1) DO NOT dip into credit cards or overdraft EVER
2) Shop from shopping lists (no impulse buying)
3) Do not buy things I already have at home
And the plan is that each month, I will add another rule or 2 or 3, and that they are cumulative, so that by December, I will have at least 12 rules that I have been following. And I'm going to be honest, I am doing so far OK with these three rules (#3 especially. I OWN #3).
|A grocery aisle after I have been through it, looking for something to buy I don't already own.|
Anyway, looking at my financial piechart from a few days ago, it becomes apparent that I am spending way too much on groceries, even now that I am looking at prices of things and buying store-brand for most stuff. The problem is that I don't meal plan, so I buy random stuff; that I am replacing shopping for clothes and makeup with groceries; and that I can't remember what I already have at home.
So, February will be the month to get groceries under control. I am considering guidelines such as: weekly budget for groceries (something like $75 a week?), make meal plans (I keep avoiding doing this, even though I have a pile of cookbooks less than 2 metres from where I am currently sitting), and NO IMPULSE SHOPPING. This includes CHOCOLATE BARS which I am unable to resist.
Funny story: I didn't eat chocolate bars for years and years, not on purpose, they just didn't interest me. And then last year, after reading lots of propaganda about how drinking juice is so bad for you and you might as well be eating a chocolate bar for breakfast, I suddenly thought, "Chocolate bars are better than juice!" and started eating them. It was weird. Similar to how my friend read Eat This Not That (where they are like - this sandwich is as bad for you as eating six Oreo ice cream bars) and started craving Oreo ice cream bars.
Anyway. A large problem of replacing clothes shopping with grocery shopping is that, if you buy a cute dress one day, you take it home and maybe never wear it. But you look at it, and it's cute, and you think about how maybe someday, you will wear it. But if I buy a green pepper, and take it home and think about how maybe I will saute it, it does not sit around looking cute until it is used, it gets rotten and makes my fridge smell bad and is a waste of money.
|Or is the answer to wear fruit dresses??|
So. Meal plans. No chocolate bars. Weekly budget. Something like that. I have five days to figure it out.
And in the meantime... I need to figure out about how to Travel Frugal! Because I have two trips in the next two weeks and I have ZERO DOLLARS to spend on either. Ideas would be helpful (aside from just a week of travel and starvation)