Becoming Debt Free in 2009

January 26, 2009

Weekly Budget Cut #1

Filed under: Budget,Debt,Food,Goals,Weekly Budget Cuts — ambercouric @ 10:19 am
Tags: ,

In an effort to make $400 worth of cuts to our monthly budget, we have decided to find one item each week to cut.  We have only one rule – if for some reason the “cut” doesn’t work we can replace it with another cut for the week.  We do have to have at least one cut each week that will stick.

So now for the cut of the week.  Sara Lee bread.  We normally go through 2 loaves of bread each week.  We only buy Sara Lee bread because that is all my older son would eat as a child.  He thinks bread has a smell and Sara Lee didn’t.  So, this cut was replacing Sara Lee bread with store brand.  With the total savings per month being about $12.  I will say this was Kennedy’s idea.  Well, it didn’t work.  Half way through the first loaf of store brand bread DH and Kennedy both said they just couldn’t eat it.  It had a funny taste and the ends were hard.  For the record, I am allergic to wheat so I can’t eat it so I can’t speak for the taste. 

So, how did we make up for the failed budget cut?  We changed what we put on the bread.  I normally spend at $12 – $15 on deli lunch meat each week.  I buy turkey, salami and roast beef.  We have decided to buy only one lunch meat per week and buy no more than $6 (usually a pound of one of the items on sale).  Once the meat is gone the rest of the week will result in peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  We expect to save $24 per month with this change.

We decided to be very specific with each cut.  Instead of cutting the grocery budget, we have to list exactly what we will cut and how it will affect the budget. 

Only $376 more to cut.



  1. How long do you have to make up the $400? When does the reduced pay begin? Seems your family has a fun “game” going on.

    Comment by Ms. MoneyChat — January 26, 2009 @ 10:43 am

  2. I buy the good bread, but at a warehouse store which helps considerably (I think). Then we eat a ton of peanut butter. So I guess overall we’re eating cheaply enough. Everyone gets on me for not buying enough lunch meat, but I don’t think it’s particularly good for people.

    Comment by 444 — January 26, 2009 @ 11:10 am

  3. The smell of fresh baked bread is one of the best smells on earth, funny how your son is particular about the smell. Could you try costco or somewhere else to get it cheaper or maybe stock up when it’s on sale. You can keep it in the freezer for a few weeks without harm.

    Comment by Miss M — January 26, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

  4. I with the kids… love Sara Lee bread. Now the fillings… that’s a great idea. And I do like how your family works together on these cuts. Nice. 🙂

    Comment by Money Funk — January 26, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

  5. I love the idea of taking a look at your grocery bills are seeing what expensive items are putting you over the edge, and how you can cut back. Nice strategy, even if they didn’t go for the change in bread! (What a funny thing to be particular about, isn’t it, hehe!)

    Comment by megandeputter — January 26, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

  6. I didn’t know Sara Lee made bread! I love bread, but I was on a candida diet last year where the only bread I could eat didn’t have wheat or yeast. It was quite tasty, although definitely had a different consistency. I think doing a weekly cut is a great idea and I might have to take a page from your book once I’m settled into the new place. I’ve no doubt I’ve got lots of things I could cut, or find cheaper alternatives for.

    Good luck! I’ve got no doubt you’ll reach your goal – I can’t wait to see what’s next! 🙂

    Comment by Annie — January 26, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

  7. Hi there-very well done on implementing the changes in this way, this 2nd option seems like it could work well in the long term, hope it does.

    Comment by sharon rose — January 26, 2009 @ 2:14 pm

  8. Great savings and great idea to cut down the toppings. You guys are off to a good start.

    Comment by Budget Mama — January 26, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

  9. Just a suggestion–have you tried discount bread stores in your area? I just found one in my hometown that has Arnold bread for $1.25/loaf, compared to $3.00 in the grocery store. If you could just find the Sara Lee discount store….

    Comment by rtc — January 26, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

  10. Thanks for all the encouragement. I really feel that if we make small steady changes we will be more likely to stick to them.

    @ Ms. Money Chat – we don’t have a specific time to get this. Overall, this will cover the lost income but we have plenty to supplement for a few months if possible.

    @ Miss M – no Costco here.

    @ rtc – I think there may be a Merita outlet but not Sara Lee. Also, the Merita outlet is about 15 minute drive.

    Comment by Debtfree2009 — January 27, 2009 @ 9:54 am

  11. What a fantastic idea! Love it. great job!

    Comment by Jennifer — January 27, 2009 @ 10:33 am

  12. This is a great idea for trimming the budget regardless of the reason. Thinking about budget cuts in such small slices makes it seem a lot easier. I going to try this approach myself and see if I can do some trimming.

    Comment by SimplyForties — January 27, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

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