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An August goal met

August 27th, 2005 at 02:23 pm

Geez, two posts in a day. But this is what I really meant to post about, to begin with.

For the first time since I started recording everything in Quicken again, I was pretty much within my monthly (4-week) budget for Everyday Expenses (groceries, take-out, pet food and gas). Here's what that means in dollars--May was $653, June was $687, July was $676, and August was down to $505, only $1.60 over where I wanted to be. And the month's ending comfortably. There's gas in the car, a fair stockpile of groceries and I was able to pick up some cheesesteaks for an easy dinner tonight.

I'm not even sure exactly how I managed it. Wink Here are my theories--

I'm kind of learning to budget for gas first, then seeing how much I have left to spend on the other things each week. If it means bologna instead of turkey breast, or more cooking and less take-out one week, that's what happens.

I'm reining in my bargain-hunting compulsion a bit, because it actually tends to make me overspend. I'm trying to buy no more than 2 items at a time when I see a good deal, unless the sale specifices something like "must buy 4."

I finally got around to trying two new stores, the Pepperidge Farm outlet and a produce stand. Both had some great deals. For example, I got a 3-lb bag of green peppers for $1.50, which is often what I have to pay for one pound elsewhere. I'm also watching where I buy milk, since we use about 10 gallons a month and the price can really vary from store to store. I haven't bought seltzer water or diet soda all month, and DH has agreed to one family pack box of TastyKakes a week, instead of two boxes.

I think we're eating less meat, and cheaper meat. (I tried some frozen steaks from Aldi, with so-so results.) DH won't eat beans, but he doesn't mind eggs for dinner once in a while. Also BLT's as long as we have something with them like soup, french fries or corn on the cob.

The $6 pizzas I can get on Tuesdays are a big help with the take-out budget.

I am trying to drive a bit less to save on gas. But right now, it's still worthwhile to drive around for bargains, even with gas prices the way they are. I'll keep doing it until it doesn't make financial sense anymore.

1 Responses to “An August goal met”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    I was buying discounted gift cards on Ebay for awhile and never had a problem. I think you're right that you want to go with someone who looks reputable. Also, I always tried to get one who accepted credit cards through paypal, in case there is a problem. You may also notice that the same sellers pop up quite frequently, so if you get this card with no problem, add the seller as one of your favorites and you can be notified whenever any of their cards come on again.

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