In August I began to plan to stock-up and financially prepare for maternity leave. I am due in November, giving me 4 months, maybe only 3, to prepare for being a one-income family and having the added expense of a newborn.
I decided that during the months of August and September, I would stock up on pantry items, meat for the freezer, toiletries, baby items (wipes, newborn diapers, bath products), and paper goods. I invested in a few large storage bins, cleaned out a few cupboards, and reorganized the rest to accommodate all the extra stuff.
For the first time in my life, I actually sat down with my grocery circulars, coupons from Sunday's paper, and a note pad to plan out my shopping trips, meals, and what would be set aside for stock-up storage. I also began to print online coupons, something I had never felt was beneficial before.
During the months of August and September, I didn't contribute to our savings. I spent the money we would normally save on stocking up and on paying our car insurance for the entire year. As we near the middle of September, I have a deep freezer that is nearly full of frozen veggies, meat, and bread, enough pantry items to carry our demand for coffee, cereal, spaghetti, rice, home made soups, and casserole dishes for my entire leave. I have enough toilet paper to last 3 months, enough laundry detergent to get us through, and enough shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and other necessary bathroom products to last for my entire time off. OR SO I HOPE!
My plan for October and November are to resume normal spending and begin to contribute money to savings again. Of course, if I find good deals on items that will easily keep, I will certainly purchase those items.