Well, since Melanie commented that she would like to know how we saved money, I thought I would write on it. Mind you that there is a reason that Christ is 1st in my list of things that keep me sane. He and his Father really have a part to play in my daily life. And a serious part at that.
Before I begin I would like to say we did (and still do) tithe every month. It is amazing the things that happen when you tithe. In fact, months we forgot to tithe (hubby was the one with the check book so I didn't even know we were not tithing) we were ALWAYS over budget. Something would always happen. Once we caught up... strangely we would not only be in the black but we had excess. Logically it makes no sense, but God doesn't follow earthly logic.
On that note I am going to give my biggest money saving advice ever. Ready? I am sure you are not but here it goes anyway... Pray before you buy ANYTHING. That is right. Before you even make your list for the store, pray about what you should buy. Ask God to help you save in your shopping and don't buy it unless you have peace about it. If the Lord doesn't give you peace... well, don't buy it. This goes for food, clothing, shoes... or my main splurge... yarn. You will get REALLY good at listening to God too. I remember a time I was flat out told to go shopping for flour at Sam's Club. So we did... and guess what, they were having a 50% off sale on flour that day only because they had gotten 1 flat of the wrong sized bags (100 pounders vs the normal 50 pounder) and were just selling them like they were 50 pound bags. You know what... God delivered.
The next thing we did was only use cash. When you were as tight as we were, pennies mattered and going over was not an option. You will find that you can feed yourself on very little if you need to. If you feel the need to whittle down your food money go all cash. No credit, or debit. For some reason when the cash leaves your hands it feels... different... than swiping a card. You spend less.
Now some practical advise on how to get the food (or any category) budget lower. You take your cash and then you take an envelope and put 25 to 50 dollars in the envelope. Now go hide the envelope in the freezer, a shoe box, or anywhere where you will remember it. Now go for the month and if you need to raid the money do so, but really try not to. Do this for several months and you will find yourself raiding less and less. When you can do this for about 3 month straight just take that amount out of the budget for that area of spending. And start all over again. Now this doesn't help you when you are in the hole already and have to make a quick buck this is more a lifestyle change and it happens slowly.
I hope anyone who reads this finds it useful. If you have any questions just ask below.