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?


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?


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?


Pictures for LuLu’s Room-Guess How Much $

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How much do you think the 3 pictures for LuLu’s room cost? 
Similar pictures from Target would be approximately $75!  You’ll never guess…

All 3 pictures were $1.50!!!  Each picture was priced @ $0.50 each!  My MIL picked these up at a yard sale on Saturday.  See her tips HERE to get you started saving money at yard sales.

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My Goal Prices

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The prices listed below are what I typically pay for a product.  I used an asterisk to note the items that I can usually get for FREE. Toothpaste at $0.24 each is a good price. I might purchase 1 or 2 depending on how many are in my stockpile. I won’t purchase a lot until I can get it for free since it is an item than I know I can get free if I’m patient.  I tend to really stockup on an item if I can get if for less than the price listed.

I’ve listed a few items simply as free.  Frankly, I can remember the last time I actually paid anything for those items.  If I did I must have run out or needed to bump up my total for a promotion.  I guess a good price on BBQ sauce would be less than $0.50 and a small bottle of dish soap $0.25.

These are prices that I pay in the Hampton Roads area of VA.  Prices vary by region but hopefully this will give you an idea of the prices I shoot for in my shopping.  Keep a record of your spending to see what prices are right for you.

  • Paper Towels $0.29*
  • Tissues $0.25*
  • Deodorant $0.50
  • Toothpaste/Toothbrush $0.25*
  • Razors $0.49
  • Shampoo/Conditioner $0.50*
  • Body Wash $0.50*
  • Personal Products $0.25*
  • Laundry Detergent (50oz, 2X conc.) $1.99
  • Cat Food-dry (3lb bag) $1.99
  • Granola Bars $1
  • Fruit Snacks $0.50
  • Rice (small bag or flavored box) $0.25*
  • Pasta $0.10*
  • Cheese (shredded and block) $0.50-$1.99 (we eat a crazy amount)
  • Lunch meat $1
  • Crackers $0.50*
  • Chips $0.50
  • Packaged Cookies $0.50
  • Yogurt Cups $0.25
  • Yogurt (4 pack) $0.50*
  • Condiments $0.25*
  • Taco Shells $0.75
  • Salad Dressing $0.75*
  • Frozen Veggies (Bag) $0.50*
  • Canned Veggies $0.25
  • Cereal $0.50*
  • Canned Tomatoes (15 oz) $0.50 (usually less)
  • Organic Cereal $1
  • Boxed Baking Items (cake mix, brownies, etc) $0.50
  • Cake Frosting $0.25*
  • BBQ Sauce FREE
  • Dish Soap FREE
  • Seasoning Packets FREE
  • Cat Treats FREE


Let me know if there are other items you want me to add.

Leave a comment if you have other prices for items listed or even not listed, I’d love see it!

See My Goal Prices: Meat

Checkout Southern Savers list HERE

This post is linked to Madame Deals, Coupon Teacher and Couponic Stimulus

Photo credit: Wendyusuallywanders


May Grocery Tally

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I know this is rather late, but I wasn’t here to get it posted.  I came in way under budget this month!  You would think it was because I wasn’t here for a week but I actually splurged on a lot of things for the kids before we left-mostly without coupons.  Gasp! My grocery bill was about $35 less.

I really didn’t do too much shopping in May.  I’m waiting to go over budget when I restock some of the items that I’m out of or running low on, but overall my pantry is pretty stocked.

My weekly budget is $75. See past months HERE

Total Shelf Cost $551.33
Total Saved in Coupons $313.20

Total Spent $149.36 
Savings 72.91%
Average per Week $37.34

What to do with my extra $150?!?!

How did you do in May?


April Grocery Tally

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April was a 5 week month for us.  I still stick with our $300 month grocery budget even if I have to stretch another weeks worth of food out of it.  I was really impressed with myself this month.  I usually run out of money to buy milk and bread :)
I stayed out of the store and only purchased items that we needed or were a great price.  It helped that I only made 1 Harris Teeter Triples trip and the WAGS and CVS deals weren’t really what I wanted.  I did deplete my meat supply a lot, so I think my mother-in-law will take me to the commissary for meat this month.  I may need to use the leftover money from April to supplement that. We’ll see…
Total Spent: $270.79
Total Saved: $519.08
Rebates Owed: $5.00
Amount Remaining in Cash Envelope: $29.21
Weekly average: $54.16!!

I also submitted for PG Coupon Booklet Rebate and Free Land O Lakes Coupon Rebate

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

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Shopping Yard Sales

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I asked my mother-in-law to contribute a post about tips for shopping yard sales.  She is a veteran yard saler who has been scouring neighborhoods for the past, well, I might get in trouble if I tell you that ;)

Yard sales are a great way to find household treasures, tools, sports equipment, baby furniture, toys and clothing at a bargain price.

  1. Know your area, location is important. A neighborhood with young families equals infant, toddler or   children’s clothing and toys. Children’s clothing and toys resale easy and are usually in excellent condition.
  2. Map your area; mark the newspaper ad with your yard sale choices. Check the map for directions or enter the addresses in your GPS. Number each yard sale in the order you will visit. Usually it is best to start closet to your home traveling to the furthest yard sale of the day.
  3. Let’s make a deal, most yard sale families are eager to move their items. So offer less than they are asking, remember to be reasonable.
  4. Before you head out to find your treasure, take measurements with you. Know how much space you have if you are looking for a furniture item, know the size of the frame, mirror, or clothing you are looking for, this saves guessing or passing up a deal.
  5. Take small bills with you, having plenty of ones, fives and tens makes it easier for you to bargain, most families do not like checks so cash is a must.

Now enjoy the hunt for that treasure.

-I wanted to add that she was telling me yesterday about a yard sale she went to that was way over priced for scrapbook materials.  The prices were just under retail value.  As with everything, don’t just assume it’s a great deal just because it’s from a yard sale.  When I shop yard sales I want a steal, which to me, is the whole point.  The new Gymboree jean skirt she got “LuLu” for $0.25 was a steal!

Diana is a mom to 3 boys and Nana to 4 kiddos.  She is a military wife who loves to find a good bargain.  When she’s not a grandchild’s baseball or soccer game; she can be found scouring yard sales or the mall for rock bottom deals. 

This post is linked to Madame Deals and My Coupon Teacher

Photo Credit