January & February 2011 Grocery Tally

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I’m WAY behind!  I didn’t get my grocery tally up for January and our February just ended on Friday.  I didn’t do too much shopping in January, so we had extra money.  LuLu just had her birthday the beginning of March, so I spent a good portion of the last weeks budget just on cake supplies, without coupons.

We have a $70 per week or $280 per month grocery budget.   Want to learn more about my family and our spending habits? Read THIS post
*I use the  free Savings Tracker to track my grocery spending

January 2011

Total Shelf Cost: $460.05
Total Savings: $295.54
Total Rebates Owed: $2.50
Savings Rate: 64.24%

Total OOP in January: $167.36 or $41.84 per week
Total Remaining from Budget: $112.64

February 2011 

Total Shelf Cost: $589.67
Total Savings: $349.91
Total Rebates Owed: $0
Savings Rate: 59.36%Total OOP in February: $239.76 or $59.94 per week
Total Remaining from Budget: $40.24

How have you done with your Grocery Budget in 2011?

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Thrifty Thursday: How to Set a Budget

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Having a budget is one of the most important financial decisions you can make.  As Dave Ramsey says, you need to make your money work for you.  Once you know how much money you have coming in each month and how you’re spending that money, you can start to overhaul your finances. 

So, how to do go about setting up a budget? 

First, you need to know that the perfect budget doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes, on average, three months to get a budget right for you and your lifestyle. 

[Read more...]

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December Grocery Tally & 2010 Finals

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My December savings is atrocious!  My shopping basically involved running in the store for holiday party items & whatever else struck my fancy that month :-) 

December 2010

Shelf Cost: $355.21
Savings: $199.33
Total Paid: $156.18

Average per week $39.05
Total Remaining $123.82
Savings rate 56.03%

My 2010 Savings 

Total Savings: $5624.89
Rebates Submitted $193.90
$56.60 weekly spending average
Variance for year (leftover from budget) $876.78

My plans for 2011 spending:
Not slack off too much but remember to give myself coupon breaks 
Continue to add more natural & organic foods
Increase donations

How did you do in 2010?

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My 2011 Financial Goals

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I posted my personal goals for 2011 yesterday, so today I wanted to mention our financial goals for the new year.  Thankfully, our only debit going into 2011 is our mortgage!  Our plans are to save more & enjoy life as a family. 

Financial Goals:

- Save for Disney: We’re planning a family trip to Disney in either June or November.  My mom was planning to take the kids, so she’s paying for them.  Yeah! 

- “Car payment”:  My explorer is only a 2004 with 80K miles, but we’ve had a LOT of problems with it.  We’re planning to add a car payment category to the budget sometime this year.  The money will go directly into savings, so we can pay cash (I hope) for a new vehicle.  Our hope is my truck will last at least 3 more years, though.

- Ski weekend in February

- Weekend trip to mountains this summer

- Increase retirement savings

- Increase monthly payment to the principle on our mortgage

- New dishwasher

- Paint & landscape outside

- Add to general savings account

- Kids & Derrick want a dog

- Remodel kitchen (gotta dream big right ;-) )

* Derrick wants new tires for his jeep.  Since that is not a necessity (tires are good for another year or 2) he better start working some overtime!

What are your financial goals for 2011?

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November Grocery Tally

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My savings rate is pitiful this month.  I like to see it between 70-75% or more.  I know I’ve purchased a lot of items without coupons for the holidays & kids.  That trend seems to be continuing into December.  Oh, well.  I’m still under budget for the month.  Also, Derrick bought a 1987 jeep wrangler (he didn’t have a personal vehicle), so I dropped our grocery budget to $280 from $300 to accommodate the additional insurance cost. 

Total Shelf Cost:    $ 568.94     Monthly Budget:  $         280.00
Total Coupon Savings:  $ 276.55     Variance:    $           52.42
Total Savings:    $ 341.36          
Amount Paid (after rebates):  $ 227.58     Rebates Owed:  $           10.98
Savings Rate:   60.00%     Amount Paid (exc. Rebates)  $         238.56

 

I just copied everything directly from the savings tracker this month.  See more about my families spending habits here.

My weekly average was $59.64 (not too bad)

How did you do in November?

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September Grocery Tally

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Yes, I realize it’s already the 9th of October. September was another 5 week month for us, so my month didn’t officially end until the 6th. I have to give myself a big pat on the back. I came in $93 under budget!

