Monthly Spending Summary (Jan.)

If you want to see exactly what I purchased, check the posts under My Deals for more details.

As you know, for a long time we’ve had our grocery budget set at $200 a month.  But after quite a bit of deliberation we’ve finally decided that it was probably smart to increase that amount to $220.  There were several things that factored into this change but the main reason was simply that we figured now that we are a family of five we are also going to slowly have an increase in expenses too.

In all honesty, there was a part of me that wanted the challenge of still trying to make the $200 a month work.  But at the same time, I knew I had enough other things to worry about (don’t we all?) and realized that it was really kind of crazy to leave it there.  So even though we’ve upped it to $220, I wouldn’t necessarily mind if I could keep my spending at $200.  Obviously we’d have no problem knowing what to do with the extra that we saved!  But at the same time, knowing that I have the extra $20 there a month kind of helps free me up a bit too.

You’ll see that I went over budget pretty drastically this month already and you might be wondering how in the world I even thought I’d manage to stay with the $200 a month!  Here’s the thing.  I really don’t mind that I went so much over budget because 1. I was buying ahead so that I wouldn’t have to do much shopping for a couple of weeks after the baby was born and 2. a lot of my spending was for things that I bought at Giant as part of their gas rewards deals.  We didn’t redeem our gas rewards in January but I got a huge gas savings credit in February as a result of a bunch of my purchases in January.  So basically what I’m saying is that it will even out.

We look at our budget a bit differently than some people do.  For our grocery budgeting I tend to look at it as a yearly budget.  So for instance, I went over budget in January but then I’ll try to be way under budget in February and get back on track.  And as long as I’m under budget or on target by the end of the year I don’t worry about it.  I know that might sound a bit risky, but I’ve kind of learned how to make it work and I like the flexibility it gives me.  Obviously, this method will not work for everyone and some of you are probably thinking it’s kind of nuts!  But it’s worked out well for us and so far, I’ve never been over budget when the end of the year rolls around. I know a lot of you have wondered about this so hopefully that helps answer your questions.

Anyway, here are the stats for the month:

Monthly Grocery/Household Budget: $220
Total Spent: $324.23
Total Saved with Coupons: $183.31
Total Saved with Sales: $135.82
Total Saved: $319.13 + $120.00 in gas savings (thanks to grocery purchases)

Week 1: $34.06
Week 2: $58.40
Week 3: $21.53
Week 4: $111.14
Week 5: $99.10

Ending Monthly Balance: -$104.23
This is the amount that I am over budget for the month!

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