November 8, 2010

Budget Update, October

I realize that I didn’t complete a budget update from September, and here we are at the second week of November without me having posted October’s update!  Oh well, I hope you can glean something from below that can help you with your home budget.

We budget $350 each month.  This includes all groceries, paper products, cleaning supplies, toiletries, medicines/herbals, and hygiene items (razors, deodorant, etc).  This month, the total also included a few greeting cards that I bought at Kroger because it was easier than going to another store. In October we spent $348.89

With that money we bought $703.20 worth of items.  If I’m doing my math correctly, we had a savings of 50.39%.  A little over $80 of that money was spent on items that were donated to our church.

What did we buy with that money?

Free items—  5 cream cheeses, 1 tuna,  4 Voskos yogurts, 4 Fuse, 4 Land O’ Lakes spreadable butters, 1 Think Thin bar,  1 Skinny Cow Ice cream, Wheat Thins, Triscuits, 4 Coffemate creamers, 3 Halls refresh, 2 Idahoan potatoes, Advil, Cottonelle wipes, Blistex, 4 Chex mix, 2 oatmeal, 1 Pringles, 4 rice

What did we stock up on?

  • Preserved foods—I bought dill seed and vinegar to put up Pickled Green Tomatoes.  We have 17 pints.
  • The Mega Event at Kroger allowed us to stock up on some packaged foods—cereals, Chex Mix, canned vegetables and pumpkin.
  • We placed our Frontier order with friends in October, and I stocked up on teas, vitamins for our daughter, a few spices, and Yummy Earth lollipops for Halloween and Christmas.

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

  • If you can’t make it to the farmers market, ask a friend.  I didn’t make it to the farmers market during the entire month of October.  I really missed having fresh foods in the fridge and on the dinner table.  Had I thought of it, I could have asked friends to pick up a few things for me.
  • Coupons help with donations.  We had a few big events at our church in October, and because of couponing and budgeting, we donated over $80 worth of food and still stayed within our family budget. 
  • Having a garden helps.  We are still eating from our family garden because we preserved foods (frozen, dry storage, home canned).  We could buy squash at the grocery store for a side dish but it would both be out of season/almost tasteless and would cost money.  Yes, there is some cost to a home garden, but as you establish your plot, save seeds, compost, and share extras with friends and relatives, your cost will be less and less from year to year. 
  • Freebies are fantastic.  The Johnsonville Sausage freebie arrived in the mail in October, and we had those little sausages as snacks and to pack in lunches. We had free snacks of Triscuits, Pringles, Chex Mix, and Wheat Thins because of free coupons and sales.  A couple of months ago, I reported that I was going to see how long I could hold out on buying shampoo.  I still haven’t bought any.  I found a freebie in the back of a linen closet I had forgotten about and I have all sorts of free samples and hotel bottles of shampoo and conditioner to use. 

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