Monthly Spending Summary (April)

After going over budget last month, I decided I really needed to crack down and work at getting my spending under control. It’s amazing how fast I can get lax if I don’t watch it!  So this month I was much more aware of what I bought.  There were times I was tempted to buy something because it was a decent price but then would ask myself, “Do we really need this?  In one week will I regret not having purchased it?”  And often I would answer no to both of those questions and just put it back on the shelf.  I did end up stocking up on some things like sour cream, toilet paper and almonds but those are things that I try to always have on hand.  I passed up some things like crackers, chips, and bacon because those are things that I often don’t purchase unless they are a really great price and I have the room in my budget.  Obviously everyone’s list of “always have on hand” items will vary but I find having that list, even if it is just a mental one, is helpful in knowing what to buy.

I’m really hoping to keep better tabs on my spending during the month of May as well.  It felt good knowing that I was not spending as much and instead giving our budget a boost.  And honestly, I have enough food stockpiled that I could probably easy feed us for a month without doing very much shopping at all.  So I’m trying to focus on using food from my cupboards and freezer- especially those that I’ve had for a long time.

And now, for those of you that are interested, here are the numbers for the month.  :)

Monthly Grocery/Household Budget: $200
Total Spent: $156.10
Total Saved with Coupons/Sales: $249.10

Week 1: $19.65
Week 2: $41.19
Week 3: $36.11
Week 4: $59.15

Misc.: $15.48
I bought some whole wheat flour from my mother-in-law to use to make bread and various other things.  (They buy 50 lb. bags of wheat and so it’s cheaper for me to buy it from them and then grind it.)  I also bought several lbs. of butter from her that she got for $1.60/lb.

Credits: $53.22
This was from several things: $8.25 was from Saving Star (LOVE that coupon site!), $23.99 was from Rite Aid Single Check Rebates, $10.98 was from a Staples rebate that I did for printer paper (got it free other than the tax) and $10.00 was from a rebate I did from Pfizer.

Ending Monthly Balance: $81.64 under budget

Ending Annual Balance: $208.57
- In case you are confused, this is the amount I have left over for the year. So actually, I am under budget by $208.57 for the year.  I like to try to have quite a bit of cushion built up by June because I do a lot of canning and freezing of produce and fruit in the summer and it really kills by grocery budget!

Image: Credit Card spending summary via Shutterstock.

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  1. by Coupon Cutting Mom

    On May 2, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Good job. I’m sure it was a good feeling to stay under budget this month.
    I liked the part you said about eating for about a month out of your stockpile. I think I could do the same as well. I have often thought of doing a blog series for a month on eating out of the pantry. I’m afraid there might still be things left in the pantry at the end of the month.

  2. by Carrie

    On May 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    How many children do you have? What ages are they?
    I think that really changes your budget. I don’t think the 5 of us could live on that a month, although we are in the process of getting bills and budget together.

  3. by Lydia Beiler

    On May 3, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Coupon Cutting Mom- I’ve thought of doing a blog series on that too. In fact, my hubby keeps bugging me to do it. Thing is, I know I’d have to get really creative and am afraid it would take too much work and energy to do and so I just keep putting it off. I did make a list of things I want to use up though and have been making meals that incorporate them and that has really helped.

    Carrie- That is a good question! We have 2 children ages 3 1/2 yrs. and 4 1/2 mo. (the baby is exclusively breastfed). We are what I would consider big eaters and the $200/mo. includes groceries, toiletries (including diapers/wipes) and household items like cleaning supplies, laundry stuff, hand soap etc. There are a couple of things that I do help keep our budget that low one of which is simply doing without some things that a lot of people consider staples. I also buy very little prepackaged food and instead cook from scratch. And I put all my rebates and similar things that I earned from grocery purchases back into my grocery budget which helps too.

    I think you are right that grocery budgets will vary greatly especially depending how many children you have and yes, what ages they are too. What I do will not work for everyone…some people aren’t willing to do without things like orange juice or steaks and others don’t feel like they have the time or ability to cook from scratch. I share these Monthly Spending Summaries not to discourage you or to brag about how little I spend but rather to encourage you and to try to help motivate you to think about creative ways that you can cut your spending.

    You mentioned that you are working at getting your bills and budget together. That’s wonderful! I always say that anything you can save in any category of your budget will help. And it’s not always easy figuring out how to do that!