Thursday, November 3, 2011

October's Results

Well, the results are in.  October is finished and my first monthly challenge is in the books, so to speak.  The good news is that I cut my budget, but the bad news is that I did not reach my goal.  Grocery receipts totaled $516.00 this month which was a substantial cut.  Before the challenge I was spending my budget + cheating and it was costing around $1000.00.  So I was very pleased with the results on that level, but I was $116.00 over my planned amount.

I spent some time looking at where I went wrong and what things should remain the same or change for next month.  I came up with several observations. 

What Went Wrong:

I love to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables and preserve them.  I found great deals on fall fruits like apples and pears.  I like to dry them and put them away for quick snacks when they are no longer in season.  I didn't account for that in my budget and buying the extra added up quickly.

I found the same thing to be true when I found a great deal on Glutino Pretzel Sesame Rings.  The cheapest I have found them is on Amazon.  The Sesame Rings run  $4.58 a bag.  This month they were on sale at a local grocery store for $2.99.  I stocked up, but that left me short later on in the month.  I also stocked up on Rudi's Gluten Free Bread that was on sale for $3.99 for those times I need an emergency slice of bread and I haven't had time to make it.

The last thing that set my budget on a course for failure, was deciding to try baking new breads with new flours.  Instead of waiting, I dove into the project and purchased new flours and ingredients I needed.  Sometimes I lack a little patience!

The total cost of these choices:  $114.17.  Hmmm, seems a little close to that amount I went over.  Could that be the reason?

What Went Well:

I was very pleased with the menu for the month.  I worked very hard and stuck to my choices. When I wavered, Cinnamon was there to tell me, "You have to follow the menu, Mom!"  Keeping and following a menu was great and something I will continue.

Secondly, paying attention to the cost of things was key.  I guess I had never stopped to think about the cost of my meals and how adding an extra ingredient here or there just because I had it on hand could be sabotaging my budget.  Now I know a spaghetti dinner costs me around eleven dollars and I can plan appropriately.

What Needs to Change:

Although I started out with an envelope and cash, I reverted to old habits.  I need to either stick with an envelope system or have an exact tally of where my grocery dollars stand at all times.  I do this with a post it note I keep in my purse.   I also need to be stronger and say no to last minute inspirations and stick to the budget!

The other thing I plan on doing this next month is to plan for grocery items on sale or seasonal items I want to take advantage of and stockpile.  I plan on setting aside $50.00 out of the $400 budget and earmark it for these specific items.  If I don't spend the entire amount, I will roll it into the next month's account, but still earmark it for sales.  Hopefully, that account will build and allow me more flexibility.

All in all, I am happy with the results, but I am looking forward to finding more ways to cut the budget.   We will see how it goes next month!

1 comment:

  1. I am so impressed that you were able to cut it down that low. I don't think we've spent that little in a month even ONCE since going GF. You inspire me.



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