For the new year, I've decided to actually stick to my grocery budget every month instead of going over by 80 or more dollars. Yeah, I clip coupons and make a list, but it never fails that I buy stuff that I probably don't need.
For example, I buy cookies for school lunches. I have decided to bake the cookies, not just for the house, but for school as well. I bought a box of ziplock quart size freezer bags to use for this purpose. I usually bake cookies for the house, but had slowed down a bit until recently. The other night I baked 4 1/2 dozen oatmeal peanut butter cookies and put a dozen and a half in one of the bags and labeled it "for school lunches". I put the other 1 dozen and a half in the cookie jar and the rest in another bag labeled "home cookies". When home cookies start running out, I will replace them with freezer bag home cookies. Tomorrow I plan on making snickerdoodles and doing the same thing. A few days after that, I will bake some other kind and rinse and repeat.
This way, I will always have an assortment of cookies not just for home, but for school too! I'll let you know how it's going. I figure I am saving $14 a month since I shop once every two weeks and buy about $7 worth of cookies each time.
I'm also keeping my receipts from the store and based on stuff I usually buy, I will go over my list and write down what I feel the prices will be. This way I will get an idea of how much I'm spending before I go to the store. I clip coupons and use the ones based on what I need for the two weeks. I plan out my dinners two weeks at a time and actually write out meals that I will cook. This way I get exactly what I'm supposed to get at the store. I just have to stick to the extras. I'll write more about this later...
Who's with me on the sticking-to-the-budget-thingy for 2009?