I began the month with half a tank of gas in the car, nearly a full tank in the truck, a full pantry and two full freezers plus a paycheck with several hours of overtime on it. Not a bad way to begin.
I started out by paying all of our regular monthly bills before they were due. Then I made a run to Cash & Carry for a few stock up items they had on sale and Fred Meyer for produce and milk. That kept us set for the first half of the month, easily.
I made my regular planned debt elimination payment and took all the overtime I earned last month and applied that too. It made a big impact and once again I am able to move up my timeline quite a bit. Yippeeeee.
I put more money into my savings account and increased the amount of my 401(k) contribution by 2%. Yaaaay.
I worked hard to keep the spending in check despite the fact that I had to register both girls for school, pay for school pictures and buy the oldest a pair of sneakers as well as some dress shoes. The shoes were on clearance so I was able to keep the expense really low on those. J
After filling up the backpacks and checking off the school supply list, I restocked the school supply drawer with four bottles of glue for 50¢ a bottle, eight spiral notebooks for 19¢ each and four packages of notebook paper for 49¢ apiece.
I used some coupons I got in the mail at Bath & Body Works to purchase a couple gifts and restock our own supply of shower gel and lotion. I got three bottles free and three bottles at 20% OFF. I also hit a clearance rack and sale at Dillards to pick up some new bras and panties. I paid for them with a gift card so no out of pocket spending for those items.
To finish out our summer we took advantage of some no-cost and low cost options for entertainment. We packed a picnic and went swimming at the state park. We got into the park for no-cost because we have a state parks pass. On National Root Beer Float day the girls and I happily accepted a free root beer float at A & W. It was delicious. We also had 55¢ cones at McDonalds a couple times and 50¢ Frostys at Wendy's once after some fun family outings.
We even managed to go to the movies as a family. We chose to go on a Tuesday evening which is discount night and tickets are only $5.50 each. I used a $10 gift card to help defray the cost and only spent $6.50 out of pocket. Another family outing was to go to our local Denny's restaurant for breakfast. I had received a $5 OFF coupon in the mail to use on our bill. We then used coupons to go to the girl's other favorite restaurant - Pizza, Pie Café, which allowed us all to eat dinner for only $5.00 each.
I earned some extra money house sitting for a friend and used it to take my girl's to the Western Idaho Fair with no impact to our budget. I had originally planned to put that money right into the savings account, but since we hadn't managed any type of vacation this summer I felt just fine using it for the fair instead. I didn't spend all of it, but I spent a good chunk of it. We had a great time so in the end it was worth it.
My biggest expense this month outside of the normal monthly bills (and school registration) was for groceries. I spent a fair amount stocking our freezers, pantry and refrigerator. I was able to buy quite a few things for the girls to pack in their school lunches. All of it was on sale or markdown, my favorite way to shop.
A trip to Franz Bakery for their day old bread selections filled up the remaining space in the freezer. We are really quite set for food now, well into winter, and I couldn't be happier about that.
I used proceeds from egg sales to purchase two 50# bags of feed for the chickens. They still have money left so I'll save that for more feed and a new bale of pine bedding for the coop later on.
I used my Fred Meyer rewards points and saved 20¢ a gallon when I filled the tank on my car last month saving me $2.40. After that I did a couple surveys and used a coupon for bonus points to add extra points to my card for my next fuel purchase. I also did a couple surveys and earned an additional 50 points each time. Every little bit helps.
So this month I hope to continue to work on my debt elimination goal, add to my savings accounts and keep our spending as low as possible in the process. Wish me luck!