Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Monthly Spending Summary (Feb.)

I was positively shocked at how much money I had left over in my budget this month. I've been trying to figure out how I'm able to do this since other years I struggled to stay within my budget and often ended the month OVER not under. There are several things that I think have made a difference.

One is that I started shopping at Rite Aid more, and seriously, I have made quite a bit of money by shopping there. They have a great rebate program and nearly always have $5/$20 coupons. In the last several months I also found a blog that does coupons match-ups for Giant and that has made it easy for me to get lots of free or very inexpensive things there too.

I've also done lots of manufacturer rebates lately. My rule of thumb typically is that I don't do a rebate unless I can make money on the item or at least get it free after postage. So I've made a decent amount of money on rebates the last several months as well.

Blogging about my spending also has helped keep me more accountable. And it has helped me keep better track of just where I am with our grocery budget. I'll admit, I do my weekly spending summary partly for selfish reasons!

One more thing that I think has helped me out is that I've been couponing and playing the "drug store game" long enough now that I've gotten better at knowing how to get deals but more importantly I've accumulated a stockpile of most of the basic household and grocery items that I use every day. This has enabled me to wait for the absolute best deal on the items I need instead of settling for so-so prices, which of course has saved me money.

Anyway, how is THAT for long winded? I hadn't intended to get so detailed, but hopefully it will help you understand why I have so much left over lately. My goal for these posts is to help encourage you to save money, not discourage you. Keep in mind too that I will be buying lots of fruits and veggies this summer and fall to can and freeze, so I need to have some extra money to pay for that. Now to the figures!

Monthly Grocery/Household Budget:

Total Spent: $157.52

Week 1: $42.72
Week 2: $71.15
Week 3: $21.36
Week 4: $22.29

Rebates Deposited to Account: $43.97
- $28.99 Rite Aid Single Check Rebate (SCR)
- $5 SC Johnson Rebate
- $9.98 Proctor & Gamble Rebate

Ending Balance After Rebates: $113.55

Amount Leftover for February:

Balance Carried Over from January: $25.10

Grocery Balance for 2010 so far: $101.55

How did you do this month? What did you learn about your spending habits? What has most helped you save?


  1. Good for you! Thanks for sharing some tips!

    I'd love if you would share your sources for coupon match ups. To me it looks like a huge investment of time. I need a lot of hand holding in! I doubt I'll ever get to where you are - but I'm trying to slowly pay less in groceries (or at least keep it the same since we are consuming much more food as the children grow older!)


  2. Gina, thanks for the suggestion! I love knowing what my readers WANT to read and learn about. I will try to do a post soon sharing some sources for both coupons and coupon match ups.

    And you know, you don't have to get to where I am to be a successful grocery shopper. Just the fact that you are trying to pay less for groceries is awesome! Even if you only knock $5 off a month, you are being successful. And my guess is, from reading your blog, that you save a lot of money with all the produce and fruit that you grow yourself...something I would find daunting!

  3. Good job, Lydia! My problem is that if I have money left from my grocery money I spend it on other things. Then I don't have anything to show for staying under budget. Sometimes I'll stop at McDonalds for the kiddos and use my grocery money for that or last week I used my extra money on rubbermaid containers that I despartely needed. I need to start being strict with myself and saving my extra money because I will be needing it this summer when I want to buy produce for canning.

  4. I hear you Michelle. I have done the same thing often. And especially on household items I need. One thing we did this year was change our budget around to allow me to put a few things like Rubbermaid containers in another category. That helps some, however I still end up using some of my grocery budget for household things. In fact, watch for some of those kinds of items in my next Weekly Spending Summary.

    At any rate, don't be too hard on yourself. If you didn't have a budget and use coupons etc. you might not even have the money for McDonalds and Rubbermaid containers! :) You are STILL saving!


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