Thursday, January 29, 2009

Say What?

In the spirit of Mrs. Furious, I decided I would add up all of money that I spent this past week on groceries, Target, pet stuff. This was a big week of stocking up on paper towels, cat food, etc. Plus, I did buy a cubicle shelving unit for Jack's room (that was $40 for the cube thing and $11 for 2 cloth "drawers"...not sure if I am keeping it.) I spent $20 on a video game for the boys and a copy of Turbotax to do our taxes for $30. The grand total for all of this was $460.19. That really freaked me out, but did not surprise me. This basically included 2 weeks of food shopping because I did the whole Trader Joe's and the supermarket two times. Plus, holy cow, all of those short hops in the supermarket for just a couple of things add up. Ridiculous.

Now, I know I sound a bit blase about the amount. I am not. We can not afford to do this. It was all cash, but we have no savings. It is not hard to imagine why that is. Yes, we have high expenses since we live in a very expensive part of the country. We both have high car payments and we can not get rid of the cars because we live in a rural suburb of Boston. It can take me 20 minutes to drive to a friend's house with no other cars on the road, no traffic lights, nada and they live in the same town. We do not eat ever. We used to get one large pizza every Friday night. Now we make does not actually cost less though because we do have to buy the ingredients to make it. It is about $10 a week for that. 

I am about to write out some bills and cubby some upcoming expenses. I definitely need to become more aware of what I am spending our money on. There were definitely many extra things bought this week that are not usually. I can think of a solid $150 of that amount being extras. I have switched to almost all organic or local products. That is actually a lot more money for the dairy products--especially the milk. I do local for the cheese and butter, not organic. What I need to start doing first is to reduce the amount of times I go to the store each week. This past week was unusual. Trust me, I don't live near any stores so not going to Target and Trader Joe's a lot is not difficult. It is a solid 30 minute drive on back roads in the country...cows on the side and all. I do tend to feel like I need to "stock up" when I go to the stores though because it is not as convenient as I would like. I need to allow myself to run out of things instead. It is not necessary to have 4 boxes of Cheddar Bunnies stored away at all times. Rationally, I know this. 


Robin said...

I feel ya! We started budgeting envelope style, and it has made a huge difference in the amount of money we spend. We are now very aware of the extras. I definitely think twice before sticking them in my cart.

I also agree about the homemade pizza. I'd like to think I was saving money, but no. The ingredients are expensive! Little Caesar's $5 Hot-n-Ready is even cheaper than frozen!!

julie said...

I was thinking about doing something like that with the envelopes. Taking out the cash and paying for food, gas, etc with cash only. When the cash is gone, so be it.

I have to do something because I am just blowing the money away in little chunks.

Robin said...

We use Dave Ramsey's plan. It sounds a little hokey, but it definitely works. I have a bunch of envelopes for the different categories. And like you said, when it's gone, it's gone. I have gone to the grocery store at the end of the month with my calculator, a list and $22.50. Adding and weighing my produce. I ususally only have to do that once a month, but I definitely spend less. And when I do buy things that we don't necessarily "need," I really give it though, whereas before, I would have just thrown it in the cart and not worried about it. I have reduced our spending by at least $500 a month! And I don't really feel deprived. It has also taken a huge amount of stress off me.