Trim Healthy Mama teeny tiny budget WEEK 1

teeny budget 1

We are in a season of frugality not by choice, but by design.

I KNOW God has something great for us and he has always provided. He provides more than enough and we never go without.

But we still have not learned stewardship.

I write the budget down to the penny.

Then we overspend

I get a savings plan in order, have a goal set to pay off the darn credit card.

Then something comes up

I allocate a certain amount towards the grocery bill

Then we eat out too many times.

 

And now we are behind on some important bills. Can I be real here? We are behind on our electric bill AND our rent!

That is NOT being a good steward of the finances God gave. Yes, we pay our tithes on time. Yes we have gas in the car. But we also spend money that shows up in Mint (the budgeting software) as “uncategorized” each month. And I end up lumping it under “shopping” because I can’t remember where it came from.

 

We have a desire to buy a house qualify for just about every first time homebuyer below-median income program that is out there. We are praying for an increase at my husband’s job. *he took the job with the agreement that he could negotiate his pay after 60 days contract, but 6 months later he is still contract at the base pay*. Spending 2 years in school financially set us back, but we took a step out of the box in the name of education so my husband could find a better job doing the thing he loves to do. (He is a graphic and web designer )

But I realized that if we can’t spend what we make now correctly- then an increase will only be that: an increase in spending.

Dave Ramsey suggests looking over the budget together. And being a godly woman means letting my husband lead. I have been asking him for months now to look over the budget with me (because I am not doing such a bang up job!). Be careful what you pray for or ask, after looking it over he told me to work with $70 a week for groceries. This is the amount that we will get on SNAP benefits (Food Stamps).

Once he gets his raise, we will no longer qualify for these benefits, but we have consistently gone over the budget with our own cash and spent double what we should be spending. Not a little bit either. And not all on food I buy. We spend TWICE our allocated budget on eating out last month. TWICE! So I will be obedient, creative and frugal.

At first, I blamed it on eating the THM way. But then I came across Lisa here and realized that I CAN eat Trim and Healthy while being frugal.

So this is week 1 of my Über frugal food budget.

I will be spending $70 plus $10 in vouchers at the farmer’s market on food stuff for my family of 5; that is 2 adults, a 3 and 6 year old and still nursing 19 month old.

Menu and update to come soon.

 

Do you have a frugal food budget? What tips do you have for eating real on “less than average”?

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Trim Healthy Mama teeny tiny budget WEEK 1

  1. My food budget (family of 4) is $33 a week. I try to save at least 20 per month from that allotment, to use towards Christmas gifts for our family and extended family. We do get WIC, which I wish we didn’t have to do, but it definitely helps us out.
    I make virtually everything from scratch. We go easy on meat, buy the cheapest of veggies and fruit, and always shop sales. …examples: leg quarters, in season fruit and veggies, flour and sugar around the Holidays (although we have now switched to whole wheat that we grind ourselves), etc. etc.
    Oh yes, that 33 a week includes diapers, TP, toiletries/personal hygiene items, and cleaning supplies.

    • Wow! Those are some fantastic numbers and Kudos to you. We were on WIC too, but I got tired of the finger pokes so we do without now. I sometimes think that being in Austin, things are just more expensive here anyway! I would like to find a good grain mill because flour is so much better when you grind it fresh, and cheaper too!

  2. I’m sure Austin is more expensive. We live in small town Kansas, (where we are blessed with good prices at the local grocery) but are getting ready to move to the city. DH is going back to school, so it’s going to be tight for a while, but hopefully after he gets out of school, we’ll have some more wiggle room.
    I just found your blog when searching for THM stuff and am enjoying it! Thank you!!

  3. I have just written about doing THM on a budget today. I have posted my 7 cheapest breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes from the book on my blog –

    Breakfast – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7151858-trim-healthy-mama-thm-on-a-budget-breakfast

    Lunch – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7151994-trim-healthy-mama-thm-on-a-budget-lunches

    Dinner – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7152137-trim-healthy-mama-thm-on-a-budget-dinners

    Veggie sides – http://www.bubblews.com/news/7152282-trim-healthy-mama-thm-on-a-budget-veggie-sides

    +THMbudget +THM +Budget +Veggiesides

    Hope this helps you x

  4. […] “Trim Healthy Mama on a Teeny Tiny Budget” […]

  5. I am anxious to see what people post. I am recently divorced and have a meager income–with which I have to pay my current bills and bills from the marriage. I do not qualify for any assistance—other than food pantries. Many times after bills are paid—–i have no money left for groceries. I appreciate food from the pantries—but it is using filling things like pastas and breads. Any suggestions—greatly appreciated.

    • The food pantries do seem to offer lots of grain-based help, unfortunately.
      The first thing I would suggest is to pray! God can always help us get creative with our grocery budget. I also make sure my kids are priority so if that means they get a filling meal and I pick over to make it close to THM, it works!
      Eggs are nutritious and can stretch foods, as well as beans and a head of iceberg lettuce.
      If you have a local CSA, see if they offer a work program in exchange for fresh veggies- the one we have here you can work 4 hours a week in exchange for your weekly groceries instead of the $20 membership fee.
      Our grocery budget for a family of 5 is $500 right now and it works! I also buy organic eggs from Costco, lots of organic fruits and veggies (I stick to the dirty dozen and buy what is on sale from that list, usually apples) Carrots are a staple snack around our house, we don’t snack between meals often.
      I also encourage you to make your own broth from bones- it is VERY nourishing and a big soup can be filling and cheap. Use the broth in rice for the kids, use it in stews. My broth is used in a (S) setting because I can never get all the fat out. You can do it!

  6. Can I just say thank you? I am so thankful for your openness, and your story sounds so familiar I could swear you put surveillance cameras in my house and just copied my life down! Our life cycle: make a budget, stick to it strictly and record every penny spent, take a day off to splurge and forget the budget, and the next day…what budget? “This week we will do better, I made a menu plan.” Along comes Tuesday and I don’t feel like cooking, “Let’s eat out.” And then again Friday, and Sunday after church, and all those coffees while I’m running errands in town. It adds up, and, alongside it, so does my guilt. We are trying harder and more consistently than we ever have in our marriage, but it still takes time to break bad habits and learn new and better ones. It helps to know there are others out there who are struggling with the exact same things. So thank you!

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