Second week news. First and foremost, I had my review and thankfully got the raise I was hoping for. Secondly, I got encouragement from my general manager to try for a position inside the company that would be what she feels is a good fit for me and better pay. Of course, money isn’t everything but it does help. If she’s confident I can do it. I’m going to try for it! Which now means I’m spending most of my weekend plugging away at brushing up on my excel skills and hoping I can convince the hiring committee I’m worth a shot.
Thirdly, to the point of paying off debt. Debt rose a little this past few weeks. A little from transfer fees on combining my balances but also because I’m going on a family vacation in a few weeks and while my parents are paying for my niece’s clothes, I’m the one buying her clothes and making sure her suitcase is packed. So the increase doesn’t have me worried because I know I’ll get paid back for what I spent. And before anyone asks, yes it was necessary for me to buy my niece’s clothes. If you saw the outfits from my childhood and what my mother picks out for her even today you would completely agree. A smaller portion came from a doctor’s appointment earlier this week and medications. That’s the downside to trying to budget and keep your debt from getting bigger, things always seem to come up just when you’re determined to fix it.
So, as I sit here drinking coffee and listening to the glorious thunderstorm outside, it’s time to tackle how to cut back my spending in the food category. How does cutting back on food help? I spend far too much on food for one person. Part of the money I spend on food could be used to pay for other things, such as an extra credit card payment. This is where I’ve determined I’m going to have to change my thought process towards food, grocery shopping, and the 5-minute drive to McDonald’s on my lunch break.
The biggest challenge in the way I think about groceries is making a plan and sticking to it. Many times, I have told myself I’m going to take my lunch to work. Well, I do take my lunch to work but then I get ready for lunch and I decide, I’d really like a burger, or suddenly meatloaf (my favorite meal) is unappealing, so I go out for lunch instead. It’s a temptation that I just struggle with constantly. To help myself with this, a few weeks ago I started compiling a list of everything in my pantry. And I mean everything. Right down to how many eggs are in the fridge and how many servings of jelly are left in the jar. My challenge to myself for the next three weeks: I’m going to only eat from what is in my pantry, no more trips to McDonald’s, or take-out orders. The only trips I’ll make to the store are for items like milk, bread, eggs, and fruit; staples that you can’t really stock up on. I’ve already got plenty of protein in the freezer.
With my list of what I already have I’m going to menu plan around it. I already have plenty of cookbooks to help me and many of them have simple dishes that I should have all the ingredients needed. So, there it is. Short and sweet. My challenge.