Works for Me Wednesday

by GettingFreedom on September 17, 2008

I’ve never participated in WFMW, but I always read the other posts. Tons of great ideas. Since I have had some friends ask me how I make my lists for each store, go to several stores, and still sitck to my budget so I just decided to do a post on it.
I do my main grocery shopping on an every 2 week basis. This helps cut down on my trips to the “big” town which in turn saves gas (the “big” town is approx. 20 miles from my home)and those spur of the moment impulse buys. Even one small purchase can upset a budget if you do it every trip you make. You gotta watch out for those. There are times when I see a really good deal at a particular store (ahem..Walgreen’s, sometimes a local grocery store) and I will go ahead and make the trip anyway but it is generally not a necessity or for a substantial amount of items.
When I am making my list for each store I always check the sale ads and my coupons. Sometimes I go off sales for our menu plans, sometimes not. That just depends on how much time I want to throw into it. Then I tally up what I think my total is going to be by the side of each item. If my total at the end comes to like $43 I will always round to $50, however the end total of all stores cannot be over my budget. This has helped me immensely since I now pay in cash (thank you Dave Ramsey!) and I also try to leave all my checkbooks and debit cards in the vehicle. This way I cannot cheat! I’ve done this before, and I get so mad at myself everytime!! :)
Like I have said before, before we were doing cash, we (um…I) were spending about $600 a month on groceries (this does include HBA, dog food, kids garb, etc..). Now that I am couponing and such, I changed my budget to basically $75/week. I am happy to annouce that after my first set of shopping this month, I am still on track, and actully just under my budget. This is how I want it, just in case I may have forgotten a random item needed to finish a recipe. This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen and it can be rather annoying if I have already spent the whole budget.
This has worked for me for the past year, I’ve only made slight changes since the beginning.
For more Works For Me Wednesday Posts visit Rock In My Dryer.
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