April is fast approaching and you know what that means? Time to adjust the budget for all those little unexpected increases and decreases that occurred in the first quarter of the year. We've had our share here in the Blue House, let me assure you. I know that come this season of the year we have fewer holidays (that means a pay decrease), we've seen the effects of the tax credits that weren't renewed (another decrease), electricity usage will go up (increase), gasoline has gone UP (increase) and groceries, too (another increase). Unfortunately all those increases are on the wrong side of the budget sheet! The money coming in must be stretched just a bit tighter. Fortunately I had some wiggle room.
However, we will have less of a cushion each month for the next three months. My husband wants me to be more vigilant in stocking up our spare freezer (there's nothing in it and hasn't been since I filled the bigger freezer) and pantry. Well the money must come from somewhere if I'm to stock up and so I've decided the most fitting way to do so is to do a pantry freezer challenge. This is where I take the regular grocery budget and buy foods for the pantry and freezer, keeping purchases for current eating to a minimum of produce/dairy items and pet food. I'll be doing this challenge for the month of April.
Would anyone care to join me? I'm sure ours is not the only household to experience increase/decrease over the past three months. You may set your own rules. Perhaps some of you would like a no spend or low spend challenge. As I said, for myself, I think I'll use most of my usual budget to stock that extra freezer and restock the pantry. After all we'll be feeding a few extra folks at the end of May when we open our home to our children while they search for a home on the Georgia coast.
As well, my pantry has gotten very low. I've no more olive oil, have only 10#s of flour and 15# of sugar and our meats have been considerably decreased over the past three months with the lack of sales. When I buy higher cost meats, I buy fewer of them and try to stretch them further. We'll eat more cold and less hot cereals in the coming months so I need to stock up on those. Condiments are running low, too. And by the way not all of my stocking up will be done with things I purchase: I'll be making some of them, too. Like granola, and apple jelly and strawberry preserves and putting up a few mix in a jar items for easy fixings in the summer months.
I'll start April 1...Anyone want to join in?