January budget total: $123.56 Year to date total: $123.56 Not the greatest month for coupon shopping ever, but I did the best I could with the sales that were going on. And this fed myself, my fiancee, and a few guests for the duration of the month, in addition to purchasing household supplies and a few items to donate. If you’re curious to see what sort of food I prepared on this budget, check out the Coupon Funded Menu Corner.
I also got $12.48 back in rebates loaded onto my EasySaver Gift Card from the Walgreens rebates I did that month. The total for all my purchases before coupons was $405.32, so that’s a savings of $281. Even if you have a “blah” month with coupons, you still save a significant amount of money!
December was a very expensive month. I couldn’t make it to the grocery store half the time because of being laid up with my foot, and when I did go I spent more than usual because I wasn’t up to much. Limping over ice to get to a store jammed with holiday shoppers was not all that appealing!
The shopping that I did amounted to $150.79. Usually, I do all of the grocery shopping for our household; but last month, Jai did a lot of shopping for me because I couldn’t get around. He doesn’t track his expenses the same way I do, so when I asked him how much he spent, he replied, “I’m not sure. Anywhere between $150-$300!” So I don’t have an exact number for you this month, since I wasn’t able to document everything the way I normally would. I wasn’t about to dig through his wallet looking for receipts while I was on heavy painkillers!
But on the plus side, this paid for all of our Christmas presents and wrapping paper, in addition to our food, household/beauty items, lots of bandages for my toe, and random stuff like the two bottles of Bailey’s Irish Cream that I picked up before New Year’s. This also includes all the takeaway/fast food/pizza deliveries that we ordered last month. We ate a LOT of takeout in December because I obviously wasn’t able to cook as much as I normally do – and that adds up fast.
I wish the total could have been lower, but there are times when it’s just not possible to save like you normally would. Life happens sometimes, and when you’re incapacitated you just have to roll with it. And this was still a cheap December compared to years past when I didn’t use coupons, especially since this covered both groceries and Christmas presents.
After adding up my grocery expenditures for November, here is the grand total for the month:
Woah! This is the most I’ve spent in ages!! The sales weren’t all that this month. However, to put this in perspective, this time last year I spent way more than that each week – so I’m still satisfied! Let’s break down the biggest expenses:
$12.29 of this budget went to beer and wine purchases. $8.60 went to first aid supplies. $6.01 went to coffee!
So the remaining $36.40 bought all the other food and household supplies for the month, for both myself and Jai. And since we’re in the thick of the holiday season, I had lots of visitors staying with me, as well as dinner party guests. So this budget also took care of various meals for about 4 people in addition to the both of us, not to mention things like the dessert for 13 people on Thanksgiving.
For the full breakdown of what I bought, as well as receipt scans, check out the November 2008 archive. To get an idea of what we were eating – and what I served these guests – check out the Coupon Funded Menu Corner.
Here are my budget figures for October 2008. For the whole month, my total out of pocket expenditures came to:
Yikes! I went $2.36 over budget. This happened at the very end of the month, when I was in such a rush getting groceries for my Halloween party, and didn’t have time to care.
So this $22.36 covered all the groceries for my two-person household – IE fruit, vegetables, meat, milk, cheese, eggs, flour, sugar, coffee, etc. This also factors in my Omaha Steaks order. In addition to feeding both of us, this amount also covered the food for my party, which fed 17 people – with major leftovers that we are still eating! My budget also covers household items, so in addition to food, this $22.36 paid for cleaning supplies, toiletries, makeup, miscellaneous household stuff like foil, and so on. I also got a few random things, such as stocking stuffers, party favors and prizes. Oh yeah, and .08 cents of this went to breast cancer donations at Safeway! If you’d like a more detailed breakdown of what I bought, you can see photos and receipts of each shopping trip in the October archive. If you’re wondering what kind of food we ate, check out my new feature, Coupon Funded Menu Corner.
After adding up my grocery expenses for September, here is the grand total expended for the month:
This is for all food, including fruit, vegetables, meat, milk, cheese, eggs, and my favorite gourmet coffee. Many of these items were also organic. $11.80 fed myself, my boyfriend, and quite a few dinner guests – not to mention the fact that I added a ton of items to my food stockpile.
And, this figure also includes all household items, such as foil, sponges, dish soap, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, toiletries, and so forth. It also includes all my Sunday newspapers – more coupons! – and paid for some new kitchen pans and utensils.
All of my shopping trips for September are documented in the September 2008 archive, if you’d like a more detailed overview of what this amount got. Also, you’ll notice that there were several trips where I left the store with more money than I came in with, during those instances where I was given change back from catalina coupons, or had coupons that produced more overage than I anticipated. I never aim to get “money back” from my purchases – I always plan on using my overage to pay for other items. But sometimes the register goes into the negative anyway, when an item rings up less than you anticipated, or if you forget to check a price. Stores are reimbursed by the manufacturers for coupons redeemed, and depending on the store’s policy, sometimes they will give you cash back. In these instances, I adjusted my budget total accordingly to include this “profit”.
For October’s grocery budget, I am setting aside one $20 bill. Let’s see how much I have left over at the end of the month!
Here’s my grocery budget totals so far this month.
Grand total spent out of pocket:
This amount has fed two people – and a few guests – since the beginning of September. This also includes household items, like toilet paper, foil, cleaning supplies, etc. But that’s the total spent before factoring in my profit.
But as anyone who’s been following my blog knows, that doesn’t factor in my profit in ONYOs – “On your next order” store coupons. An “ONYO” is a coupon that is good for X amount off your next purchase, which prints out at the register. Special promotions where you can earn these type of coupons happen often. The big one for me this month has been the Safeway promo where you earn a $2 ONYO for every Glade plug-in that you buy. These coupons can be used like cash, for anything in the store (except “prohibited items”, which I believe are alcohol, cigarettes, and stuff like that). Each ONYO promotion works a little differently, but this kind can be “stacked” together, meaning that if you make an $8 purchase, you can use 4 of the $2 coupons, making it free.
So how many ONYOs do I have right now? $78 worth. Meaning that I have spent $4.16 on my groceries this month, and earned back $78 in store credit to buy whatever I want. Not too shabby!
Before I went to Safeway the other night, I headed to the gas station, and spent the last of the cash that was in my wallet. I smiled when I looked down at the thick stack on ONYOs – which I also keep in my wallet – and realized that I didn’t need cash. I went to the store with an empty wallet, and paid for everything in ONYOs and spare change out of my coin purse. It’s truly gratifying to be able to save so drastically – especially when I think back to the beginning of this year, before I discovered the joy of coupons, and would spend $600 to $800 a month on groceries, easily.