I ended January with just over a quarter tank of gas, $10 and some change in my wallet and another $10 in my checking account. Not much, but again, certainly better than nothing. When payday rolled around on the 5th I paid all of our monthly bills ahead of their due dates, put money into my savings and retirement accounts, topped up the fuel tank on our car and set aside money for our grocery budget. On the 20th I paid the mortgage two weeks early and added to my savings and retirement accounts. I also set aside a little more money for our grocery budget and a few miscellaneous expenses.
The $20 Grocery Challenge I attempted to do again wasn't all that successful. I went over budget the first week, but got myself back on track the week after that. A sale on chicken breasts at $1.49 a pound derailed me in week three. I still managed to keep our grocery expenses for the month insanely low spending just over $100. I clipped and downloaded a lot of coupons to help me purchase items as low priced as possible which really helped me get a lot more for my dollars and to be well stocked with chicken makes me happy so I still consider this a win.
|I made Valentine gifts using all items I already had on hand|
At the beginning of February I filled up my car with fuel at Wal-Mart for $2.09 a gallon, lowest I've seen in a while. I'd never purchased gas there before and thought I would give it a try since I was already there to purchase cat food. With money still left in my fuel budget, I try to keep it around $35 a month I decided to use what was left and add some fuel to my truck. I used my rewards points and shaved off 10¢ a gallon at the Fred Meyer gas station near our home and was able to pretty much fill up my truck.
|It was a great month for stocking up on supplies|
I paired coupons I printed from Coupons.com and some downloaded to my store rewards cards to pick up more laundry detergent for 99¢ a jug at Walgreens and Rite Aid. I now have more than a year supply of detergent for us to use and a few extra I can send my oldest off to college with.
I had a few "want" items on my clothing wish list so I decided to go to Goodwill and take a look at what they had. I was able to get myself some leggings, a tank top and a jacket for working out as well as a nice top to wear to work. Yellow tags were on half price and most of what I picked out had yellow tags. I also got my daughters each a pair of leggings and a workout top for my youngest to replace the one we had purged. While at Wal-Mart I found a clearance rack with $1 items on it. I found Levis for me and my youngest for $1 each as well as two warm long sleeved Avia knit tops for myself. I spent a total of $32 on clothing.
|A jumpstart on Easter goodies|
I made Valentine cards to send in the mail and homemade gifts for my loved ones using items I already had on hand. I also started to pick up a few items to put away for Easter and the girl's birthdays that I found on clearance or on sale and with a coupon including a FREE item from Bath & Body Works. I've spent less than $5 on those items so far.
I managed an unexpected toilet repair at no cost by bartering with a friend for supplies and fixing the toilet myself. I traded him two dozen eggs from our hens and a loaf of homemade bread. It not only saved me money out of pocket, but also a trip to the hardware store on one of the busiest weeks we had going at the time. A win/win for both of us.
Once again I tried to be mindful about the items I purchased and make sure each thing was useful and the price was a good value. I feel really good about my spending this month. Now to continue on into March.