I figure I'm still ahead. Yes I do. I mean, a year ago when I started the 'Eat From The Pantry Challenge', and cut my grocery budget in half, I didn't know anything. At all. Really.
I've picked up some good habits in the last year though. They need alot of tweaking (ahem... self discipline..), but I'm learning.
This last year I've learned a bit about....
- Avoiding emotional shopping (I buy movies and chocolate when I'm sad. ... I've purchased fewer movies.) ... leave my chocolate alone! I'm only human you know!
- Using what I have on hand - you know ... before it goes bad and gets freezer burn and then has to be thrown out because I can no longer identify what that nasty thing once was? Yeah.
- Meal planning - YAY! That's one I've continued to do! It saves money (if I stick to it), time and stress. Hooray!! Big check mark for me. Hmm. I think that deserves a chocolate.
- Buying on Sale - Yay for a good habit! I regularly check prices on stuff I'd always have on hand - shaving gel, deodorant, shampoo, ketchup, ... whatever. As much as I can, I wait until they're on sale, then buy as many as I can. I've noticed a few things that are one sale seasonally - Jam in fall, Feminine hygiene in January, I think flour was on sale this spring and summer too. I missed that one... doh! Also, 50% off stuff can sometimes be scheduled...
- Cash Envelopes - The whole reason I do envelopes is to attempt some form of spending discipline. But wouldn't you know it, it takes a degree of discipline to even put the money IN the envelopes, and then take them with me when I go out? Yeah ... still need to work with that. But when I use it, it works well.
There. I feel so much better about myself. I'm doing some stuff right. Oh good. Now I can move forward into a new year of starting over. (Yes, I just said 'New Year') I can already see the new beginnings of January will look much like they did last time around. BUT - I'm really ahead of the game.