Monday, April 20, 2009

Do you prefer poor or broke?

We are poor. I know this. We have been poor since we got married. I was poor before that. Or maybe broke is a better term. We have enough to live on, just not a lot for extras. So either way, broke or poor, for the most part, it doesn't really bother me. I don't care if we don't have cable. I don't care if I can't buy new clothes every weekend. I hate shopping anyway. I like finding good deals, or finding awesome clothes at thrift stores. It's more fun that way. The only time being broke really bothers me is when it comes to food.
I love food. I love good food. We both love cheese, expensive cheese. While I was shopping on Friday, I made the mistake of wandering to the "gourmet cheese" section of walmart, which at our walmart is one small cold case. I pondered the different kinds of cheeses and wondered if I could buy one. I decided / realized that I don't work anymore, and have no money, so should not buy expensive cheese. And we have plenty of cheese at home. I did pretty good at walmart, with only one impulse buy. Then I went to Maceys. And spent $16 on impulse items. Now granted, these were all items on sale, that we will use. I bought some fish fillets (that doesn't look right...) on sale, and some turkey tenderloins that were "reduced", and some dated salad that we ate and was really good. For the most part, I can make a budget and stick to it, but when it comes to food, I have a really hard time. I used to make up for it by adding to the food budget from my own money. Alann budgets $150 for food, and I was adding $50 or so a month. And easily spending it. But now, I have no money to add in. So cutting back has been really difficult for me. Luckily, we are currently on WIC, which buys the milk and a few other things. (How they expect me to drink 2 gallons of milk by myself every week I don't understand.) And I am consciously trying to create meals out of what we already have. Our cupboards are NOT bare. This week, I think I bought fewer than 10 items that were for planned meals. The other stuff was staples- foods or condiments or products that we were out of, or that were on sale and we can store. Since I only buy meats especially when they are a really good price, we can make most of the meals out of what we have. But then I go to the store, and see turkey tenderloins half off and buy them. Or fish fillets. We are learning to like more fish, since it is good for us, so I buy some when it is on sale. If I hadn't spent that $16 ($17 if you add in Walmart's impulse), I would have been at or under budget. So that is my plan for next time. Be on budget. I did it the time before. I can do it again. I wish Alann could come to the store with me more often. He is good at keeping me in line.


Teene said...

I too love food and therefore understand the difficulties of shopping and not buying "extras". If you want to send me a list of the brands/types of things you buy whether it be food or non food I could send you coupons (we get Sunday paper). Or I could just start sending you the leftover coupon inserts every week. I do use a lot of them. Hey, do you belong to any of the internet coupon sites?

Shannon said...

At least your impulse buys weren't junk food. :) I think you are amazing at budgeting and sticking to it. I quite look up to you about it actually. I have to do wake up calls every once in awhile to remind myself that I can't keep spending money on things we don't need. My goal is to not spend any money on outings for the next two weeks. Sadly, for me, it will be tough. Although when the weather is nice it's much easier. You up for a park day with Claire sometime this week? Let me know.
PS-Thanks again for watching crabby Dav for me today. You're a lifesaver!