September is coming to a close. And so is my month of inexpensive meals. I’ve come to a few conclusions through the process. Here they are:

  • I’m a really inconsistent blogger. You probably noticed. Well, those of you that are still actually reading. I don’t really blame anyone for not keeping up, as I didn’t really keep up. Alas, life moves forward, often without time for blogging. It’s probably for the better anyway, as you probably would have gotten really bored reading everyday, “here’s what we had for breakfast… here’s what we had for lunch… here’s what we had for dinner…” Especially since a lot of it was repetitive. Especially breakfast. (Speaking of repetitive menus, check out this new blog I found. It’s frugality to the extreme, but I like a lot of her ideas. )
  • I need to get better at planning. There was a time I did a two-week rotation of meals, like the blogger I just mentioned, but it has not been happening lately. And the plan I have does not take any sort of frugality into account. I need to rework it in a way that works for our family.
  • Planning is sort of out the window when concurrently searching for a house to buy. Even on the days I did plan, I had to be really flexible if our realtor called wanting to show us a house, or (further into the process) the mortgage company needed some more documents ASAP. There was more than one occasion when I had a plan for dinner, but I ended up with no time to execute it because of various circumstances. This, more often than not, ended up with a restaurant meal or a trip through the drive-through. I think I really need to work on more crock-pot meals, because then, food would be ready when we were ready to eat, regardless of what else had been going on.

So after all that inconsistency and lack of planning, where am I as I approach the end of my 30 day challenge? I started the month with a plan to spend $400 or less on food this month. I really didn’t think there would be any room in that for eating out. Nevertheless we spent somewhere around $100 at restaurants throughout the month. I haven’t entered all our expenses in Quicken yet. I’ll have a more accurate number when that’s done, but that’s a good “quick glance” estimate.

And now for the grocery budget…. I started the month by drawing $200 cash for starters, expecting to draw another $200 mid-month. I never did get that second withdrawal made, and I still have $26.00 of the first $200. Can you say, “flabbergasted”???? I never thought that would be possible. Which leads me to my final conclusion:

  • The cash system really does help you spend less money.

Not in my wildest dreams would I have ever believed that I could spend so little on groceries for our family. I still have a pretty good stock in my freezer and pantry too. So I’m gonna keep going for another month and see how long I can keep this up.