Single Step Personal Finance Challenge: Follow-Up

Way back in, oh, July or in some other warm month, Mrs. Micah posted a Single Step Personal Finance Challenge.  I joined in and challenged myself to find a better way to handle our grocery budget.  We were consistently overspending our allotment in that category and I was not liking that.  In response to the challenge, I came up with a few different ideas for reducing our spending.  You can read all the details here.  I’m happy to report that in December, we finally stayed within budget!  YAY!  (Okay, we were 32 cents over.  But close enough.  I can cover 32 cents with pocket change I find around the apartment.)  We were down in our spending some months between then and now, but we haven’t met the budget until now.

How’d we do it?  Well, we spent less money.  Seriously, though, I think it’s because we’ve been going to the grocery store a lot less often.  Last summer, we were going to the grocery store at least once a week.  Now we only do major shopping about twice a month.  We make quick stops in between our major stops to get milk or other miscellaneous items.  In our twice-monthly trips, we spend more than we did on our weekly trips, but not by a huge amount, thus the savings.

For January, we’ve actually reduced our grocery budget to $350.  I always stock up on things when there’s a sale, so there’s no shortage of food around here.  We’ve decided to eat some of the gallons of hot cereal (I measure it in gallons because we keep the dry mix in gallon jars) for breakfast instead of buying more cold cereal.  If I remember, I’ll update at the beginning of February and let you know if we came in budget or not.

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Comments

  • Mrs. Micah  On January 15, 2009 at 5:54 AM

    Very awesome! I know budgets can be frustrating because it feels like you’re failing if you go over. So congrats!!

    (though all those other months, you were kind of succeeding because at least you knew where the money went!)

    • Pamela @ Frugal Vet Tech (Student)  On January 16, 2009 at 8:47 AM

      Thanks, Mrs. Micah! You do make a good point – the budget isn’t a failure if we overspend a category. We still know where the money went, it just didn’t go where we wanted it to (which means we messed up).

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