Monday, March 29, 2010

Budget Update

Monthly Update

Well, for the month of March I was over budget by $136.68. I spent $636.68 on $1,081.06 worth of groceries. I saved $198.82 with coupons during the month. When I looked at my total saved from coupons for the quarter I was shocked. I have saved $512.91 the first three months of the year with coupons. What could you do with $512 right now?

I am a little disappointed in myself for going over budget this month. I did have several things going on during the month that probably would account for this-spring break, school project, etc.

Hopefully, the month of April will have great sales and super coupons so we all can stay under budget.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Go here to see this week's deals at Winn Dixie. I was glad to see the ground beef finally on sale at $1.49/lb with a limit of 2. I also purchased Betty Crocker frosting for $.99 less $1/2 coupon and $.50 coupon for a final price of $.49.

Thanks to Southern Savers.

Grocery Deals 3/24-3/30

Here is a list of grocery deals in this week's sale ads.

Food World-Grand Opening

Smithfield bone-in shank portion hams - $.99/lb
Fresh strawberries BOGO-2/$3
Gallon milk- 2/$5
Kraft BBQ sauce - $.77

Piggly Wiggly (Cost + 10%) (Dothan)

Wesson veg. oil 48 oz - $1.95 less $.25 coupon from 3/28 S
Del Monte veg (14-14.5 oz can) corn, peas or green beans - $.50 less coupon $1.00/5 from 02/07 RP or $1.00/8 from 03/21 RP
Maxwell House coffee 11.5 oz bag - $1.75 less $1/2 from 3/21 S
Betty Crocker cake mix (18-19.05 box) - $.88
Pnut Patch boiled pnuts (13.5 oz can) - $.66
Bananas - $.39/lb

Stephens IGA

Pillsbury cake mix - $.99
Hunts Ketchup 24 oz bottle - $99


Hamburger helper - $.99 less $.75/3 coupon from 2/7 S or 3/7 S


16 oz bag mini carrots - $.99
Kraft 32 oz jar mayo - 2/$5

Piggly Wiggly (Brundidge and Troy)

Wesson veg. or can. oil 48 oz - $1.99 less $.25 coupon from 3/28 S
Maxwell House coffee 11.5 oz bag - $1.99 less $1/2 from 3/21 S
Duncan Hines cake mix - $.99 less $.55/2 coupon from 3/28 S

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Budgeting 101-Step 2_Ready, Set, Go

This is Step 2 of my posts concerning how to set up and use a budget. If you missed step one, just click here.

Now that you have an idea of how much you are spending in each category, now it is time to formalize your budget. I started with a spreadsheet and listed down the first column all of the categories that I had found in my search of where my money was going. Leave the first four rows blank. It may be a bill that you do not pay but once a quarter or once a year, but it needs to have a row. Since I have teenagers driving, I have a separate line for each son's gas and lunch. I have a set amount in my budget that I will contribute to their gas fund and any gas over that, they have to fund. It roughly comes out to the gas they need to go back and forth to school, any trips outside of that they cover the costs.

Next, across the top of the page, in column 2 list the first payroll date for the month. In the third column, list the next payroll date. For example, if you get paid twice a month, you would have two columns to the right of your first column listing where your money is going. If you and your spouse get paid on a separate week, you may have up to four columns for payroll dates. Personally, even though we get paid during the same week, I like to have a column for my pay and a column for my husband's pay the first part of the month. The second half of the month, I combine.

Now, start at the beginning of the month and work out which bills need to be paid from which payroll. This way, when you get paid you automatically know which bills need to be paid out of the check. I personally like to be one payroll ahead but it did take me awhile to work myself up to that. If you get paid twice a month, you will have two extra payrolls each year. At that time you can pay everything ahead at that time if you so desire.

On the third row under the payroll date, I list the amount of take home pay I will receive. Then I go down the list on the left and fill in the amount under the payroll date that the bill needs to be paid from. For example, if the electricity bill needs to be paid by the 10th, then I will need to pay that bill from my first payroll. If your first payroll of the month does not occur until after the 10th of the month, then that bill must be paid from the previous month's second payroll. According the Dave Ramsey, you should have every dollar spent (budgeted) before the month begins. So this process should take place at the end of the previous month. That way, as soon as you receive your pay, you know actually where each dollar should be spent.

Now I like to have a formula at the bottom of the page that will take my income and subtract each bill and let me know if I am over or short on what I want to pay out of that payroll. It also helps me know if I need to move some bills from one payroll to another if I have more due at the first of the month than at the end of the month. For those items that you only pay once a year, such as taxes or insurance, list them under the payroll date that has the extra income. Then that week, move that amount to your savings each month for that quarterly or annual bill.

Remember, you will never have a perfect budget so do not become discouraged. It is best to have a little bit of cushion built in to take care of those little uh-oh's that will occur.

Stay tuned for Step 3.

