  And just outside of town, we had one last stop to move her car seat from the sunny side of the car to the shady side.

Routines, Budgeting, Meal Planning, and Stockpiling... some of the cogs on the wheel of our life.

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