Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Frugal $400

We've been looking over the budget for 2008 and things are looking good from here. Not much wiggle room, but we are going to be fine. Of course there is always room from improvement and places where there needs to be a little nip and tuck. There is the option of one or both of us working more hours, which is always helpful when finances are tight. We're not afraid of a little work. But, I'd much rather us learn to live under our means and use extra to pay down debt or save for some fun summer trips. And who doesn't feel a lot more comfortable with a little cushion, right?

So I have challenged myself to get our grocery/household budget down to $400 a month for this year. I know that sounds ridiculous for a family of nine, but with prayer, some resourcefulness and planning, I am hopeful. I'm going to be using only cash for these transactions so that I will have a handle on what's available and will be soliciting the help of my older girls with the coupons and time in kitchen cooking from scratch. I'll be posting my final totals at the beginning of each month and keep you appraised of some highlights and recipes along the way.

I hope that this exercise will serve to keep me accountable and that it will also encourage you as you manage your homes and budgets.

So, here goes. I did my shopping for this week and here are the great deals I found:

At CVS I was able to purchase diapers (4 packs) and soda for the month, vitamins, some much needed Oil of Olay products for me and the girls, dark chocolates and a planning calendar. There are also 3 glucose monitors which produced $30 in Extra Care Bucks that I will donating to a local clinic. This took four separate transactions in which I used $90 in coupons and ECB.

Spent $36.25 out of pocket and have $25.00 Extra Care Bucks for milk this month.

At Super Target they have a lot of produce marked down. For example, 5lb of potatoes were 2/$3 and I used 2 $1 off coupons. Those will go a long way. Campbell's soup was also marked down and with a coupon was $.35 a can. I spent $19.57 there.

It's not rocket science. I just went to Money Saving Mom and Thrifty Florida Mama and followed their lead.


Cindy said...

Really? Because it sounds like rocket science. Maybe I need to tag along with you one time. You amaze me.

Anonymous said...

I think I just need to move to an area with a CVS and a super target, we don't have either here. :(

Keep up the great's encouraging!


Milehimama said...

Ooh, I'll be watching with interest because I just cut our household budget to the bone at $160 a week (for 9 people, includes all food and WalMart stuff). I thought I was doing well!

My problem here is that no grocery store does double coupons. Sigh.

Sniz said...

I agree with Cindy! It looks like Rocket Science to me. I long to be frugal like this. I sit and think about how to save money, and I feel like it is impossible to get a handle on could charge people to give lessons. Hey I know! I'll make curtains for you and you can teach me how to save mucho money! Sound good?

Saralyn said...

Keep up the good work, Monica! I've made up my mind about the vacuum and have decided to send everyone who helped a packet of chili seasoning. Email me your mailing address on my blog and I'll send yours out.

Michele said...

Great job! I have commited this year to a budget and cutting way back on our families grocery bill as it is one place that we do have a bit of wiggle room.
I am trying to get our grocery bill down to $35 a week. With the help of my CVS shopping, I think I'll be able to do that. We were going to Walmart just about every two weeks and spending $100 or more, was just for diapers, wipes, cleaners, not really any groceries. I have not been to Walmart in over two months thanks to my CVS shopping!

Rebecca said...

First time to your blog--got here through Crystal's linky on Money Saving Mom. I am a 34 year old SAHM homeschooling mom to our 6 children, with #7 on the way (due April 22)--ages son 9 1/2, daughter 8, daughter 6, daughter 4 this month, twin daughters 19 months, and hurrah--a boy on the way! :-) Our grocery/household budget is also $100/ week, and I try to spend less if possible. I just started doing the CVS routine seriously in November, and am thrilled with that. I also shop Aldi's, Walmart, and a local bread outlet. Soon I will have up to 3 in diapers, so that should be fun! LOL I am hoping maybe one or both of the twins will train before #7 arrives, but we will see. Just wanted to encourage you that it is possible to have a budget like that with a large family! Keep up the great work!