March 30, 2010

End of month report—March

We budget $350 each month.  This includes all groceries, paper products, cleaning supplies, toiletries, medicines/herbals, and hygiene items (razors, deodorant, etc).  Since we had multiple house guests, our anniversary, and our daughter’s birthday, I gave myself a little wiggle room with a budget of $400 this month.  With some smart shopping and moneymaker deals, I was able to keep it just under budget.

In March we spent $349.77—We were $0.23 under budget.

With that money we bought $777.80 worth of items.  If I’m doing my math correctly, we had a savings of 55.03%.

What did we buy with that money?  Some of the items listed in the sections below were donated to our church food pantry/outreach programs.

Free items—  chocolate milk, oreo cookies, 2 cinnamon rolls, 6 Purex, oreo cakesters, kashi bars, 2 mahatma saffron rice, organic coffee, granola, 7 Honest Teas. 1 box of Back to Nature crackers, 1 ensure, child sized birthday cake, donuts, 5 lbs organic potatoes, 2 boxes Marcal tissues, 2 toothpastes, 4 Reeses cups, toothpaste, 2 trail mix, 7 taco seasoning, 2 pastas, Irish Cheese, 2 single rolls Marcal toilet paper, 2 tubs margarine, 2.83 lbs bananas, 5 dentek floss, 2 simple saline, 2 one a day for men, 4 dove conditioners, 3 Betty Crocker potatoes, and 2 Glee Gum

What did we stock up on?

  • Frontier had many of the Stash teas on sale this month, and I bought extras.
  • The Purex deal at Walgreens added to the Kroger catalina deal on Purex last month has me well stocked on detergent.
  • We bought a case of locally made salsa at Three Rivers Market

Other purchases--

  • $80 and some change was spent on the food for our daughter’s birthday party.  Much of the food was organic, and we fed 21 children and 23 adults. 
  • $19.50 for locally grown using organic measures pastured milk.
  • $2.50 was spent on eggs from a friend who has chickens.
  • At Kroger— organic gallon milk, org cereal, 4 sodas, 3 lbs organic apples, celery, cabbage, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, charmin mega roll, eggs, 2 tilapia, 1.5 lbs gulf shrimp, 1 corned beef, bag tortillas, 3 lbs onions, loaves of whole wheat bread, 2 lbs mahatma rice, 10 lbs flour, 1 Honest tea, 1 large tub sugar free cool whip, gum, 2 Irish spring 3 packs,  2 kraft cheeses, 1 Kraft slices, pretzels, 2 cans corn, Hormel naturals turkey
  • At Walgreens—6 lunchmeat, 2 cheese, 4 soda 2 liters, 1 loaf bread
  • At Three Rivers Market— 6 packs glee gum, 1 case Thai Kitchen noodles, 4 organic valley cheese, 1 goat milk, 2 32 oz org yogurt, 2 lbs org carrots, org broccoli, 1 box Back to Nature Crackers
  • Target—4 rice krispie cereals, 1 whole wheat bread, 1 dozen eggs, 4 boxes kashi bars, 1 box cereal
  • Ingles--4 corn, 4 green beans, 4.5 lbs organic chicken, 4 lbs grapes
  • Food City—4 lbs oranges
  • Frontier—2 lbs organic lollipops, Tom’s of Maine silly strawberry toothpaste for kids
  • Earth Fare—blood orange, Marcal napkins, Earth Balance spread, 32 oz organic yogurt, 6 RW Knudsen Kiwi Strawberry, allergen free cookie mix, org soy milk

So, what could you glean from this post to help with your budget and shopping? 

  • Consider under what part of your budget entertaining will be listed.  For us, the food part of the entertaining has always gone under the grocery budget.  It gets too difficult to keep the food for entertaining/parties and the other foods separate.  Since we usually eat the leftovers for the next few days after a party or get together, it works best to keep the amounts listed under groceries.
  • Even though I had given myself some wiggle room in my budget, I really wanted to stay under the $350 amount.  While it took a little more work and visits to the stores, I was able to work some moneymaker magic at Walgreens and Kroger to help keep us on track.  I would not have worked the register rewards deals at Walgreens, though, if I didn’t have a plan for how to use them.  I rolled some RRs into other transactions.  I looked ahead at the circulars and deals on to plan my future shopping trips there. 
  • I had to be a lot more disciplined with my spending than I wanted to be.  It would have been very easy for me to buy every single case of the Thai noodles that they had left at Three Rivers Market today, but I used the mantra, “I do not have to get every deal.”  Deals can be addictive.  Stores want you to buy, and it is easy to do it when you know what a great discount you are receiving.  Yet, I would have unraveled all of the work I had done to keep us under budget in one fail swoop had I bought more than one case of the noodles. 
  • Use free after coupon/catalina deals to help your family.  We won’t have to buy detergent, tissues, conditioner, vitamins, toothpaste, dental floss, saline spray, or many of the goodies for Easter baskets because of coupons.  The money that we would have spent on those items can be used for other things that we need.

Happy Shopping!


  1. you are amazing! i was flabbergasted when you gave that figure! i would LOVE LOVE LOVE for ours to be under 400! wow! how incredible would that be! i do think it's attainable. . . especially when the garden begins to come in this summer. . .but goodness!

    anyways, i wanted to be sure and tell you that i loved your class! you are such a precious person!

  2. Thank you Jessica! I was so glad that you were able to attend!