October turned out to be my uber thriftiest month of the year so far and I couldn't be happier.
I began the month with pretty much nil in the checking account and my car on fumes. My first paycheck had a little overtime pay on it so I was easily able to pay all the monthly utilities and expenses before their due dates and fill up the car. I wrote a $75 check to the high school to cover my oldest's marching band expenses. I also made a good sized payment toward my debt elimination goal. I'm getting closer! I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
My second paycheck had some overtime on it. I made the house payment well ahead of time and paid the orthodontist bill. After that I added another $100 to debt elimination. Yaay! I always like that.
We managed three family outings last month. A trip to the Old Idaho Penitentiary, my oldest daughter's marching band competition and her band concert at the end of the month. All three events offered plenty of entertainment. Instead of dining out at one of our favorite restaurants we opted to save some serious cash and used coupons we received in the mail for a fast food meal at Burger King. Not my favorite place to go, but the girls really enjoyed it. Additionally, I took each of my girls on a mommy/daughter date for less than $20.
It was definitely all about wise use of coupons last month. At the beginning of the month I received coupons for free grocery items and used those to stock our freezer with bacon and English muffins and our refrigerator with eggs and orange juice. I used other coupons I had printed online to pair up with sales items which allowed me to spend a lot less at the grocery store. As a result I was able to purchase quite a few things, including a few stock up items and still came in below my grocery budget.
I used a $10 OFF $10 purchase coupon I received from ShopKo to acquire two extra Christmas gifts for my girls at no cost. I was super excited about that. I was also able to treat myself to a little vintage stereo I've had on my "wish list" for a couple of years now by combining a $10 store coupon with a sale to get it at a super low price.
October was also a month of using up every last bit of things around the house. I added water to a dish soap and a laundry detergent bottle and managed to get an extra couple of loads of clean dishes and laundry out of the deal. After squeezing as much face cream out of the tube as I could I cut the bottom open and scooped out the rest giving me enough for another week. With a little water I laminated a sliver of bath soap to a new bar so it could easily be used up. And I used a toothpick to help me dig out the last of the pumpkin pie flavored lip balm out of the tube of Chapstick the girls got me for Christmas last year. I wasn't about to waste one bit of that!
I used proceeds from egg sales to purchase a bale of pine bedding and finished stocking up on feed for the hens this winter. Even though their egg production slows this time of year they are still completely self sustaining. We wait on them hand and foot and give them lots of kitchen scraps and treats and they provide us with about a dozen eggs each week.
We finally got some much needed rain after a long dry spell. Even got some snow in the mountains. So far we have yet to turn on the main heat. Instead we are managing quite nicely with just the living room fireplace in the evenings once the sun goes down and on rainy days. We've added the winter blankets to our beds and dug out our warmer pajamas too. Fuzzy socks are also nice this time of year and we all have plenty of those.
At the end of the month I splurged and purchased the girls each a new winter dress coat on sale at JC Penney. I used my store credit card to pay for the purchase and will use the overtime on my first November paycheck to pay it off in full.
October was very busy, but also very thrifty and I am quite pleased as I look back to see how it all went. Now for November. I have a feeling it is going to be a really good one.