Wednesday, August 3, 2016

July Month End Budget Update

For a reminder or for those of you who just found me, I keep a budget of $160 per month for all of my household spending including groceries and other household goods (like laundry detergent, cleaners and toilet paper) for my family of 3.

In order to maintain this tight budget, I make a menu plan at the end of the previous month with the items that we have in the house and try to make my grocery list based on the items that are on sale for the best prices.  This means that I know when I don't need something because the menu doesn't require it and things that I can switch because of better pricing.  Often times that means getting lots of the same item when it is at the lowest price.  The great news is that leaves lots of room to get the best deals on things even if it isn't always what we need right then.  We use what is on hand and work the food into the meal plan as needed.

We get a few treats at the store every month but mostly I cook and bake at home for special items.  I make bread, rolls, and other items every week to fill in the gaps.  Although these are not free, I feel that we are eating healthier and they can be made when we are in the mood for a specific thing like banana bread, applesauce bread, pumpkin bread, chocolate chip cookies, and peanut butter cookies.

Here is what I got for the month of July with the budget above!!

Safeway $1.38
Doughnuts on vacation... fabulous treat but unnecessary with the amount of food we still had!

Walmart $0.88

Almost out at home and my husband got a horrible cut on vacation so this avoided urgent care later for infection :)

Target $2.84

For my son which we have been horrible about taking in the summer because we are on wacky schedule.

Aldi $26.48

Post-vacation stock up on things we needed.  I can't even find the receipt so luckily they take credit cards and I can look up the amount on my statement or I wouldn't have a clue what I spent!!

Aldi $6.51

Sadly, shortly after the other trip to get more things including eggs which I didn't think we needed and we were totally out of!!!  UGH!!!  Make a list and save a trip!!

Harris Teeter $0

YEAH!!!  Love Freebies!!  They aren't the best but I enjoyed them because they were free.

Trader Joes $3.58

We really needed blue cheese but I had been putting it off.  We were at AC Moore for the free cookie decorating and someone mentioned that there was a promotion at Trader Joes for the kids to decorate cookies there too!!  It was amazing luck that it was right across the street and we had enough time to go there.  They weren't just decorating cookies but they were giving away white house cookie sets (like a gingerbread house with all the fixings) and we got the chance to get blue cheese too which immediately was opened at used in buffalo chicken fried rice.

CVS $1.60

We went to CVS to get the Dawn dish detergent before the sale started because we were in so much need but obviously the sale was not on yet so we had to come back.  Although my son was not happy to go to the store, we made it in and he smelled all the options and picked the green and the teal (his descriptions).  He bought one and counted out the change to give to the woman and everything!  Who says going to the store isn't educational!  I make everything into a learning experience.  We then saw a deal on candy and a coupon that printed out on my husband's card.  We left so he could come back later with dad!!

CVS $3.59

My son and I sat down and did some adding and multiplication on how many Kit Kat bars he needed to buy in order to use the coupon and how much it was going to cost after the coupon.  It was a great deal and he decided that he wanted to do it but wanted to wait until later in the day and do it with dad so they went back.  Mostly I thought it was good addition, subtraction and multiplication practice :)  Dad wanted to get some hot tamales but the store they went to didn't have a good candy section...although I think that he just didn't look very well because I swear they all do.  Of well, we got 10 Kit Kat bars and have enjoyed them greatly!! They went too quickly!!

Aldi $19.87

We needed milk and my son almost had a melt down when I told him that he would not be able to have milk in the morning but then he got to pick out a juice box so he got over it quickly.  We also needed to get Monterey Jack cheese for the French Dip Sloppy Joes and the Lime Chicken which was on the menu for the week.  We barely had any food left in the house but I was doing a great job of using up everything else in the cupboard.  I had some peanut butter and cracker sets for breakfast and my son had leftover crumbs of tortilla chips and frosted flakes after eating a granola bar.  Here is hoping that we get a few things at the store to keep around the house before we all end up eating the packages which is about all we have left!!

Aldi $25.63

This was two days after the other trip so I obviously need to make a darn list but this got us to go over two different sale ads so I got a lot of things that were on sale for the week.  We were out of oil and had already eaten the bag of Nacho chips so I grabbed some chicken on sale for $1.69, carrots $0.49, zucchini $0.99, and lettuce that they were out of last time.  I added the white rice, shortening and chicken fries just in case!!  I knew that I had to been to Aldi's too many times for one month.

Harris Teeter $13.49

My son and husband told me that they NEEDED Cheez-Its and they were on sale so I bought some coupons from the Kelloggs Family rewards site and went to get some for $1 per box.  Along with a few other great deals including gallon of ice cream for $0.97 to support our ice cream problem....there wasn't much left from the previous crazy stock up.  The white potatoes were on sale for $1.47 for 5 lb bag limit 2 so I grabbed them because the potatoes seem to last longer then Aldi and their potatoes have been pricey recently.  There was a deal on Kool Aid to get them for $0.07 each limit 20 so I figured that I couldn't pass that up because the pink lemonade that I got went over big so I grabbed a few different flavors.

Total OOP $105.85

I didn't add anything up all month until after it was over so that I wouldn't worry about going far over for the month and go really far under to make up for last month's craziness!!  I think that I ended up getting a lot of things that we needed and some fun treats without going to crazy.  I was pretty happy with this for a summer month.  It is hard to get to the store to do a lot of shopping with my little helper at home with me.  We often do too many things to have a lot of time to hit the stores but I have done pretty well this month and hope to make it through August!!

How did you do this month?


  1. With such a thin household budget, you are absolutely amazing at finding the great deals. I could learn a few lessons from you.

  2. You did a great job, as usual! Loving the way you are incorporating math into the shopping experience. Plus, he is being trained in using coupons and looking for the best deal, which is great to help him later on in life!


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