The transition to watching every add, counting every cent, and ignoring all the food already on the shelves is a shock after going three months eating everything off the shelves without any reservation, never opening an add, and spending no grocery money! We have spent $150 so far out of our allotment of $500. With that we have acquired a 3 month's supply of laundry detergent, salt, yeast and spices; and a one month's supply of rice, flour, eggs ( on a loss leader sale). We have produce to last a week or more and all the fresh milk we can drink. The children accompanied me shopping. They asked for items and I gratefully had a reason to say "No." The younger children are a bit more spoiled than the older ones. I have become much more liberal in my old age, I'm too tired and money is not as tight and so they get more things for which they ask. I didn't realize how many things they were asking for until we went shopping this time under tight constraints. This exercise is developing the intestinal fortitude that will sustain my children throughout their life.
I also know that we will not make the challenge unless I share with other people. I need to learn to use coupons. One of my friends saved over $3000.00 last year by getting many personal care items for free. I will also need to co-opt and share goods to reduce the price. Finally, simply sharing information will be a great help to aid us in staying in budget and reaching our goal.