When writing up our budget, after all is said and done, it seems like whatever is leftover from our monthly income is thrown into the food budget pot. And especially this month, it is pretty slim. I suspect that it will be for several months BUT we have a lot of extra expenses this January.
First, we have a lot of birthdays. All three of us have January birthdays, though thankfully mine isn't until the very end. Because of this though, we have to pay to renew our license plate tabs and/or licenses all in the same month. We also like to throw Colton a birthday party each year and the cost of food and decorations can add up. My mom has a birthday as well as my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, though we just do small presents for our moms and don't exchange sibling gifts.
Each January we pay our renter's insurance for the year. This year we also have a January wedding in a few weeks and have set aside gift money. So for January, we have a lot to think about when it comes to allocating for these things.
Our grocery budget this month is set at $216. I am bound and determined to stick to that budget if I can help it. We also have Colton's birthday budget set at $118, and this includes food. So for these first two weeks (I shop on Saturdays) I will be dividing up some of the grocery bill between these two categories.
I shopped at two different stores this week - Target and Meijer. I actually stopped into Target on New Year's Eve but am still counting it toward our January budget.
Total amount spent on groceries: $22.01
Total amount spent on birthday supplies: $5.50
Total savings: $6.29
On this trip, I made some purchases that were not necessities. I had some cartwheel and Ibotta deals that kind of pushed me toward making these purchases, but we could do without them. Here is where I saved:
2-Liters of Coca-Cola 5/$5 - you had to buy all 5 to get this deal, and I bought these for drinks at the birthday party. Regular price $1.79 plus deposit.
Boogie Wipes $3.77 - 5% off with Cartwheel, regular $3.97. These were not a necessity, but my little guy has been sick for nearly 2 weeks now and I thought it would be nice to have.
Earth's Best Organic Fruit Smoothie Pouches $4.23 - 20% off with Cartwheel, regular $5.29. These are going to my parents house for when my mom starts babysitting Colton two days per week while Mark is in class and I'm at work.
Earth's Best Strawberry Snack Bars $3.03 - 20% off with Cartwheel, regular $3.79. Same as above.
Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa $1.12 - 5% off with Cartwheel, regular $1.18. I bought this and Kraft mini marshmallows ($1.19) and got a $0.25 credit through Ibotta.
Total amount spent on groceries: $53.52
Total amount spent on birthday supplies: $38.57
Total savings: $58.13
That's right! FIFTY-EIGHT dollars and thirteen cents. I was so concerned when she told me my total was $92 but seriously, I got so much stuff. My receipt says 49 items to be exact.
I don't know that I want to get into everything that I saved on because a lot of it was store sales, but I'll give you some high-lights.
First, I had two different rewards that I had clipped from MPerks. If you have a Meijer in your area but don't use MPerks, you are missing out! I had an $8 reward that I had earned over a 4 week period just for regular purchases, and since I spent over $100, I got $10 off. This was a weekend coupon that you had to clip online. There was also $5 if you spend $50. So there is $18 in savings right off the bat.
I took advantage of a "buy 6 and save" promotion where you buy 6 items and $6 is subtracted from your bill instantly (a dollar off each item). With that I bought a lot of the cheese I needed to make macaroni and cheese for the birthday party, some frozen pizzas, and Doritos. Nothing too healthy but hey :)
Kraft Singles were 2 for $6. I had an MPerks manufacturer's coupon for 75 cents off clipped, and went online to print another coupon for 75 cents.
What really helped me was shopping the ad and purchasing things on sale. There were a number of things I purchased that weren't on sale, but I couldn't wait around for those things (like milk).
I'm feeling like this happy housewife above with all the money I saved today. Our grocery budget balance is $140.47 which is a lot more than I thought I would have for the rest of the month!
Colton's birthday budget is down to about $74 which should be plenty to cover decorations and fresh fruit that I am going to buy a couple of days before, plus a small gift of course.
Now comes the difficult part - no fast food, no restaurants, and no extra trips to the store until next Saturday.