April 06, 2009

Date Night Saturday

M and I are planners by nature. It is reflected in our chosen career paths (he is a project manager for a construction company, I am a controller/compliance officer for a health system). We like to look at the big picture, set goals, and then fine tune all the little details to ensure that we reach those goals.

When we began discussing marriage, we often talked about how we wanted to make sure that no matter where life took us - we were going to take time for ourselves. I recommended that we institute a "Date Night" policy. At least 1 night every month, we would have a date - a minimum of two hours just to ourselves. Since we are newlyweds and have no children, we have decided to make date night a weekly occurrence. As our lives change, and we begin a family, I am certain that the number of date nights we have will decrease.

Anyways, I said all that to say this. This past Saturday night had been appointed our date night. M and I went out to dinner at Ruby Tuesday, did a little shopping at the mall, and then set out to tackle one of our "projects". In another post, I mentioned that M had set down and created an Excel spreadsheet of our projected spending for the next 8 months. One of the items that immediately stood out to me was the grocery budget. $300 a month for two people seemed quite high, so I made it my goal to find ways to reduce that number.

Thanks to a plethora of blogs on the topic of frugal spending, and eating cheaply - I had a game plan on how to tackle my goal. The first step was Saturday night's project. We created a spreadsheet that had list of all the grocery items we most commonly by. We then went to the top 3 stores that we purchase these items in, and entered the base price of each item.

Each week, M and I will sit down and decide what perishable food items we need for the next week. Using our spreadsheet and the weekly circulars, we will see which store has the best price for the item. Then we will look at what non-perishable items ( or items that can be frozen) are sale that week. Using a portion of our weekly budget, we will then purchase the non-perishables to go in our stock pile. Ultimately, I would like to have a 3 month stockpile of food at any one time. Moreover, I hope to buy for our weekly needs and our stockpile on just $50.00.

So that was our first date night as husband and wife. Aren't we nerds????


Kathie Brinkman said...

Yes. You are nerds. And $300 a month for two people is NOT high for groceries/food costs. But then again, you live in the South where the cost of living is a lot less than up here in the North. Date night is a great thing to institute, and keep it going! For many years of date nights Matt and I would always end up at either a bookstore or Home Depot/Lowes after our dinner/movie piece. Planning more home improvement projects or buying books for our kids.

sueh said...

I disagree with my dear sister Kathie!! I think you are very practical not nerdy. I love using spreadsheets to analyze stuff at home and work(I'm an accountant). The funniest one I did was listing all the bulbs I wanted to buy from the Breck's bulb catalogue in a spreadsheet. I sorted the columns to insure I had selected something from every blooming season. Also, I calculated my cost/bulb in the variety packs to make sure I was getting the best value. Nerdy? I don't think so!!

Also, my husband and I visit a store called Mills Fleet Farm which carries home improvement items, clothing, farm supplies, auto supplies, etc. We call it Mills FLIRT Farm because that is one of our "date" places!!