What Does 2009 Hold For Your Finances?

All indicators point to 2009 being a record dismal year. Higher prices, layoffs, businesses closing their doors, it ain't gonna be pretty, folks. So what are you doing to prepare?
We've sketched out some rough goals for our family:

1.) Keep grocery spending below $150/month.

How do we plan to accomplish this? Well, thanks to an anonymous tipster on my "Angel Food" post, we're now trying Great Food For All this month. I'm pretty excited about this. It looks to be a more healthy variety than AFM, without all the mystery meats (a long story, but suffice it to say we will no longer order AFM), and the boxes come packaged - no more lugging a laundry basket with you. True, I have to drive further for pickup, but I can easily combine the commute with another errand or two.

We also make good use of bread outlets, clearance racks at Meijer, and dried beans. We should be okay.

2.) Limit restaurant outings to once a month, and then only with BOGO coupon.

This one's going to be a little harder on us. We've slacked off a bit at the end of this year, spending far more money eating out than previously. It was hard enough arranging Christmas dinner (it took days of prep), and cooking a dinner on top of that was just too much to ask. Hopefully we've gotten it out of our systems for awhile!

3.) Trying sourdough.

Yup, I'm thinking of introducing a new pet to our home, as S. John puts it. Wonder if I can teach Yasar to eat sourdough instead of pita. Either way, little sourdough loaves are great little serving bowls for...

4.) Lots of soups.

Yasar's somewhere rolling his eyes right now. A soup fan, he's not. For me, it's the ultimate comfort food. Nothing beats a steaming bowl of chicken corn noodle soup from the local fire companies back home. It's one of the few soups I've not tried to replicate here. But anything else is fair game: soups, stews, Ray Ray's infamous "stoups", goulashes, chilis, gazpachos, vichy-whatevers, name it - nothing would be ashamed to be seen in a petite sourdough bowl. It might even dress up whatever so Yasar will eat without complaint. :)

5.) Smarter gardening.

We're infamous for seeding our bounty for the next year, only to plant the seeds too late. My goal this year is to start the seedlings in egg cartons earlier in the year, so we're not stuck running to the local garden center when our seeds don't germinate.

6.) Sell the house.

(sniff, sniff). Yeah, not too happy about that one. Too choked up to talk about it.

What about you? Are you taking any precautions against an unsure future? Do you think my fears are groundless?


  1. I love soup - probably my favorite next to pasta. $150 is a hard grocery budget, but it definitely can be done. My budget is $200, but we are almost always in the $150-$175 range at the end of the month. Good luck with selling your house :)

  2. I am sorry about the house.
    I tried making sourdough and my starter actually caused my bowl to explode all over the kitchen. Must have been a good batch!
    We already do lots of soups, don't eat out,etc. But, we need to cut further. I hoe we get out of this soon.