Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Looking Over November's Budget

I realized yesterday that I hadn't done my "end of the month" post on my grocery budget for November. Normally right now I would be tearing around the kitchen trying to fix supper and get ready to go to choir practice, but since I've got a cold and (as I emailed the choir director) my singing would probably sound like a bull-frog going through puberty, I am staying home. I am really disappointed about missing it since there are only a few rehearsals before the concert, but like the director said, better to miss a rehearsal than miss the concert. So, since I have the house to myself (read: ought to be doing laundry and some cleaning), I'm going to take the time to catch up on this.

Keep in mind that November was full of a LOT of new or unexpected things:
using coupons to get great deals
using coupons to stock up on things at rock-bottom or FREE prices
finding a long-lasting supply of lunch meat marked down

Here's my weekly trip's OOP and savings:
OOP: Savings:
$76.32 $47.72
$101.43 $64.00
$32.56 $36.79
$26.05 $3.62

So for November, my total OOP was $236.36. BUT my total savings are $151.63 ($387.99 before savings), 39% (This isn't including the Soleil Deal that I got on an "off" day, not my regular grocery shopping trip.). By my $25.00/week budget, that is OVER budget by $136.36... but I also have to take into account that $14.90 of that will actually be used for my family's Christmas get-together, and alot of it was for stuff that is "stockpile" building... like the chocolate chips, cereal, etc. We haven't begun to run out of those things yet!

The beauty of this is that the over the last week or two, I'm realizing that some things that I use on a daily basis are starting to run out... but then I also realize that I have more of the same thing, only name-brand, in my stockpile and am happy and relieved that I don't have to go pay full dollar for more store-brand because I stockpiled with name-brand for a lot less than store-brand!

A good example of that would be today's shopping trip. I only needed the things from Kroger and Walmart. If I hadn't been stockpiling this past month, I would have also had to buy: body wash, chocolate chips, toilet paper, powdered milk... and all those things are expensive even if you buy store-brand (I will admit to being kinda brand loyal to Nestle Chocolate Chips...).

While I'm not "stockpiling" liquid-milk, I have started to buy it when it's marked down to $1.99/gal for quick sale. I bring it home and pour it into quart containers and freeze them. This allows us to have milk on hand to drink when we want it, and while I haven't done the math, I'm guessing it is cheaper than buying even the store-brand powdered milk that I was using for cooking and baking. Before I started doing this, whenever we wanted to have cereal for breakfast (a rare treat before $.60/box cereal :P ), we'd either have to eat it dry or plan ahead and buy full price milk. I didn't buy liquid milk regularly because we didn't drink it fast enough before it went bad (and I never thought to freeze it before, either) and it was about the same price to just mix up the powdered as I needed it.

Woops, I kinda got off on a rabbit trail there! Anyway, all that to say that I am overall pleased with the amount and quality of groceries that I was able to get for that amount of money!!