Monday, October 31, 2011

Financial Friday: October 2011 Cutbacks, Week 4 Results & Conclusions

Last month, I mentioned Brian and I were doing some October cutbacks. The main thing we wanted to focus on was eating out for meals. We don't do it often and spend several hundred dollars each month, but we did want to pay closer attention in October. Then maybe for the holidays, we can let loose a little bit.

So far, Week 1 was bad, Week 2 was good, Week 3 was horrible, and Week 4 was pretty good.  I wish I would have done better over all.  Oh well, at least we tried.

Here are our Week 4 Results & Conclusions:
Electric – 
* We turned off our A/C while we weren't at home and at night when the temperature was cooler.  I've done lots of crock pot cooking which uses less electricity. *

Laundry – 1 load
* Since I did 3 loads last week, I only did 1 this week.  It's amazing how much more free time I have limiting my laundry time. *

Groceries – $10.55
* I went 6 days with only needing milk.  Then Brian said he needed chips and lunch meat for his lunches at work.  So we went ahead and purchased those on Sunday. *

Dining – $12.28
* Not bad for us this week. *

Extra Income – $5.00
* Sold 1 thing on Craigslist. And I have a couple more interested in other things, but haven't sold them yet. *

Here are our Monthly Totals:
Laundry - MET

Groceries - $14.04 over (stupid coke!) Spent $134.04 BUT I saved over $100 on those items. There were several items that were rock bottom price that I couldn’t pass up, $.25 bread at Aldi, $.40/box General Mills granola bars at Walgreens, $.75 Progresso Soup at CVS, etc. I also needed several, more expensive items that rarely have coupons like olive oil, milk, cheese, turkey bacon, chicken breast patties, sausage (for Brian’s breakfast biscuits), etc.

Dining - $43.88 over (I have no excuse...)

Extra Income - $42.80 under (but still not bad)

1) Our goals were too ambitious, especially the dining category. Brian and I hardly see each other during the week, so when the weekend comes, we want to get OUT of the house and enjoy each other’s company. We enjoy going out to eat and chatting about the future.

2) We dirty a lot of clothes. My husband is a coach, and dirties 2 sets of clothes a day PLUS his coaching uniform on game days. I really don’t see how we can cut down on our laundry. I am going to have to accept I will need to do 3-4 loads per week.

3) October is a HARD month to cut back expenses. My birthday is in October, and my husband is always trying to plan something, but the last 2 years we have been cutting back. Next year, we might cut back in a different month. Any suggestions?

4) Meal planning works for us. I have a spreadsheet of our meals for each week. I revisit that spreadsheet at least once a day to know what’s coming up, what to prepare for, and to make sure I have all the ingredients on hand. I also have this on Google Calendar, so hubby knows what to get hungry for ☺

5) We want to get to the point where our extra income goal each week/month pays for our groceries and dining…but we are kinda running out of things to sell online ☺

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