Rural Ramblings of a Modern Woman

Sharing how I merge rural life with modern society…on a budget!

Making the most of it

on April 21, 2013

Grocery day. Chances are you either love it or hate it. Or maybe you sit on the fence….loving it when you have an ample supply of funds, dreading it when you don’t. Since I lost my job at the beginning of the year, I have come to enjoy grocery day less and less. However, I’m finding ways to make it more bearable and, more importantly, to get the most out of my limited employment insurance income.

What has helped me stretch our income the most is taking the time to plan ahead. I never go to the grocery store without a list. Before I head out on grocery day, I sit on the sofa with a hot cup of coffee (usually while still in my pyjamas), my laptop, the family list of grocery needs from the fridge and the sales flyers. Shopping ListKeeping our list of grocery needs in mind, I browse through the sales flyers and look to see who has the best price on each item we need. On my laptop, I type up a list for each store. For example, last grocery day I had headings for stores like Sobeys, Superstore, Walmart and the farm market.

I also went through my small pile of coupons and chose the ones I could use, then made a note on my list by the items for which I had a coupon because I have a horrible memory and would forget to use them!

Another item that makes my budgeting life easier is a wallet with many organizing compartments. It might sound a little silly, but I have a section to put church collection, a place for dues money for Brownies and Guides, a place to put gas money, another section for grocery money and yet another to stash cash being set aside for something else. There’s a compartment to save receipts and another for coupons. By having cash, I can easily see how much money is left as I go from one store to the next. There is no accidental spending of the gas money or using up the change set aside for the kids’ extracurricular activities. This simple everyday item makes a big difference in my money managing strategy!

Remember to allow yourself enough time to make your stops, don’t go shopping hungry, and be creative with planning your meals. A package of meat that is on sale can often be used to make more than one meal and is so much healthier for you than a prepackaged, highly processed meal. Have fun and happy shopping!

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4 responses to “Making the most of it

  1. The wallet with all the compartments sounds like a great idea – I read a post from another blogger who was doing the same – I think I might too!

    • I have a really bad memory so being able to set aside the right amount of money is a surefire way to make sure I don’t spend it by accident. Having the cash with me every Tuesday for Guides, for example, means I have it when my daughter says “Mom, where’s my dues money?” lol

      • haha! yes is a really great idea. I think I will try it for my general spending $$ – only set a certain amount of money aside for takeaway coffees etc. Will see how I go 🙂

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