CVS for the week 03/21 - 03/27

Go here for this week's list of deals at CVS presented by Southern Savers. For those of you taking Zyrtec, they have a $7 ECB on 30 ct at $18.99. With the $4.00 coupon from RP 3/07, 3/28 or SS 2/18, it would only cost $7.99. They have a limit of one, though.

The item that caught my eye though was the Easter M&M's at $1.97!!

Walgreens Week of 03/21/10 - 03/27/10

Go here for the current list of deals at Walgreens. I love the way Southern Savers has the shopping list for us to check what items we want and just print out what we need.

I do have a $4 RR from last week's purchases so I may just hold on to it until next week.

New Catalina at Winn Dixie

Save up to $4.00 when you buy Pillsbury Refrigerated crescents, cookies, sweet rolls, Grands! biscuits, Grands! cinnamon rolls, pie crusts, dinner rolls, loaves, breadsticks or pizza crust On a Future Shopping Order.

Purchase Dates between 3/22 and 4/18:

Buy (4) & Get $2.00...or
Buy (5) & Get $3.00...or
Buy (6) or more & Get $4.00...
Coupon Off Your Next Order

All items must be purchased in one shopping order.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Trip to Walgreens on March 12, 2010

I saved 69% on my trip to Walgreens this week. Here's what I purchased.

Transaction #1:
(1) Zyrtec 24 hr- $18.99 less $4 coupon from SS 2/28
(1) Tylenol -$7.99
less $1 RR from last week

Total $24.27 and received a $10 RR

Transaction #2:
(2) Post Fruity Pebbles -$1.75 x 2 less $1/2 coupon from SS 2/28
(1) Febreeze luminary starter kit -$11.24 (25% off) less $4 coupon from PG 3/07
(1) Old El Paso taco shells- $.99
(1) Febreeze luminary refills- $4.99 less free refill wyb luminary starter kit PG 2/07
(2) Orbit gum -$1.00 x 2 less $1/2 March Walgreens coupon book
(3) Reach toothbrush packs-$9.00/3 less $5.01 in ad coupon, (2)$1 coupons RP 10/18 ,and B1G1F RP 1/03 (Money maker of $1.01)
(2) John Freida shampoo-$5.99 x 2 less (2) $3 coupon SS 3/07 and $2 coupon from Walgreens March coupon book
less $10 RR

Total $6.41 received $2 RR

Total OOP $30.68 for $99.28 of items--a savings of 69%.

Not as good as my 75% savings at CVS earlier in the week but the most expensive item was the Zyrtec which was still at a good price.

Walgreens Week of 03/14/10 - 03/20/10

Go here for a list of this week's deals at Walgreens. Southern Savers provides a shopping list for you to just check which items you need and print out a list. They even give you available coupons. How much easier can it be?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Trip to CVS on March 10, 2010

I made a trip to my local CVS today. I have actually not shopped there in several months but decided to give it another try. I broke down the items in six different transactions and the cashier was super nice. Total shelf price of $74.25 and I only paid out of pocket $18.52--a savings of 75%. Here's what I did:

Transaction #1

(2) Nabisco crackers- $1.00 x 2 less (2) -1$ Nabisco Crackers 6oz SS 1/24

(1) Nivea lip care -$2.99

Total $3.44 received a $2.99 ECB

Transaction #2

(1) Oral B Cross Action toothbrush-$4.00 less -$.75 Oral B toothbrush PG 2/07, 2/21

less $2.99 ECB

Total $.62 received a $4.00 ECB

Transaction #3

(2) Pantene shampoo -$3.49 x 2 less -$3/2 Pantene products PG 3/07

(1) Oral B Cross Action toothbrush-$4.00 less -$.75 Oral B toothbrush PG 2/07, 2/21

less $4.00 ECB

Total $4.21 received a $4.00 ECB and a $2.00 ECB

Transaction #4

(1) Dawn detergent - $.97 less -$.25 Dawn PG 3/07

(1) Gillette Fusion razor - $8.99 less -$4 Gillette Fusion razor PG 2/07

less $4 ECB

Total $2.61 received a $4.00 ECB

Transaction #5

(2) Vaseline Sheer Infusion - $6.00 x 2 less (2) -$1.50 printable

less $4 ECB, $2 ECB

Total $4.08 received a $4.00 ECB

Transaction #6

(1) Tide HE free detergent - $5.97 less -$1.00 Tide PG 2/07

(1) CVS Big Roll papertowel-$1.29 less -$1.00 CRT from the Coupon Center

(1) Mountain Dew 20 oz-$1.29 (lunch with a pack of crackers!)

less $4 ECB

Total $3.56 received a $1.00 ECB

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Walgreens Week of 03/7/10 - 03/13/10

Go here for the Walgreen's list of deals beginning tomorrow. Jenny at Southern Savers has listed one deal idea where you can purchase a Febreze Luminary and refill for only $1.99 each.