A few healthy changes we made this month:

1. Kids are only drinking organic milk
2. Family mostly consuming wheat or whole grain bread

The kids are only drinking organic milk, but Derrick and I are still drinking regular milk. Since we go through 2-3 gallons of milk per week, it saves me a little money. Second, we’ve always eaten wheat bread when I could get it super cheap and store brand white bread, under $1, other times. I’m not eliminating white bread from our diets, buy I’m spending the extra money to make white bread more of an exception than the norm.

I also made 2 “extra” shopping trips this month without coupons:
Trader Joes $42.17
Sam’s Club $25.41

Now on to the good part:
We have a $75 per week or $300 per month grocery budget. I don’t allow an additional $75 during a 5 week month

Want to learn more about my family and our spending habits? Read THIS post

Total Shelf Cost: $719.93
Total Savings: $524.87
Total Rebates Owed: $11.00
Savings Rate: 72.91%

Total OOP in September: $206.06 or $42.21 per week
Total Remaining from Budget: $93.94

Have you made any changes in your budget?

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August Grocery Tally

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I came in under budget again this month!  I didn’t come in as far under budget as in July, but under nonetheless.  I also went to the commissary with my MIL at the end of the month.  I spent $110.91, slightly over my intended budget.  My savings rate looks pitiful since I can’t factor in my commissary saving (other than coupons) and that was 1/3 of the monthly budget.  However, it worked out beautifully because we’ve spent less than $30 so far in September. 

We have a $75 per week or $300 per month grocery budget.  Want to learn more about my family and our spending habits? Read THIS post

Total Shelf Cost: $794.10
Total Savings: $528.12
Total Rebates Owed: $0
Savings Rate: 66.51%

Total OOP in August: $265.98
or $66.50 per week

Total Remaining from Budget: $34.02

How did you do in August?

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July Grocery Tally (Umm, rather late)

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I realize that this post is way overdue!  We had a 5 week month in July, so my month didn’t actually end until August 5th.  Harris Teeter Super Doubles news came not long after that, so I got behind.  I’m actually amazed with how well I did in July!  I usually get nervous and have to work extra hard to keep within my $300 monthly budget.  You’ll notice from past months that I give myself $75 a week to spend on groceries.  However, I don’t allow an extra $75 during a 5 week month. 

Want to learn more about my family and our spending habits?  Read THIS post

I’d be interested to know how others handle a 5 week month.  I give extra money to the cash envelopes as follows and the rest goes into savings:

Holiday: $100
Eating Out: $100
Dana Allowance: $20
Derrick Allowance: $20

July Breakdown:
Total Shelf Cost: $652.15
Total Savings: $460.22
Total Rebates Owed: $23.99
Savings Rate: 70.59%

Total OOP in July: $215.92
5 week month: $43.18 per week! 

Total Remaining from Budget: $84.08

I even had a fun, no coupon trip to Traders Joe’s! Derrick requested steak after I told him my July total :)

How did you do in July?
How do you handle 5 week months?

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June Grocery Tally

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I swear I just posted May.  Wasn’t that last week? I’m going to blink and summer will be over!

I spent a lot more this month than in May.  I went to the Commissary with my MIL and stocked the freezer with meat.  Careful when you open it or you might get beamed with a frozen chicken!  I spent 1/2 of our monthly budget at the Commissary, $146.75.  I also bought several splurges and a ton of fresh fruits and veggies.  My savings rate is off since I have no idea what the outside price would have been.  I did save $30.26 in coupons, so I was pretty happy with the trip.  We also had Monekyboy’s 6th birthday party this month, so soda and such were added to the bill.

Go HERE to read more about my family and our spending habits

Total Shelf Cost: $863.40
Total Saved in Coupons: $450.57
Percentage Saved: $69.54%

Total Paid: $290.99
Average per week: $72.75 wk

Rebates Owed: $27.96
WAGS RR: $6.50
CVS ECB’s*: $4
Target GC: $5

*I just went to pull my ECB’s to add them to the list and realized I didn’t pull $11 in ECB’s of the bottom of my receipt when I mailed in the MIR!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So much for that Aveeno MIR!  I am so upset with myself I cried! 

~I added in a change to my comment above.  Sorry if it was misleading-it was an addition to the post while I was mad at myself.  Aveeno is now the proud owner of my ECB’s, they didn’t expire.   It’s good to know that you can use expires ECB’s though.  I’ve never let those expire, but I’m sure I will at some point.  Thanks for letting me know-I appreciate the attempt to help my fix a mistake.

How did you do this month?  Are you on track for 2010 spending?

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