Month of Savings #3 - Trials
Monday, November 12, 2007
I'm not sure if I have saved but I have not spent more.

This was not the best month to publicly out myself as starting the program. First, my frugal friend died an untimely death.

Let's add on there Mama's health kick, which this season is manifesting itself in the form of eliminating trans fats and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Quite shocking, let me tell you, to pay $1.86 for 16 oz. of natural peanut butter when I am used to paying $1.98 for 40 oz.! At least I had a coupon, which brought the price down a bit. (To those of you shocked that I would quibble over a a few cents on a product that costs only a couple of dollars, I reply that you have never tried to feed 6 small people lunch on a daily basis on a budget. Plus, you know, the granola bar recipes all call for PB.)

It's also the foodiest of months, with Thanksgiving looming in just two weeks. Baby C will be two years old in a couple of weeks, and boycotting China means any purchased toys will cost more.

Then, Friday, the oven stopped working (after the element sparked and caught on fire). So I have to revamp my menu and create a stovetop and microwave only one for next week. This makes it difficult to cook my frugal staples of the multiple meal, chickens and pork roasts.

The flames died down, but dinner was still raw. Husband dear suggested eating out but I forced myself to say no and cooked spaghetti. Savings: $40.00, the cost of our family to eat at Ryan's buffet. Then I had to run to the store for posterboard, which I forgot to buy as I was distracted by the chocolate eclaires for $2.50. Add that to last week's Chinese food, and we're down to Savings:$21.50. Last minute trips to the store are budget killers.

However. I spent $100 LESS at the grocery store last week than I usually do. I actually have no explanation for this, aside from not buying cereal which means I bought less milk. That does not add up to $100. I did purposely cook from my pantry, including making a meatloaf that I had frozen a while ago. Actually, I do have an explanation. I am usually pretty good at sticking to the list, but tend to throw things into the cart that should be on the list but aren't. Things like a new potato peeler. Or deciding to try making tortillas, a frugal idea that will bust a budget if not planned for ahead of time. Also, I am purposely making do with our old vacuum cleaner and have not replaced my crockpot or bought the lid for it. Savings:$75.00
Impulse purchases are budget killers.

Normally such things would be a budget crunch and we'd eat lean, but we'd go ahead and get them. I would also usually pick up something fun and cheap for the kids to do (like a coloring book for a buck, or sticky foam shapes, or something) and a magazine for myself. Maybe new hair barrettes, since I'm down to ONE, or some other impulse purchase that I rationalized wasn't an impulse purchase because it was Practical and We Really Would Use It.

So. Week One has us Not Spending $96.50 that we probably would have if I was not really, really trying to save money! I guess it's one of those things... if you are not actively trying to pinch every penny, it won't happen. Even frugal habits slide back to not-so-thrifty actions.

This week, Mr P also needs new shoes, Baby X needs some socks and jammies (he's a porker, that one is), and I need new shoes as well. Anyone know how long athletic shoes are supposed to last? I bought Avias 7 months ago, right after Baby X was born and they've got a couple of holes, plus my feet are killing me. Time for new ones! Am I getting my money's worth? I have problems with my feet a lot, and wear these every day. I cannot walk barefoot. I have one pair of sandals I wear on Sunday mornings, but as soon as I get home the tennies go on!
New shoes for multiple family members are budget killers.

I also have some necessary home improvement projects, namely setting up a sewing are for myself for all these Christmas gifts I'm going to be making. I need a table (looking for a folding one, which means buying new) as well as an ironing board. My last ironing board was a little table top jobbie (I told you that I only iron Perler beads if I can help it!) that is now broken after Baby C tried to surf. Darn that penguin movie, anyway!
Spending money to save money is a budget killer - but we'll see a return on that money.

Today I am planning a run to Sam's club - we shall see how far the budget stretches! On the positive side, husband dear's paycheck was 130% of average (And yeah. If I wasn't trying to save I'd totally own a new vacuum with the attachments still, well, attached)

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 11/12/2007 07:46:00 AM | Permalink | |