It has been a while since I blogged, it has been a busy couple of months. If you remember, I had set some goals for the hubbie and I for 2013 (you can read that here: https://eriscalming.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/getting-ready/ ). This post will just cover what we have done with those goals.
Food We Eat
Goal: eat organic, healthy, real food…ON A BUDGET.
Good News: We have continued with the CSA for the fruits and veggies and that has been the best thing ever. It fixes the budget for the most part and there is a lot of variety delivery to delivery. We have had to supplement things like sweet peppers, thyme, onion and garlic because I cook with a lot of that but I went to a local farmers market for those. We are getting our meat mostly from either Whole Foods or the meat CSA *but* I still go to our local butcher and fish monger for all our seafood and fish, as well as for regional meats I need for my island cuisine. I think of the local meat (goat, oxtail etc) as our 20% of non-compliance that I am okay with.
I have been meal planning before going to the market so that has been great because I do not have to wonder what to cook every day. Once you get organized it is actually pretty easy to do. I have been making water kefir, fermented veggies and kombucha tea and have stopped with the pill form of probiotics. All in all, we are eating tasty and healthy food. I also started up the garden!
Bad News: The budget. I wanted to do $400/month…it has not happened yet. It is very hard so for 2Q I am increasing the budget to $600 and must comply. I have also started using an envelope (online) system to track our spending. I will do an entire post on that another time but that will be another time.
We still eat out because there are days I am not feeling like cooking and generally when we eat out…it is NOT organic and/or healthy. Chinese food…Pollo Tropical…Krispy Kreme… I could go on but you get the picture.
Plan for 2Q: $600/month food budget. Enact a “take-out at home” night twice a month. Keep doing everything else.
How We Live
Goal: No commercial, toxic cleaners or personal items.
Good News: We have switched over to homemade laundry detergent, homemade carpet fresh, SLS/flouride free toothpaste and mouthwash. For the most part, 1Q was more about using what we have and slowly switching over to the greener side as the items we had are finished. I could not do that with the toothpaste…I decided after reading the ingredients of the same toothpaste I have been using to brush my teeth for the last 9 years that enough was enough. I switched us over to a Tom’s brand and then another natural brand toothpaste and mouthwash. I have gotten all I need to make our own homemade toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, lotion and bathing soap (actually already made the soap just waiting to use it) for the next quarter.
Bad News: It is a lot of work but we are doing well.
Plan for 2Q: make our own homemade toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, lotion and bathing soap
How We Spend
Goal: meet our debt and spending goals
Good News: With the focus on using what we have and then switching over to homemade, we really don’t spend money on too much stuff outside of food. It is very interesting to realize how much of our budget went to cleaners, air freshners and all of the other things you buy in Wal-Mart…if you are not buying them, then there is no need to be in that store right? Savings right there. With the eating real food…that cuts out most of the fast food and weekends we could blow $100-$200 on food ALONE… We have paid down some debt and more importantly, saved up a bit.
Bad News: You know this theory of an emergency fund? Why does it seem that there is an emergency every month? We really need to call it “you are going to spend this…the question is WHEN” Fund. So things like an idiot hitting hubbie and totalling our second car, the garbage disposal taking its last breath and having to replace our cell phones, yeah…it have been some hits there. Thing is it is not really bad news because we were able to recover from those things fairly well because we have been saving.
Plan for 2Q: Debt Slaying 🙂