Lessons learned from Failing to stick with a Budget

Lessons Learned from failing to stick with a budget

Do you have trouble sticking to a budget?  I have to admit that I have failed at this lately.  There are days – and even weeks or months – that I just simply do not have the stamina to put much effort into working within our budget.  Working full time and running a household can be a difficult task and often times I am so weary from everything that I need to get done.


Sadly though, I have seen my family pay the price for my lack of following our budget.  Here are just a few things I have learned since not sticking with our budget:


  1. We spend more.  A LOT more!

We recently sat down to go over our budget and realized that we were overspending on groceries by almost $100 a month.  That is WAY off budget!   Realizing this caused some guilt on my part since I not only evaluate our monthly budget, but I also do all of the grocery shopping.


  1. When one category overspends another category suffers

Why is it such a big deal that we were not sticking to our budget?  By spending $100 extra every month we were adding $1200 per year to our grocery budget.  That extra money has to come from another category in order balance out our budgeted goals.


After learning how much we were overspending, we sat down and took a hard look at our budget and found two main reasons for the increase:


We recently started aiming towards a more healthy lifestyle.  This includes eating less processed foods, adding more fruit and veggies into our diet, and cooking more from scratch.  When it really came down to it, we added about $25-$30 weekly by purchasing all of our fruit and veggies.


We did not have a plan.  I have not been in the coupon game recently which increased our grocery budget, but yet we did not account for this, leaving our grocery budget where it has been for the past 5 years.  We also were not shopping with a plan in mind, but rather just throwing random items into our buggy and hoping we had what we needed for meals that week.


Once we identified the problem, we went to work on correcting it so that we will avoid this issue going forward.  In order to follow a budget that works for us, we have outlined a new strategy to help us not overspend:


  • Menu Planning
  • Shopping with Cash
  • Making a list and sticking to it while at the store
  • Check for Printable Coupons and eCoupons prior to shopping

To be completely honest, we did add $10 per week to our grocery budget so that we can maintain our healthier lifestyle.  This gives us room to breathe without busting the budget and challenges us to work on getting back into shopping the sales with coupons for items that we need.

Staying within a budget seems to be a constant struggle, but it is possible with a little time and effort — and teamwork!  We are always on the look out for new ways to save money and stick to a budget because we are firm believers in telling our money where to go instead of wandering where it went!!

SoftSoap Fresh & Glow Body Wash Review + Giveaway – CLOSED!


SoftSoap recently contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing their new Fresh and Glow body washes.   Typically, I am not a huge body wash fan due to having very sensitive skin and headaches that are highly sensitive to smell.

You can probably imagine my surprise when the body washes arrived and I instantly loved both of the scents.  I tried out both the Orange and Kiwi and the Almond and Coconut scents, but the Almond and Coconut is my favorite.  They both left my skin feeling clean and fresh!


Would you like to try out these new body washes?  Softsoap is giving away body wash to 2 of my readers!!


Simply leave a comment and 2 winners will be chosen on Friday, July 10th, 2015.

Please note that SoftSoap did send me body wash to review.  As always, opinions are 100% my own!  😉

New Printable Coupons: Morton Salt, Aveeno, Campbell’s, Hunt’s Tomatoes and more!

Menu Planning Basics | Tips to Avoid Dinner Time Panic and Stick to a Budget {with FREE Printables!}

Menu Planning Basics


In today’s society we are all living with crazy schedules.  Work, family, church, grocery shopping, paying the bills, cleaning, cooking, and the list could literally go on forever!


I have found that the less organized I am the more frustrated I tend to be because, let’s face it, working full time and juggling a household full time is a difficult task!    On the flip side, the better prepared I am the less frazzled I feel. I take about 10-20 minutes once per week to plan a simple and basic menu that helps tremendously to relieve the stress of what I am going to feed my family.  I have a plan that works for us and that is easy to follow.


Today I want to share some of my tips and tricks to help avoid the dinner time panic and feel less stressed when feeding your family.   If you want the short and sweet version I recommend you read my 5 Simple Steps to Planning Your Menu.


For those of you with more time, make sure to check out my Menu Planning Basics Series for a more in depth step-by-step guide to helping you be more prepared and less stressed at dinner time!




ChapStick Tropical Paradise Collection

chapstick seasonal sensations


I have always suffered from problems with dry lips and I find myself constantly applying chapstick to help with this problem.  So when Chapstick contacted me about doing a review on their new chapstick line I was thrilled to say the least!

Chapstick Tropical Paradise Collections comes in three tropical flavors: Watermelon Splash, Mango Sunrise and Aloha Coconut.  The Aloha Coconut is most definitely my favorite, however, all three seemed to work well and left my lips feeling moisturized.

I typically use Burt’s Bee’s for my chapped lips and love it (if you can get over the smell!) so one of the first things I noticed was the yummy scents of the ChapStick Tropical Paradise Collection.  You can head over to ChapStick.com to find out more about these and other flavors available!


Disclosure: The ChapStick product and information have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.  All opinions are always 100% my own!  😉

New Printable Coupons: Velveeta, Ro*tel, Crest, and Vicks

How to Save Coupons to Print Later

How to print coupons without ink


We have 2 laptops in our household and no desktops.  The great thing about laptops is that they are portable and I often move around to wherever is most comfortable in order to work, read emails, or pay bills.  This frustrated me since I often either need or want to print something from laptop – be it coupons, payment confirmations, or something similar.

Recently I discovered that I can print even when the printer is not attached to my laptop!   No matter where I am – visiting family, at Starbucks, or at home –  I can simply hit the print button like normal in order to send the pages into my printing queue.   Then, once I am ready to print, I simply attach my printer to my laptop and voila!  Everything in my queue prints as if I had my computer attached to the printer all along.

This is a lifesaver for me since I am not constantly having to run around the house in order to print things!

Saving Money On Laundry

In today’s world, we are all looking for ways to save as much as we possibly can.  Here are a few of my favorite money saving tips and ideas when it comes to laundry!

Only Wash Dirty Clothes
If we are running out to the grocery store or library quickly, we will hang or fold laundry without washing again first.   I know some people are picky about this, but if we wear clothes for such a short period of time I see no reason to add it to the wash just yet.   This saves on the wear and tears of your clothes too!

Wash only Full Loads

There is no sense in washing only a few items.   Wait until you have enough laundry to fill your machine before washing.  This will help to reduce your water and heating bill.

Cut back on the Detergent

Only use half the recommended amount of detergent.  I have been doing this for years and our clothes come out just as clean as when using the full amount.    If we have a heavily soiled load, I will use the full amount.

Add water to your Detergent

When the detergent bottled is empty, I will add some water, close the lid, and shake.   This always allows me 1 or 2 more loads from the bottle!


Hang Dry

This is something our Grandmother’s did all of those years ago and it can save you a ton!   While we do not have a clothes line to dry our clothes outside, I do not dry dress clothes.  Instead I will take them from the washer and hang them up to dry.   You can do this with extra space in your laundry room or simply hang them on your shower curtain rod until they are dry.

Change Loads Quickly

In order to use your dryer efficiently make sure that you remove clothes as soon as they are dry.  Do not let them go on the spin cycle for an hour before removing them.   That allows the dryer to cool and uses electricity needlessly.

What are some other tips you have for saving money on laundry?

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