Photo: Great grandparents at their farm in Blandinsville, IL, with five of their six children .. my grandpa was yet a twinkle in grandma's eye. Stable boy and governess also pictured. Hodges farm, circa 1903-4

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Changing Shopping Habits

Gone are the days of loading up two carts at sprawlmart or Costco.  Why?  Because we don't buy processed foods in boxes.  Instead, our grocery shopping revolves around a weekly trip to town to buy organic produce .. and a monthly trip to Costco for items such as paper goods, coffee and cheese. 
Garden tomatoes are canned

We also purchase from Azure Standard once a month.  This shipment usually contains organic potatoes, boxed apples, dried beans, popcorn, dried fruit, canning supplies, etc.  Meat, eggs, milk are from local sources that are picked up seasonally (meat) and weekly (milk). 

Once your garden beds are in, the rewards of fresh produce are endless.

At the beginning of the month I work out a budget for cash and non cash items.  Groceries are cash .. the utilities, insurance, etc. are non cash.  I start out with all of my grocery money for the month after the budget is finished.  Cash is put in an envelope and has to last until the next budget.  This method takes a few months to become second nature .. but it does cut down on spur of the moment buys when you know you have a limited amount to spend each month.

Now that the Mr. has retired and we've been living on a budget for the past four years, it's much easier to live on retirement income.  Planning and restraint in spending are necessary to live within one's means.  Maybe the gov. could take some tips from retired seniors, ya think?

If you want to get out of debt and live on a budget, check out Dave Ramsey's website.


Kathryn said...

I've never read David Ramsey, but i love the Simple Dollar. Reading that blog (and the book) have helped me make several changes in our lives that are helpful.

I don't think i'm as adept at it as you, however. I'm going to try and grow at least some of our food this year. I need to learn how to can, too. Probably will take a class, as i'm kind of scared of the whole thing.

Rebecca said...

You are SO right! The gov't COULD learn a lot from you :)

Lynda said...

I do the same thing with my monthly grocery budget! What ever is left over is split between my emergency fund and my home savings. I have never spent all of my grocery money. In fact I've made it a game to see just how much I can save: having a garden, raising chickens, a hog, buying a beef from the neighbor, buying fresh raw milk from a neighbor...canning, being a Farmers Market Manager. My savings and emergency fund look pretty good! ;)

Mrs. Mac said...

Kathryn, yes, take a class or have a veteran canner teach you. I'll check out the simple dollar blog.

Rebecca, Yes .. I'm sure you could give Uncle Sam ideas on repurposing items :)

Lynda, What a great idea sticking leftover grocery $ into savings and emergency funds.

Oh, and our meat budget is greatly helped by our future SIL when he hunts elk and brings us some of his bounty :)

Stephen said...

I too like Dave's method of saving and living on a budget...great advice. We do purchase meat at Costco. Need to try your advice.

Anonymous said...

Great post, really good advice.