June Goals…

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Since I have been trying to pay off my credit card debt, I have wandered into the world of frugal blogs.  They are so addicting!  I love to read about how other people–people just like me, who are simply trying to pay less, and get more in a world that is so determined to make everyone buy, buy, buy–manage to reduce monthly expenses.  So, I have decided (I should say, WE, since Kimm wholeheartedly agrees), to try to reduce our monthly expenses on food/personal hygiene stuff this month.

It’s kind of hard to say how much we generally spend since we haven’t really been keeping track.  However, I tend to allot about $200 a month (just me) for food, personal hygiene stuff, and other miscellaneous stuff that we might need (or think we need).  So, since we both do this, that comes to $400.  Again, not sure if we actually spend that much or not, but starting this month, I’m going to find out!  I also started with a goal of $250 total for food/personal hygiene stuff/etc.  That ends up being $50/week for groceries and a $50 trip to BJ’s for bulk items.

So far we have gone shopping one time and we are already over budget, but not by much.  We actually went to two places–Walgreen’s (for some deals that we had coupons for–buying ahead–I’ve learned from some of the frugal blogs that sometimes you have to go over your budget in the beginning in order to catch good deals when they come up), and Stop and Shop for food.

So at Walgreen’s we did QUITE good.  We purchased two rolls of Angel soft TP (sorry Cottenelle, no more brand loyalty!) for $2 ($1 each, limit 2), shaving cream that was on sale for $2 (for which we had a $1 store coupon and a $1 manufacturer coupon–total price: FREE, I like that!!), Colgate toothpaste (on sale for $2, for which we had a $1.50 manufacturer coupon, so total price, $0.50–not bad).  So the total for that trip was $2.63.  Yeah!

Next on to Stop and Shop.  Now we have always made out a weekly list, since we find that it is, oh so easy to be tempted when we are in the store to get this or that.  Mind you, we still may succumb to a temptation, but it is much less likely.  Our total trip to S & S was $59.38 (almost $10 over).  Not bad for the first week.  Plus I know what put us over–we got 2 pints of ice cream (total of $7) and some homemade Peanut Butter cookies from the deli ($4).  If we would have resisted, we would have been on budget.  But you know what–I also don’t believe that we should go without all the time.  I believe we deserve to treat ourselves once a week.  So if our budget has to be $60 a month, so be it.  I’ll know more towards the end of this month.

Before going, I made sure that our list included everything we needed to have different meals during the week.  These are our meal ideas:

  • veggie burgers with a salad
  • Boco chicken patties with Au Gratin potatoes (had at home)
  • Pasta dish with veggies on the side
  • Baked mac and cheese (lasts 2-3 meals)
  • Boco chicken parm with spaghetti
  • Pierogies
  • Scrambled eggs with pancakes (all the stuff at home)
  • Homemade pizzas
  • Frozen pizza with a salad

As you can see we had even more meals than needed (which is good because sometimes you want a choice).  Stuff we got from the store included: the staples (1/2 gallon milk, 2 loaves of bread, American cheese for grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch), lettuce, tomatoes, a cucumber, croutons, 1 can of chickpeas (store brand mind you–and they weren’t that bad!)–all stuff for our salads, onion, pasta, sharp cheddar cheese, a frozen pizza (the one on sale), paper towels (2/$4 with a $1 off coupon), cream for coffee for both of us, apples (for snacks), cool whip–to have with some berries at home for dessert, and some frozen o.j. to mix up (I decided to try this instead of buying the not-from-concentrate Tropicana that I always get–it was a savings of more than a few dollars–it’s actually tolerable, although it has the pulp which I’m not particularly fond of, but I’ll deal).

So far for meals this week we’ve had the veggie burgers with a salad, and the chicken sandwiches with the potatoes.  Both VERY good.  I don’t mind spending less money as long as I don’t feel cheated at mealtimes.

I’ve already made a list for bulk shopping which pretty much comes to $50.  We need laundry detergent (somewhere between $16-$20 I’m sure), Diet Pepsi (about$10), iced tea mix–two since we’re cutting down on the soda (about $14), and pizza crusts (I believe about $7).

The other goal that I have for this month is to call Comcast, our cable company, and request a cheaper plan.  Right now we pay about $120/month just for internet and cable.  I believe they have a deal for new customers for internet, cable, and phone for $99/month for a year.  That would be a huge savings for us since we pay about $40 for phone right now.  So I’m going to call them on my next days off.

So those are the goals and I’ll keep everyone updated.

By the way, Charlie and Madeline were out in the apartment together all last night with no problems.  It was great–even though Madeline woke me up twice, at least it wasn’t 5-6 times!  She only hissed at Charlie once this morning.  For the most part they are acting back to normal–both in their normal “favorite” spots and acting calmly.  Once they can eat next to each other again, then I’ll know things are truly back to normal.  That, I’m sure, will take time.

I have to work tonight and Friday night, then two days off.  I really want to try to pick up an extra shift as well since I did last week and my paycheck was VERY nice (almost $350 more than normal).  If I can do that a few times a month, the bills will be paid off that much sooner!

Published in: on June 5, 2008 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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