Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Two Month Challenge

DH has been in an unacceptable job situation for a while now, and while I've encouraged him to quit and look into going back to school, so far he's resisted. Mainly because he makes the majority of our income. But I've run the numbers and with a part-time job that he actually enjoys we could certainly survive, although it would be pretty tight in our current situation (low savings, credit card debt).

Today he's reached the end of his rope. He has three potential job openings on the horizon he would be qualified for, and will apply for. But if he does not get hired for one of them, he will be quitting his job as of June 1st.

So now I start planning... I have a little over 2 months to work on the Personal Finance Trifecta. Build an emergency fund, Reduce our debt, Build our stockpile.

We've done fairly well with staying within our budget in the past, but the last month or so, we've gotten lax about eating out for lunch (when we didn't want to pack our lunches) and overspending at Costco. Starting April 1st, this won't be an option as we prepare for our income to drop by 60%. If he does get one of the jobs he's applying for, it'll be great that we won't have to cut our budget that much, but we'll be prepared for it if necessary.

If anyone has tips, suggestions, success stories that will give us confidence, etc... we'd greatly appreciate any and all help.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Why Stockpile?

Food storage can be a marvelous asset when money is short, especially if the money that is available needs to be spent on other things. When a shortfall in your budget keeps your grocery list short, a healthy food stockpile in your home rounds out the meal plan nicely. Hardships are much easier to bear knowing that food will continue to be on the table.

Sharon at Casaubon's Book has recently started an online course on beginning food storage. The article "Eating out of your pantry" details what would be stored for a three month supply for 4 people, and is a great place to start. So far, I've been purchasing an extra can or box of a few things on my grocery list as a haphazard beginning food stockpile, but Sharon gives me an idea of quantities to shoot for, additional foods I should be stockpiling and suggesting recipes for those foods.

This weekend we cleaned out half of our garage, throwing out some useless junk that's been cluttering up our lives. We used the extra room to set up some metal shelves that will be the basis for our bulk food storage. Our small stockpile is being kept in our pantry, but with this extra room we can store bulky items like buckets of grains and beans. This keeps our pantry from becoming too cluttered to use effectively.

I plan on visiting our neighborhood food coop to see what they have available and if larger quantities can be ordered. Sharon plans on posting weekly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so I encourage you to check it out.