Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hardcore Budget Gal

I've already talked about how changing to the cash system (and actually following it) has freed me.  It has.  It really has.  But for the first time since we started, I hit a bump in the road.

Basically we had a little too much fun the first week, and forgot that the money could actually run out. Whoops!

I was basically out of money, and I still had 5 days left until the next budget cycle .  Ok...not a big deal...I always have food that I can stretch out (beans, potatoes and rice alone will last five days) But then I was my snack week at the Montessori school!  Every 8 weeks I am responsible for providing a healthy/organic snack for 8.  WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE THIS WEEK!?!

Normally I would pick up some brown rice cakes and a bag of organic oranges, or something similar...but here in Alaska that's $10...and I need 3 days worth of snacks!!  AND I HAVE $4!!

This is a very new thing for me.  If you don't have the cash, just put it on the credit card...right?

(You can see why we had to switch to a cash system)

Not this time.
I don't do that anymore.

So I took a hard look around me...I had bananas going bad, and plenty of whole wheat, white and quinoa flours.  In the end, with a little creativity, I made 3 days of snacks for 8 kids with NO extra cost to me.

Day 1: Banana Bread with walnuts and sliced strawberries.  (fruit goes a lot further when sliced!)
Day 2: Chocolate Quinioa Banana Bread with carob chips and sliced apples (again, 4 apples for 8 kids when sliced!)
Day 3: Loaf of whole wheat bread, sliced pepperjack cheese and sliced apples (only 3 apples left this time, oh well, they'll live)

BAM!  I'm still sitting on that $4.  Thankfully we replenished the budget money on the 3rd snack day, so now we're good again.  And from this I learned two important lessons...

1) I STILL spend more than I need to.  This was a great lesson/reminder that I still need to slow down and look around before I head to the store to buy something I don't need.

2) So many people in this world don't have enough money to buy food.  I have NO right to complain.  (To be fair, I wasn't complaining) But still, I have plenty of food.  So for me, it was a reminder to be thankful for what I have, and to think about all of those people who really don't have the money to buy what they need.

If there were karate-like belts for staying on budget, I think this week would have been like chopping through all the boards.  I have definitely earned my next belt...I pick teal.  Yes...I am a hardcore budget gal...and I have a teal belt to show for it.  (Not really, that would cost money!)

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