Thursday, April 21, 2016

Above the Line Shopping List

I opened the refrigerator this morning and noting down items I needed to buy as the fridge is getting empty and my big shopping day is not till next week. I quickly wrote down some items on the back of a receipt. Moments later, My big boy came and said: "Mom, there's nothing in the fridge... when are you going to pick up some food?" Hmmm.... Guest I had no choice but made a dashing trip to TJ before lunch time.

On my way to the store, I was thinking why do I still write things down? Why didn't I just print out a bunch of the shopping lists I had created and just grab one whenever I needed it? Well, I know the answer, I just did not want to admit it - the list was the way I wanted it to be, not what needs to be. I had all my "wants" on it, whether we can afford it or not.

The list worked well for a while, a long while, mind you, as long as I put the "want" items on credit if I ran out of cash, which happened a few times too many. Slowly and by God's grace, I had come to terms with my shopping "wish list" and need it to reflect our current budget plan. The desire of wanting a new list finally caught up with me today.

When I was making the left turn to enter the shopping center, a light bulb went on. We are currently in one of Dave Ramsey's Money Make-over classes and last week he shared one of his experiences (on video) about how he and his wife had to sit down and made an "Above the Line" budget sheet. Basically, anything above the line got paid, anything below the line got paid when there's extra money. Thank the Lord we didn't have to do that with our finance. We have debt but not as horrendous as the one they had. We are in the class for a different reason, that's a post for another day.
Anyway, that "Above the Line" idea sat in as I was thinking about how to redo my shopping habit/list that I got so excited when I came home I quickly revised the list.

The new list gives me a very clear picture where all the dollars go (one of DR's strong teachings - give every dollar a name) Anything above the line of the shopping list we NEED to have in the house every week, even though some of the items lasts more than one week and only need to be purchased once in a while. None the less, it helps me to budget better and hopefully to avoid the question from my son: "Mom, when are you going to the store...?"

The old list - it served us well for many years. If anything, it helped me to try to stick to the list when I go shopping.

The revised list prints on both sides. Now I know the food budget allows me to get things that are "above the line" and if we have extra, I could shop something below the line. Lets you worry, ice cream is above the line. ;)

I also learned that instead of buying Tarter sauce, I can combine these two items and they taste exactly like tarter sauce and oh so delicious! I learned this trick from the "Chef" behind the TJ Taste station. Now I don't buy the use only a couple times and throw away Tarter sauce!

Maple Syrup, My kids love them. It is a staple goodness in our house. Because I am watching the budget like a hawk right now, I picked this smaller jar for this month. I usually buy the 32 Oz. one but since we are revamping our budget I decided not to break the bank for it on today's quick shopping trip. I don't buy a lot of stuff but I do try to buy the good ones whenever I can.

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