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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Our Fiscal Fast-- a Quick Evaluation

"Are you kidding me? You didn't spend money for a whole week?" This is a comment from a friend of mine when I told her about our Fiscal Fast.

It felt bizarre to be spending money again on Friday. Almost like when you travel to a foreign country and you come home and OUR money looks funny. It looked funny to me. Swiping my check card was weird, in fact, I had trouble finding it in my wallet.

So, what did we learn?

  • First and foremost, we realized that we've been overbuying groceries. Not we, it's me. I take full credit for that. I'm a produce-a-holic. I go overboard in the produce department. And we had stuff in the back of our pantry that I had forgotten I purchased. I think we're going to have to get pull out shelves installed. It's too hard to see everything that we have and I have been purchasing things that I already had on hand. So, know what you have, buy what you need, and know how much you need. Lesson learned.
  • We learned that we can entertain ourselves very well without spending money. Our library is a great resource. We found ourselves reading more. Young One pulled out toys and games that he hasn't used in forever.
  • We learned that we impulse buy more than we thought we did.
  • We learned that we eat out too much on the weekends.
  • We learned to look closer at every purchase that we make. I honestly thought we were doing that, but I think we could look even closer.
  • I had my first Starbucks coffee in probably a year or so. It's pretty overrated at best and so expensive. I felt guilty knowing that I just paid $5 for a cup of coffee and, meanwhile, there are hungry people not to far from the coffee shop. I tried to think of it as a treat. It was good, but I think I make a mean cup of Joe myself and for a fraction of the cost.

I hit Aldi, Cub Foods, and Target on Friday and saved a ton of money with coupons. Did the same at Walgreens. BUT, I did something different this week. Unless it was something we really needed, I didn't buy it. A coupon is only good if it's cheaper than another brand and if you need it. If I can get free items or items that we use frequently like shampoo, toothpaste, soap, etc for super bargain prices, then I'll purchase them. Just to purchase because it's a deal, isn't really a good use of our money right now.

We were able to purchase several gifts for charity this year because of our Fiscal Fast. A young man from Young One's school is going to have a great Christmas because we sacrificed a little for a week. That feels great!

I'm sure we learned a lot more, but for now, this is what I can think of.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so proud of you guys!!

    When we moved to Georgia, I realized how much stuff we had in our pantry. I too would over buy at the store.

    I started watching all the stuff I was buying and started really taking inventory.
    I mean come on, does one family really need 3 bottle of corn starch?


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