Oooppps I cant actually afford to eat!

“Every time you borrow money, you’re robbing your future self.”–Nathan W. Morris

So a terrible thing happened after posting my I&E report last week. I started using Excel! Why is this such a terrible thing I hear you cry? Well I’m terrible at it for one and the other is that Mr Fire is a bit of an Excel genius. Its part of his day job so basically anything I can do, he can do way way WAY better! (but you know anyone is better at Excel then me including my 5 year old!) Plus its kinda hard to ask for help with it since he’s sick of the site of it by the time he comes home from his 9 hour day job and 80 mile commute.

Anyhoo, I have become afraid obsessed with the need to cut my living expenses. Again referring back to my report, I think we have lost our way a bit with the food budget. So this post is going to be about steps to reduce the foodbill and then I will provide an update next month on if its worked! I will keep going until this food bill is reduced! Our budget for food is £260 a month which isnt bad for three of us really. Is it?

Food

  1. Make a meal planner
    I’ve literally had this on my list of things to do for months. Why my resistance to it? I hate to think I’m tied into what to eat. Maybe its a commitment thing, but I dont want to be told what to eat each night and when! But if FIRE is at stake then I guess i’m willing to give it a try (reluctantly I might add) The jury is out on whether a monthly or weekly planner is best but I’m going to start fortnightly and then go from there.

2. Make a shopping list based on your meal planner.
A no-brainer I suppose, only buy for the meals on your planner. I’m going to create a shopping list in Excel and tick/untick what I need each week. I’ve been telling Mr Fire I will be taking a “weekly stock take” of the food in our cupboards to which I got a raised eyebrow. Did I mention the word “obsessive” yet?
3. Buy household items once a month and fresh once a week.
I’ve never heard of this one before. Sounds like a good idea since you simply calculate what you need for the month on the items that are non perishable. I think this should help us alot since we live in the middle of nowhere now and running out of something simply means going without it until the net shopping trip.

4. Skip the meat
Yeah I’m not going to do this one……. I can see how it will save ALOT on the food bill but we love our chicken so maybe this can be edited to swapping to cheaper cuts and buying it as cheaply as possibly.

5. Batch Cooking and freeze
I used to do this way back when I lived a different life with my abusive ex. Did it save us money? Not a clue to be honest since only me and the little one ate it whilst Mr X reached for the microwave ready meal stash he had in the freezer…..

6. Swap to own brands
Another good one but we already shop in Aldi so not much wiggle room there. Well worth the swap though if anyone isn’t already doing it.

Food

How do you save money on your food bill?

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How to Save Money: Cutting down on household expenses

“Too many people spend money they earned..to buy things they don’t want..to impress people that they don’t like” –Will Rogers

Do you remember my Income and Expense report from the beginning of this month? I do and in fact I feel like it has burnt a hole in my brain. Its really made me question my outgoing expenses. Surely one of the keys to unlocking FIRE is to reduce outgoing expenses and then put the difference between your income and expenditure to work in investments and savings? (I’m ignoring the fact I currently don’t have an income on purpose today!)

I’ve decided to spend some time each month really focusing hard on how to reduce my living expenses, so that once I have an income then it will then be hard at work for me only paying for the basic’s. I don’t know what my bills will be yet now I’ve moved house so its best to have a back up plan incase my bills increase:

 

Plan

I’ve spent lots of time this month drawing up plans and trying to work out were to take my first steps into my FIRE journey. I’m looking forward to the actual doing next month!

How do you reduce your living expenses?