What I already knew was that we went to Stuff Mart way too much and picked up too many "extras". What I wasn't sure about was if we could not go as often. I had also hoped to save some money.
Surprisingly we could go to Stuff Mart less, we cut down our trips by 100 for the year! In 2010 we went made an estimated 171 trips (no, I didn't count all the trips I averaged a 4 month period) this year it was 71! We also spent less, average $100 a month. Does that mean we saved that amount? No! We spent it at other places.
What I learned was we could survive without running to Stuff Mart for every thing we think we need. I improved my list making skills. The less time I spent in the store, the less time I wanted to spend in the store. Less time spent seeing things I think I can't live without but didn't need or want when I left the house. It is possible to run out of plastic shopping bags!
This year my goal is to cut our spending and stay within our budget. The first step is to track my personals spending. Honey got me a weekly pocket calendar for Christmas because it has Mickey Mouse on it. I'm going to use it to track my spending. I also am very bad about keeping the checkbook up to date, that is step two. So far today I spent $1.20!