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: $190
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: $76.45
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?