All things considered July definitely turned out to be uber thrifty and I am so happy with how much mileage I got out of my dollars spent. To begin with funds went into my retirement accounts and then I paid all of our monthly expenses well ahead of their due dates. When it comes to spending, the bills get paid first.
Our power bill was the lowest it has been in a year which made me quite happy. I was able to use the money I didn't spend on electricity toward extra groceries. I spent more last month than I have in quite some time. Fortunately, I was able to keep the costs lower by taking advantage of sales and buying quite a bit from markdown bins.
Surprisingly I ended the month of July with just under half a tank of gas in the car. The truck was down to almost a quarter of a tank so I opted to fill her up this time and used my rewards points from my Fred Meyer card to shave off 40¢ a gallon!
We did a lot of repairs and improvement projects. Our chicken coop needed a new roof and some reinforcements. I re-used the wood from our old gate to make the necessary repairs at no cost and then spent $27 at Home Depot for a piece of PVC corrugated roofing materials, a small box of roofing nails and a piece of metal flashing. I also spent $26 at the feed store for a new 2 gallon galvanized water feeder to replace the broken plastic one we had. The hens had earned $14 recently in egg sales so the feeder only cost me $12 out of pocket. That was a pretty good deal!
I spent $10 for an eight foot pressure treated 4X4 to replace one of our broken fence posts. After a little hard work digging up the old one and putting in the new one the youngest and I put the two sections of fencing back up and declared that part of the project completed.
Other projects completed around the house were done by using and re-using items I already had on hand as well as some wood I had picked up from the FREE WOOD bin near my work. My can of miscellaneous screws and fasteners really got a workout. It is always nice to be able to build or fix things without having to run to the hardware store and spend a bunch of money all the time.
We ate out three times last month. I took the girls and my oldest's boyfriend out to lunch at Pizza Pie Cafe and I used a digital coupon which included drinks spending less than $30. A couple weeks later after finishing up the chicken coop roof and the fence post I took them all to Sizzler. We enjoyed the salad bar and drank water, none of us are soda drinkers, and I spent $42. Then while doing some back-to-school shopping I used a gift card and took the girls to Red Lobster for lunch. After the gift card I spent $23 out of pocket for the remainder of our bill and a hefty tip for our fabulous waiter. I try to keep our dining out budget at $50 a month, but we did have an extra person with us two of those times and so I was fine going over budget this time, especially since the BF helped out with some yard work one day, which I really appreciated and my girls have been helping out a ton with everything.
I am really pleased with how much I got done last month without having to spend a gob of money. It always makes me feel truly satisfied knowing I've taken care of our financial obligations, maintained our home, cared for my children and even enjoyed a couple extras like going out to eat. It makes all the hard work worth it.