For years, I would only shop at one store a week. I blamed it on having limited time, and little ones to cart around. I didn’t realize how much it was costing me to pour all of my money into one store. After noticing other stores weekly ads and doing a little research online, I thought I could actually save quite a bit by shopping at a discount market for some of our staples. I also got a membership to a big box store to buy some items in bulk. Now my grocery shopping routine looks like this:
- Once a week for produce and milk: big chain grocery store (i.e. Kroger, Whole Foods)
- Twice a month for big shopping trip after I’ve done our meal plan: discount store (i.e. Aldi, Save-A-Lot, Coopers)
- Once a month for non-perishables I can buy in bulk: big box store (i.e. Costco, Sam’s Club)
What about you…do you shop at more than one store?
Let’s face it, we all have to eat. It’s a fact of life. If we want to live, we must feed ourselves.
Luckily for us, we have a great deal of options when it comes to food. We can decide where to get our food, how much we want to spend on food, what types of food we want to eat, etc. When it comes to budgeting, food is something that must be considered and included into any good monthly budget. With a little thought and planning, we could drastically decrease the amount we spend each month on food. For the next few weeks, we will be talking about different things we can do to make savings happen.
First things first, you must make a budget. If you do not have a budget, read the small series on budgeting, then meet me back here. To come up with the number to budget for groceries/eating out, look back at the past few months and start there. Chances are, over the next few months you will be able to shave that number down, but start where you are now.
Once you have a fixed amount to spend on groceries for the month, I recommend getting the money out of the bank at the beginning of the month. If you see how much money you have to spend, you are less likely to overspend. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. You will be force to plan and allocate accordingly to stretch your money for the month.
After a few months of using cash, it becomes fun! It’s a game to see if you can make it to the end of the month (the first month you might eat Ramen Noodles for the last week!), or even have money left over!
Next week, we will talk about something that I love to do and have been doing for about six years now…meal planning! Your homework for this week is to come up with a realistic, workable grocery budget. Have a great week!
–from the archives
It will go down in history as one of the events that is so traumatic that you remember exactly what you were doing when you heard the news.
I was sitting on my couch at home. I had just finished homeschooling my kids and putting a load of laundry into the dryer. I sat down for a moment of quiet…and a quick check in with the outside world via Facebook. First, I read about the officer that was killed on duty in Memphis. She had four babies. Girls, like mine. As if that wasn’t heartbreaking enough, I kept scrolling only to find the name of a small Connecticut town over and over again in my feed. I brushed it off the first few times I saw it, but then saw the words “shooting” and “elementary school” and “kindergarteners” and that was enough for me to click the news link.
Tears. No words. Babies. Just babies.
In the midst of these heartbreaking days, let us wrap this community with prayers. Our President offered comforting words at the vigil held on Sunday. From everyone at The Bank, we offer our deepest condolences to the families affected by these tragedies. If you would like to help financially with the family of Officer Martoyia Lang, please click here.
We won the bank division at last weekend’s Dragon Boat Race! Congrats to everyone who participated on our team, and thanks to all those that came to support us!
It’s that time of year again! On September 8, 2012, the 13th annual Fayette County Cotton Festival is coming to the Somerville, TN town square. This a wonderful local event that’s great for the whole family. There will be a children’s art contest that will be open to children in grades K-6 enrolled in Fayette county schools (public or private, or homeschooled students living in Fayette county). On August 18, there will be the Ms. Fayette County Cotton Festival Beauty Pageant held at First Baptist Church in Oakland. There will also be the annual Cotton Pickin 5K (my very first 5K I ever completed!), benefitting Fayette Cares, held at 8:30am on September 8 at First United Methodist Church. Follow any of the links to get more information for any of these events or to register online. Registration is also open for vendors, sponsors and volunteers. Everyone come out and have fun at the Cotton Festival!
Every year, Tennessee offers a tax holiday beginning the first Friday of August and ending Sunday night. This year, tax free weekend will begin on Friday, August 3 at12:01am and end on Sunday, August 5 at 11:59pm. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- All clothing with a price of $100 or less per item is tax free. This includes jackets, school uniforms, jeans, and all other clothing. It does not include accessories such as jewelry and bags.
- All school supplies with a price of $100 or less per item is tax free. This includes art supplies, backpacks, lunch boxes, and any other supplies. It does not include instructional materials, such as textbooks.
- All computers with a price tag of less $1500 are tax free. This includes laptops, desktops and tablets and their included equipment. It does not include additional software, storage devices, e-readers, printers, etc.
Make sure to take advantage of this weekend! I’m sure stores will be packed, so plan to go early. For more information on what is exempt and what is not, click here.
I hope that you are all staying cool in this heat! Triple digit temps must mean that the 4th is right around the corner! The 4th is a great holiday to reflect on the huge blessing it is to live in a country like ours. May we never forget that! It’s also a great time to take some time off with you family and get out of town. We are usually on vacation the week of the 4th, but I wanted to get a list together of some local events that you can take advantage of. If your town is offering a fireworks display or any other public event, please let me know so I can add them to our list. Here ya go!
– Oakland- fireworks tomorrow night at West Junior High
– Memphis area- click here for a post from the I Love Memphis blog that includes all the Memphis area 4th activities (including Collierville)
Please be mindful of your town’s laws on noise and fireworks while enjoying the holiday. Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!
We are privileged to live in an area abundant in locally grown foods. The easiest way to support these local farmers is to shop at any of our many area farmers’ markets. Farmers’ markets are not exclusive to food, they also provide handmade crafts and family activities, depending on your location. Visiting a local market is a great way to support your community and spend time with your family (and get a little grocery shopping done while you’re at it!). Here is a list of some of our local farmers’ markets:
- Fayette County Farmers’ Market- This market is open Tuesday and Friday mornings in the parking lot across the street from the Methodist church in Somerville. They offer organic foods, crafts and locally grown produce.
- The Agricenter’s Farmers’ Market- This market is the only one in the area open six days a week, May-October. It’s probably also the largest.
- Arlington Open Air Market- This market is open on Fridays and Saturdays all day at 12015 Walker Street in Arlington.
- Bolivar’s Farmers’ Market- This market is located at the corner or Lafayette and Washington and is open from 7am until sell-out on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
- Selmer Farmers’ Market- This market is available everyday for any farmers that would like to come. Located at 100 Front Street near the park.
Let’s try to get out this weekend and support our local farmers!
Going to the library is one of our favorite things to do. Libraries are free and they cater to any age. We are privileged to have many local libraries that offer numerous services for free. Most libraries have summer reading programs, book clubs and story-times for children, as well as activities for adults. My kids love to hear a very animated librarian read them a story. Their love of books is contagious! Libraries aren’t just for books, they also have magazines, movies, audiobooks and many other types of media available for check out. Most libraries also have several e-books available to “check out” on your e-reader (Kindle, Nook, iPad, etc.). Here is a list of some of the libraries close by:
- Fayette County Library, 216 W. Market Street, Somerville
- Jack McConnico Memorial Library, 225 Oakgrove Road, Selmer
- Bolivar-Hardeman County Library, 213 N. Washington Street, Bolivar
- Lucius and Elsie Burch Library, 501 Poplar View Parkway, Collierville
- Benjamin L Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Avenue, Memphis
*If you have never been to the Benjamin Hooks Central Library, you are missing a treat! Their children’s section is a child’s dream!