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Hi 2gifts,

It's worse than you think, I've only got two kids. They go to dance once a week. Hadn't thought about cutting that, but will look for free activities in our area. The thing is, we're pretty rural so we'd have to drive to get to a lot of the free stuff (about 30 miles). I'll talk to some other parents in my area and see what they do.

This month Shopping was things like an oil filter for the lawn mower, a rice cooker to replace the one that broke, shoes for a kid, a letter "e" for the laptop (still don't know what the toddler did with the old one), etc. But its all stuff that we don't really "need" but will end up buying. Shopping is not a category, but "random junk from Amazon" is really what's in there and none of it is really a necessity. So even if I separated it out, it is still superfluous stuff. In an emergency, that category could go away completely.

We're already saving in 401k's and and out of my net. This is my budget without the savings because I want to focus on getting this part down.

I am open to suggestions for the food budget, I don't need help with what to buy but rather what to cook. I am typically exhausted at the end of the work day and so we eat a lot of convenience food. The only quick from scratch meal I know how to cook is stir fry and coconut curry. Again, in a rural area I'm stuck with big chain grocery stores, but I make use of a close by Aldi's once a month for shelf stable stuff.

I am open to suggestions, but I've got to learn how to cook (or rather, what to cook) to make changes....what do you eat on week nights?
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