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Old 12-09-09, 08:56 PM
brandimichelle's Avatar
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Default Deanna!

Okay... we are totally starting to try to get a budget together.... it is so difficult for us because we are such go-ers and we love to do stuff... so I don't want to not be able to continue to do that stuff (go to Dollywood, or Biltmore Estate, or Bounce U, etc) but I need some ideas for cheap dinners... we are going to budget ourselves $100/ week for meals right now which is going to be extremely hard... EXTREMELY. We usually spend $250 every 1.5-2 weeks so I need some help and you are the only person I know of to help! We are using our standard incomes of what we know we are guaranteed each paycheck and then anything extra we are going to use to pay off stuff. We think $400/ month for groceries and an additional $150 for Avery needs (wipes, diapers, occassional toy, clothes) is what we are going to try for.... I need your input...
in advance!
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Old 12-09-09, 10:20 PM
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i think tracking your spending the next month is the best way to budget. If you have access to online banking you already have that done as you can see first hand where everything went.

I know the first time we budgeted we just made out of thin air estimates and we were WAY off.

The next time around we sat down and looked at what we spent and if there was any way to cut back. At the time DD and DS were in diapers so the only way to cut back was to potty train one of them. LOL!

We have fallen off the wagon here and there but it works when you do it.

You can still have fun doing the things you like to do and save money/pay things off.

Deanna is definitely the one to ask for help, I just wanted to offer up my first time mistake.
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Thank you Patience!
brandimichelle (12-09-09)
Old 12-09-09, 10:22 PM
brandimichelle's Avatar
is lovin' my sweet girl!
Avery Claire's Mama!
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We totally know that all of our "wasted" money goes towards food. We love to eat... and we eat out a lot... because we enjoy it so much... and we enjoy ethnic foods so much that you can't cook at home... but we are not going to do that anymore...
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Old 12-09-09, 11:52 PM
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WOW--what a big step! Congratulations!!

I can give you some of my recipes but I don't know what kinds of foods you like.

What I would suggest is consider using store brand products. This will save you SO much money. In many cases, the store brands ARE the name brand products in a different package.

Also, you might want to think of following a few "super saver" blogs. There are several ladies out there who match up store sales with coupons and blog about the best deals. Many foods end up being FREE which is always in the budget!!
I'd be happy to share these with you if you're interested.

One great blog to follow is
. The author, Erin, posts great recipes and you can feed your family for $5 or less!
I highly recommend it!

We spend about $85/week on groceries for our family of 5 (including cleaning/hygeine supplies). We don't buy food that we don't need and we're not afraid to eat leftovers. Sometimes I make a meal that I know will feed our family for two nights (sloppy joes, stroganoff, pasta/chicken dish, etc.). This helps with the budget AND with the time spent in the kitchen.


I know how hard it is to stop dining out so much. When we first started trying to dig our way out of debt, we tracked our spending and we were spending more than $450/month dining out.
So we knew right where we had to trim our budget!! I also like to make frozen meals so they're READY to be cooked and I'm not tempted to order pizza.
I'm just starting to venture into the world of Once A Month Cooking to try to save even more time and money. I'll let you know if I actually get brave enough to do it!

getting started. Remember that your first few months of budgeting WILL NOT be perfect and you will need to adjust categories frequently as you learn how to live on less. We have budgeting down to a science now but it did take several months to figure out how little or how much we needed in each category.

Keep asking questions and email me any time you need help. I'm ready to help in any way I can!
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Thank you Dopey406!
brandimichelle (12-10-09)
Old 12-10-09, 08:27 AM
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We've been trying to do a budget as well and I've noticed that we've had to adjust it a few times. I thought I was doing something wrong.
Thanks for the heads up, Deanna- and for the link to 5 dollar dinners.

We've also been using the envelope system (Mvelopes???) which is a big help.
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