I've posted our entire budget on the sidebar ---> but here's how we did for the month of September:
- Booze $100, SPENT $98.29
- Clothes $200, SPENT $181.52
- Dining Out $150, SPENT $164.69
- Entertainment $100, SPENT $84.85
- Food $700, SPENT $697.90
- Gas/Auto $350, SPENT $395.48
- Household $300, SPENT $335.55
- Kids $50, SPENT $51.63
- Other $50, SPENT $7.55
- TOTAL $2,000, total SPENT $2,017.46
This October I'm going to be focusing on my grocery budget of $700 per month. Part of sticking to the budget is that at the end of the month, our cupboards are TOTALLY BARE. I've had to make lunch for Dave for the past two days because he would look into the fridge and go, "What the hell, Woman? There's NO FOOD!" So I used our last half dozen eggs to make egg salad for one day and gave him leftover pasta the next. Yesterday there was absolutely NOTHING left, so I went to the store and decided to just start the month's spending a day early. I had already also been to Target on Monday and done some household shopping (we were totally out of toilet paper!).
At Target, I spent $37.71 on food. I buy our coffee at Target since it's the only place I can find it, so that was over $25 right there and should last more than a month. That $37.71 also included some candy since I can't resist the Halloween candy, gah! but I used a $1.00 off coupon and got two bags for $3! I think I also bought some frosting for Alex's birthday cake and a gallon of milk too.
On the same trip I also bought some clothes for Genoa. I finally went through her dresser and realized she only fit into about four long-sleeved shirts, one of which was stained with chocolate milk. So I bought her 3 pairs of pants with 3 matching shirts, spending a whopping $4 on each piece for a total of $25.97.
(I also let Genoa pick out a present for her brother's birthday and also bought a couple of items to make a Halloween decoration project. More on those expenses later this week after Dave and I have decided on a specific Halloween budget.)
Yesterday I picked Alex up from preschool ($145 a month, not included in the budget above because it's not "discretionary", it's mandatory) and we headed straight to Winco to stock up on food. Now, I'm a HUGE price shopper. I buy certain things at certain stores because we buy too much food to be able to take advantage of one stop shopping. I have to be more careful with prices. I buy meat, some cheeses, organic pop tarts and Splenda at Costco and I try to buy everything else either at Winco or Wal-Mart. It's only when I'm feeling lazy or I have good coupons that I shop at Fred Meyer.
So here's what my extremely short list looked like when I left the house:
Actually, that was the list after I got back to the house, hence the crossed off items. In case you can't read my writing, it lists:
pomegranate-lemonade (great for cocktails!)
That coupon peeking up out of the back was for $1.00 off three bags of Reece's candy, which I purchased and then forgot to to use the coupon. For the record, the first thing I did when we got to Winco was to purchase a slice of cheese pizza and a water for the kids for $2.68. Alex had FRIGHTENINGLY low blood sugar and it was either feed him or start digging his grave because he was GOING TO DIE OF HUNGER.
Anyway, this is what my receipt looked like, since I obviously found LOTS of stuff that was not on my list:
(Click on the photos to go to Flickr and get a better view. I took these pictures with my iPhone, so sorry for the crappy quality.)
Things I stocked up on because the price was right:
bread, 4 loaves at $1.88 each (usually $3.50 at Fred Meyer at full price or 2 for $5 on sale!)
tortillas, 40 count for $5.34 (I stuck them in the freezer in 10 count zip lock bags)
chili for Dave's lunches, $1.42 a can (never under $2 a can at Fred Meyer)
pasta sauce, $1.49 per jar ($2.22 at Fred Meyer last time I bought it there)
The only cheap meat I found was a bag of frozen pre-formed hamburgers, which I like to keep around for the nights I forget to defrost anything (like last night when I was supposed to take a whole chicken out of the freezer before going to bed and forgot! I remembered first thing this morning, but it won't be defrosted by the time I need to cook dinner). Cheeseburgers it is!
Admittedly, I did spend $7 on bulk mushrooms, but my plan is to make shepherd's pie with those and I always make at least one extra for the freezer. Also, Dude. We love mushrooms, so there's nothing to apologize for.
I'll be heading to Coscto tomorrow to buy meat, since all I have left in the freezer is a whole chicken and those hamburger patties. This is going to be an expensive week, but I'm buying a lot of things that will last us a while and I'm definitely saving us money buy purchasing bulk when the price is right.
Coming later this week:
* A Q&A about choosing a financial planner
* Halloween and birthday party spending
* My take on the BAILOUT (beware, it's not going to be NICE)
* A breakdown of what each category includes
* A discussion about what I will and won't feed my family, no matter how much it costs