Ahh, January. The month of recuperating from Christmas and New Years, wild and crazy coupon experiences at the store, and getting back on track with my daily housekeeping.
In the grocery budget department, we averaged out to 25.85 a week. Not as bad as I thought it was going to be. I'm 100% sure that it would have been under budget if there hadn't been the great coupon fiasco. I'm glad that I do have a little play room in our grocery budget since I budget $30/week to include the papers, but they don't take up the whole extra $5. I still pretend that $25 is my limit!
This week and last week it was alot easier to get what I needed and stick in the $25 range. I think it's probably something that will come and go. So, for now, I'm going to leave it at $25 a week. It's working out fine so far and we're eating normal, everyday food :)
I do need to make a confession. At some point in December I did buy a large family pack of ground chuck from WalMart. It came out of the food budget, but it wasn't a regular grocery trip and I didn't blog about it. I also bought the lunch meat that we didn't use at our NYD get-together. And while we were up there for NYD, I bought 15lbs. of deerburger from my sister and her husband for $1/lb. And didn't blog about it. Considering that I didn't buy other groceries for 2 weeks in December, I'm sure I stayed within my budget for those meat purchases. But just in case you have been sitting there scratching your head going "when did you turn into a vegan?", we didn't. I just haven't had to buy meat for a month! I am on a major lookout for chicken or whole chickens to go on a super-duper sale. We're about out of chicken (though we do have some picked turkey on hand) and I want to replenish our supply. I'd like to find some on sale for $.39 - $.69/lb. That's my target price for buying chicken.
I've also learned - or maybe realized is more like it - that one of the top key rules for couponing is to NOT buy the item just because you have a coupon. Thankfully I didn't have to learn that the hard way, but I imagine alot of people do it. Instead, hold on to the coupon, wait for the item to go on sale, and THEN use the coupon.... but only if the sale + coupon make it a steal. In other words, I have a general idea in my head of what I'm willing to pay for something... Cereal, less than $1 and I'll start thinking about it. Veggies, $.50 is expensive - I aim for free. Milk, while there aren't coupons for it, I don't buy it unless it's marked down. An expired coupon that you have to throw away because you didn't use it is alot cheaper than buying something overpriced just to use the coupon!
And of course in our effort to be debt free, we threw a nice chunk at our mortgage principle with our January payment :)
There's our January in review! I'm excited to see how we do in February :)