Marc and I are in the process of buying a home. We just had an offer accepted on a short-sale house, so we have anywhere from 6 weeks to several months (and please God, not longer than several months!) before we make our down-payment, closing costs, and sign the papers for our new home (and then spend money on small upgrades/needs, like paint and such).
Currently, we are pretty much able to spend whatever on groceries, eat out when we want (a little too often), and put some money away in savings too. But in a few months, things are going to get tighter:
A new home also means higher monthly living costs for us (because where we live, housing is not cheap, and the housing market here is not cheaper than renting, plus all those extra utility costs).
We have a baby on the way (due mid-May!).
My mother is living with us (and has not been able to find a job yet, especially since the county we live in, and all the surrounding counties are on the top 10 list of places with the highest unemployment in the country).
I would like to continue to not work, and stay home with our child and future children and on top of all that, I still have the joy of paying student loans.
We already do not pay for cable, just $8 for Netflix. Our internet and phone bill are also non-negotiable. Marc and I don’t regularly go shopping or buy things we don’t need. I don’t buy paper towels or napkins, and I wash my hair 2x a week, so there are mainly two places where we can save:
This month we haven’t eaten out very often, but there have been times where we have a couple times a week, and that is just too much. I would rather keep eating-out to once every week or two, for date-nights and social occasions.
The big savings challenge really stands on grocery shopping. I don’t even want to tell you how much we spent on groceries these last two weeks for three people.
Part of the trouble is that we spend 4-5 times more on local, organic grass-fed milk and butter products and 2-3 times more for eggs from pastured chicken. We hardly ever buy grains, so most of our grocery bill comes from meat, produce, and dairy products, so couponing would rarely help, since coupons are generally for processed foods. So how do we balance saving moneyand supporting local and organic sellers and eating healthy?
Join me as I start the challenge this week. Wish me luck and if you have any advice to share, I would love to have it!