Friday, January 1, 2010

Another day, another dollar

I posted yesterday about my resolutions but I have another goal that I have not posted about. My food bill has gone up. I got lazy over the holidays and spent way more than I should have. Now granted I purchased a lot more food but I paid more than I otherwise would.

My new goal is to attempt to feed this family and the animals for $200 a month or less. I have been spending $300-400 a month. How do I plan on cutting that in half? I am making a few changes.

The first is in regards to the animals. We had a big automatic feeder for the dogs. They would graze all day long. My older dog was getting fat and the puppy was having a harder time with house training because he was unpredictable. Over the past 2 to 3 weeks I have changed their feedings. They now get fed once in the morning, and once in the evening. They have been getting 2 cups of food each, for each feeding. Now that we are settling into a new routine, they have been leaving food in their bowls between feedings so I plan on changing it to 1.5 cups per feeding. Dogs their size should be getting between 2.5-4 cups per day. 3 seems reasonable. I can adjust as needed. Already we went from going through a 20 lb bag of food per week to a 20 lb bag every two weeks. This allows me to feed them a higher quality food without problem. This also keeps the cats out of the dog food which is much better for their health (and their odor).

I also plan to be a lot more proactive when it comes to sales. Since I am in town 4 days a week for my daughters swim anyway I am going to start exploring more stores for better deals. We have a bakery outlet we have been to before and the deals on bread and bread products are unbeatable. I haven't made the time to go out there even though it isn't much farther. I just hate store hopping in one trip. Instead I will break up my grocery trips without really driving extra miles.

I am going for less waste this year too. We are fairly good about eating leftovers but lately a lot of produce has been going to waste along with lunch meat and certain harder to heat leftovers. I plan on being more creative with my leftover use, buy less lunch meat as my children prefer peanut butter in their lunches, and if I overbuy produce I want to be more proactive about getting it into the freezer. Less waste = less I have to buy.

I don't know that I will be able to pull it off in my first or even second and third trips but in the next few months we will be spending less on groceries without sacrificing our health or our taste buds.

Now for my project 365 picture of the day. This is the last sign of the holidays in my house. The tree was taken down a few days ago, all the Christmas stuff has been put away. This remains hanging outside and still looks lovely for a real wreath so I plan on leaving it for a while longer.

Happy New Year! I have high hopes and expectations for 2010 and I am determined that this is going to be a better year overall.

And adding one my husband took, in hopes that he will take up project 365 himself. This is me with two of my boys, one who hasn't yet figured out he is much much too big to be a lap dog.

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