This week we had an unexpected expense due to a tire blowout. Thank goodness Hubby is alright, as he was going 65 mph at the time. Note to all - please get your tires checked regularly. It is dangerous to not get the air pressure and treads checked. In fact I had just posted on my personal face-book page the day before this happened. A visual inspection by yourself is not good enough. Run into a discount tire or other tire place and they will fill your tires and do a quick inspect for you, for FREE!
Since we are just now able to start our baby step 1 (a recommended step by Dave Ramsey to save $1000 for an emergency fund), we didn't have the extra money to buy a tire. This money had to come from somewhere, so I had to reduce my weekly grocery budget to $40 for the week. This would have been devastating if I didn't keep a well stocked pantry.
(Side note, we are actually going to save $2000 in our baby step one. We feel that it would be better to have a little more buffer in case a true emergency happened. Plus, this would more than cover our medical deductible if we were to need it. Dave Ramsey has been using the $1000 amount for awhile now and I think it needs to be raised.)
First thing I did was check out what we had, that I could make meals out of. With a budget of $40 I decided to go to Aldi's and anything I couldn't get there, I would run to Walmart. At Walmart I used the balance of what was on my Savings Catcher gift card from the week before. You can see that I did not sacrifice on my choice of organic milk. I can really taste the difference and I think it lasts longer. I also buy two half gallons, so that it doesn't spoil so quickly. Please note that I had left over grapes, apples, bananas and oranges, so I did not need to buy fruit this week. Lunches are left overs for Hubby, myself and the youngest. The oldest daughter eats a school lunch. We also have eggs, pancakes, cereal or the like for breakfast.
Here is the menu I came up with and what I needed to buy to round it out.
2. BBQ baked skinless chicken thighs, baked beans and veggies3. Spaghetti and meatballs with veggies4. Meatloaf, baked potato, (noodles for girls), veggies5. Grilled smoked brats, pan-fried potatoes, okra and carrots
6. Breakfast for dinner (Eggs, bacon, pancakes)
7. This will be on Friday when we get paid again, so we will be having a treat of take-out or I will make a home-made pizza.
Aldi's Total with tax - $38.36
Ground beef 3 lb - 1 lb 93/7 fat for $5.09 (for tacos) and 2 lb 80% fat for meatloaf for $8.83
1 large can crushed tomatoes - $.99
3 lb Bag of onions - $.59
Egg noodles - $1.25
Onion soup mix - $.79
5 lb Bag baking potatoes - $1.79
Eggs one dozen - $.99
Smoked brats - $2.49
Milk - two half gallons organic 2% - 2.99 ea = $5.98
Cheese (block) - $1.89
Lettuce = $.99
Garbage bags (40) - $4.99 (hated that I had to buy these, but we were almost out)
Ketchup - $1.29
Walmart - $6.20 - 6.16 (gift card) = .04 out of pocket
1 Red bell pepper 1.78
Large bag of frozen peas 1.86
Okra frozen 1.58
Total spent was $38.40. I came in under budget! I also reduced our gas budget for the week. I usually like to fill up the van so that I can take the girls to our favorite park or just run around town. This week I only put enough gas in the van to get my oldest to and from school. If we want to go to the park we will go to the one across the street (not as nice, but they will still get the exercise they need).