I placed all that burden on my wife. She's faster at finding things on the Internet then I am.
#1 And her first call of action, was to find a new job for me to do this summer (you know rebuild the savings from winter use). And back in the day, I wanted to work for American Land and Leisure because truly they have the best campgrounds in Utah - my true love, it's where I meet my wife. So we can check the summer job off the list (by the way super excited to know I already sort of know my supervisor, he worked for another company that worked for a couple of years ago - super friendly guy, already an A in my book).
#2 The second chore for my wife, was to find cheaper RV insurance, and by golly she did it. Saved us $300 a year.
#3 The third chore for my wife, was to find either a cheaper cell/Internet service. And dang if she doesn't get it done and quick - Straigh Talk , we pay $45 a month but if we pay for the year $495 instead of $590, we save $45 - it's not much but helps. The Internet saving will have to wait - we still have Verizon and it's $80 - $120 a month depending on usage - we have a company in mind of switching to, but waiting to see if we even get signal at our summer location. Crossing fingers, and we have been warned it may not be, so wifey will have to travel daily for her reports and deal with the store sales in town (don't fret only 6-7 miles away).
#4 Setting a strict budget and living by it. Slash, Slash, Slash on everything - this will ensure a 20% going into savings and leaving a winter living allowance too, which bring us to the fun part of this blog article.
FOOD... A must to survive but since we are 100% more healthier this is going to save us some money too. No more junk for food. The only white stuff I eat is "BREAD" and it's made by me daily. It taught me a good lesson on how much of a waste it is buying it daily from the store. I save 80% by making it myself and it taste a million times better.
AGAIN, my wife is the hero of this article because, upon her research she came across another blog about a couple with 2 children living on a budget of $14,000 a year and ding, ding, ding, bells of change ringing away. We read her blog daily, for the fun of it, as well as for the daily tips in either cooking or savings. http://www.blissfulanddomestic.com/ has change the way we view our money and the way we view how we spend money "FOREVER". We took their principles and tweak to fit our life style.
But to get back to the food. I love food and I am a growing boy and require more then his share. And I am lucky, that I have a drill Sargent of a wife, who forces us to work out, and that my friends is the secret to not being over weight at my age.
SAVING money on our FOOD BUDGET - you'd be shocked at what our food budget is for the week, and we have yet to go it. We plan, plan, plan and find cool fun things to make all the time. Cutting the white stuff out of diet really has helped. So let me spill the beans, we spend $46.00 a week on food - I so kid you not. NO, NO, NO, NO we are not starving at all. It's just we eat things that fill us up and no more. We opt for fruits/veggie instead of chips/Twinkies and cookies - in the end how much have you spent on all of that?? See, the thinking works....
One of the things that has helped us reach our goal is http://bountifulbaskets.org/ . We tried this out for the time a couple of weeks ago. Made our first Contributions of a basket and then crossed our fingers, because we had no clue what to expect. The photos are just terrible - there were a ton of folks and we were scared little mice.
We all have to work, we pick our baskets (kind of threw me for a loop - we get to pick our own baskets - AMAZING) and then pack our hippie bags and then wash our baskets down. In a couple of weeks we will volunteer to help pack the baskets as our way being part of this wonderful "NEW" family of ours.
Last week my wife, forgot to order our basket but with the deadline of being Tuesday, we thought we were safe - NOT SO. Sold out they where, so today, she was on there at 12pm and got our order in. she checked a couple of hours later and they were sold out. PHEWWWW... We made it. We opt for another package along with our baskets, since our budget for food is $46.00 a week, we could add on and all there is left to get for the week is meat.
This was our first winter being 100% employed to ourselves, and it was scary but we did it. We suffered a little but not as much as we thought - next winter with better planning should do the trick. We are not lazy - in fact we work more then folks think. We love it however, its something my wife and I can do together and love that. Hell, I am with my best friend who is also my wife. Life can't get better then that. It's a simple life, just as it should be. Nothing is ever taken for granted, that's for sure.