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Thursday, April 30, 2009

End of April Spending and May Goals

To stay under our $275 grocery budget for April, I had to be careful at the grocery store this week. I had $40.14 left.

In order to keep my grocery bill in check, I made a conscious decision that I would only double 5 coupons. It was also a personal challenge to see if I could pass up some deals that we don't need right now in order to save some money. At my grocery store, I usually to do two $25 transactions in order to double 5 coupons per order, for a total of 10 per week.

Normally spending $50 a week before coupons isn't a problem, and I can still stay under budget ($50 x 4 weeks=$200, which leaves me $75 wiggle room for Walgreens, CVS, Target, etc). However, since I had 5 shopping days this month, I had to squeeze a little more at the end of the month or I would have gone over ($250+Walgreens, Target, CVS, etc.).

Week 5:
Target: $4.04 (4 boxes of wipes and 4 Dry Idea Deodorant)
Groceries: $36.67
Total: $40.71

I went over by $0.57. However, I got a rebate check for $6.99 for the Organix Shampoo from last month. Since I counted that in my March spending, I think that $6.99 should go back into my grocery budget, don't you? That means I actually have $6.42 left! Woo Hoo, I did it!

And now I think I have my challenge for May: to try to shave a little more off our grocery bill by limiting the number of doubled coupon deals I go for. There are only 4 shopping days in May (because I shop on Wednesdays), so if I can keep my total around $35-40 a week, I'd only spend $160 on groceries, plus whatever I get at Walgreens, CVS, and Target. I'll also try to limit the number of deals I go for at those stores so that I can save even more money this month. It'd be great if I could save even $50 (making my total for the month $225)! We'll see how I do!

Do you want to make a goal for saving in May? I'd love it if you'd share your goal with me and we can work on saving together! Your goal will be different than mine, but the idea would be to challenge yourself to save this month. Please join me!


Jen said...

Hi Jessica, I was just thinking about this very thing last night. I get $320.00 a month for all our purchases - Target, Shop Rite (I live in Connecticut), CVS and Walgreens. I would like to have $40.00 saved at the end of the month to put toward our vacation.

Jessica said...

Thanks for sharing, Jen! I wish you luck on your goal! Do you have a plan as to how you will reach that goal? Come back here and let me know how you did, okay? :-)

cookiesandmilk said...

My budget for food and other purchases at cvs is $500 for May. I would like to not spend about $50-100 of that money to be saved for summer activities, maybe I can get a couple of fun family activities in this summer!

Jessica said...

Sounds like a great goal, cookiesandmilk! What is your game plan to help you save that amount? Pass up deals? Use more coupons? I hope it goes well and you are successful! Be sure to come back and let me know how it went! :-)

Chrissy said...

Hello, this is my first time to your blog...I came via Money saving mom. I am so impressed as I see you too have 4 children. How in the world do you do a 200 grocery budget. I am not great at the coupon game, I menu plan(which helps a bit) but I dont think I could do $200 a month. We are a cash only budget, I try and do leftovers and re-purposed food several times a week. I would love some tips!! God Bless.

Jessica said...

Couponing (espeically internet coupons and doubling coupons) helps a lot, but stockpiling when things are on sale (rock-bottom prices) is I think your best way to get bang for your buck, especially if you aren't good at couponing.

We do some meatless meals (at least 1x week) which helps on the bill. Keep in mind my kids are young and don't eat a WHOLE lot yet! :-) We also don't have any food allergies, so we don't have to buy special food.

Do you have an Aldi? They have better prices on some items, so I stop there usually 1x month to stock up on staple items.

Otherwise, hang around awhile and see if you pick up more tips! Check out the "coupon 101" and "couponing" tabs. Pick one store to try using more coupons until you get good at it. I'm here to help, so let me know if you have more specific questions! :-) I do this to help other people save money!

Megan said...

I too am quite impressed with your $200 dollar grocery budget for a family of 6. We are a family of four and we average around $350 for groceries. Keep up the great work and good luck with your May goal!

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