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Affording Fresh Fruits and Vegetables On A Budget

Affording fresh produce

I shared last week about my quest to eat healthier to lower my cholesterol. The USDA recommends five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, but affording fresh fruits and vegetables on a budget can be tough. They’re much more expensive than hot dogs and ramen. How is someone on a strict budget supposed to hit all the recommended daily allowances and still have money left over at the end of the month? Now, I know you can grow a garden, can vegetables and fruits for later, and make an assortment of jams and jellies. If you know how to do that, you probably don’t need to read this post. If you are like me and your thumb couldn’t even be considered a shade of pale mint, let alone green, and if you’re too lazy busy to be that ambitious, these tips are for you. Saving at the Grocery Store We all know to shop for produce that is on sale. I also like to sign up for a store’s email, value card, and coupon list. While it’s rare to find produce coupons from manufacturers, stores will send coupons in the mail or online for things you buy most. We ...

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Reformed Spenders Adjust to Life on a Budget

It has been about three months since Jake at I Heart Budgets shed blood, sweat, and tears to create a budget for my family. I’ve tried to make and follow a budget before, but always got sidetracked and gave up. We also spent money without much forethought, so budgeting doesn’t really work in that scenario. For almost two years, we were on a no spending moratorium to pay off our credit card debt, not really a budget, but it worked. Now that we don’t have the debt, we want to make sure our old spending habits don’t creep back into our lifestyle. While we aren’t perfect, we are much improved, and I’ll share some observations about our new life on a budget.

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Paycheck to Paycheck is No Way to Live

If you are one of the millions of people who lives paycheck to paycheck, you might find yourself in the situation of having more days than dollars in the month.  That can be a very scary feeling when you know that your bank account is empty, and there are still several days until you get paid. While panic might set in, if you take a minute to analyze the situation, it might not be as bad as you think. With some planning, I believe anyone can avoid the problem of running out of money at the end of the month. If you know that you are completely broke and have more than a day until payday, organize what you need to buy. I like lists, so I would write down what you think will need money until the next payday. If the list includes food, gas to get to work, or rent/mortgage or bill payments, those are necessities. If the list includes a birthday gift, a promised dinner out with a friend, or some sort of apparel, those can be postponed or avoided. It might not be the most popular thing to do, but if your friend is truly a ...

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Is There Ever a Reason to Blow Your Christmas Budget?

As you may know, I am working very hard toward paying off debt and staying within a budget for the first time ever. We’ve been doing really well. We haven’t gone overboard with Christmas presents and have used rewards points, bartering, or baking for most of what we’ve done so far. However, I went out to lunch with a co worker this week and what I saw caused me to blow my Christmas budget. First of all, since I don’t go out for lunch, I was terribly excited to get to go to my favorite lunch place, Once Upon a Sandwich. It was even better that I had to meet with my insurance biller to discuss end of the year details. It was a business lunch and didn’t cost me a thing. Our table was by a Christmas tree that had one lone ornament. The “ornament” was actually a piece of red construction paper cut out in the shape of a stocking. On it was written: Boy Age 14 Fallen /DC or Graphic T-shirts Size M/L Jeans 30/30 The tree was for selecting a child to adopt for Christmas. This particular one was for children in foster care, and this ...

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How Do You Prepare A Budget With Irregular Income?

Today I’m terribly excited to be doing  a blog swap with John from Frugal Rules. Don’t miss my post about being an advocate for your own health care over at his site, AND you still have time to enter the giveaway for $100. Call me a nerd, but I love to budget! Budgeting can be an easy exercise when you know what your income is going to be from month to month. But, alas, not all people know what their paycheck will look like each time. This can be a common situation given the number of people in sales careers who depend heavily on commissions to make up the majority of their take-home pay. You could also be like me and be self-employed and have fluctuations in your monthly income. Either of these situations can make living by a budget difficult, but not impossible. So, please don’t allow the situation of irregular income be an excuse for you not to live with a budget. I’ve been able to live with a budget and not know what my monthly income will be for several years and with a few tips you can too. Know What Your Expenses Are The most vital thing to ...

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