Saturday, April 5, 2008

Frugal $400 March Final

I'm a bit late getting this posted. This was a month of great deals for using coupons! We have eaten a lot of free cereal, peanut butter and fiber one bars. I don't know what it is about the grocery stores around here, but they LOVE to compete. Trust me, I'm not complaining, but I ended up A LOT more receipts this month. Opening my purse was like one of those trick cans where the snake pops out and makes you scream.

So this is how it broke down: Spent $482 Total Savings $367 Coupon Savings $76

I realize that I was over my goal, but I began stocking up on freezer cooking items for April's meals, so I'll just subtract that $82 from April's grocery budget. Not bad, I'd say.

Enjoyed another freezer cooking party with some friends last Friday.

Having just completed the first quarter of the year I am quite pleased with how this budget is going. I am getting the itch to go shopping for shopping's sake or to eat out because it seems easier. But I will have to restrain myself here. Our savings is seemingly more stable and we haven't used the credit card once for anything that isn't for reimbursement in 20008. Sure a few emergencies have popped up and it's been a relief to have that money in savings to withdrawal.

Learning that Tuesday mornings is the time that our Kroger marks down produce/meat/dairy has saved us a bundle. I sent Sean out this Tuesday morning to pick up milk on manager's special for our freezer since I was at work. He took his job seriously and came home with this for $36.00. I think it was somewhere around 15 gallons. I'm going to see if I can make this last the whole month. We average about a 5 gallons a week.

Perhaps the financial highlight of March (of our lives perhaps) was receiving the Lilly grant check in the mail. Never (I say never) in our lives have we made a deposit this large. I was certain that the bank teller was going to laugh at me or report me to the police for an "uncharacteristic deposit". Thankfully, that didn't happened. I've been able to order UV protectant swim wear for some of the kids now. Some of our children have only two colors, red and white, so it is necessity . It feels strange to have this money to spend in what seems like extravagant ways for us, but I admit that it is fun!

My goals for April:

1. Stay in budget.

2. Plan a garage sale with Tisha to sell all this free CVS stuff we've picked up.

3. Eat out less and only with a coupon,

4. Put 15% of my check into savings for the next 3 months.

How did your first quarter turn out? How are the small changes you are making adding up to bigger differences?


Catherine said...

I have a question about freezing milk. I have tried freezing it and when it thaws it has chunks and flakes in it. How do you handle that? Do you strain it somehow? Or is it that there is only a specific kind of milk you can freeze?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious about freezing milk too. I've never tried it before and wonder what your process is. Thanks for your help, and GREAT job in March. I hope April brings you lots more deals.

~ Amy @ Memoirs of a Mommy

Sherri said...

What an inspiration! I too am curious about the milk. I just love manager specials at Kroger. I even picked up some milk on special yesterday but didn't realize I could freeze it.

soccer mom said...

I was just thinking of our garage sale yesterday when I was getting all the FREE stuff at CVS. It is going to be a good time! :-)

Heather L. said...

Enjoyed your month in review! Great picture of all the milk! I think I need to go to Kroger's more. :)

mindi said...

wow - what plans!! I'd also like to hear about the milk, I've only frozen breastmilk, not sure how it compares to cows milk.

mom24 said...

Oooo, I am so envious of the milk! We have to spend $6/gal on raw goat's milk (due to the allergies) and the nutmilks that I have to make for them add up to 'bow cu' bucks (obviously I can't spell in french). The raw milk can be frozen but since there is never a sale, I rarely need to.
GREAT job on this budget! I am AMAZED that you can do this for such a large family! Keep on with it!