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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Saving money but busting the budget

I've been trying to be a smarter grocery shopper. I've shopped with a list for a long time, and am good about not deviating from the list too much, but lately, I've been paying more attention to sales and coupons in an effort to save money. I'm also working on stocking up on groceries a bit more, just to keep the cupboards from getting bare on the off chance I can't get to the store for longer than normal.

For example, today, I discovered that my favorite brand of coffee was on sale. $1.30 off. I needed one bag. But I bought two. I also noticed that Lean Cuisines were marked down to $2.50, so I picked up a few of those as well, even though they weren't on the list at all.

Unfortunately, it's the end of the month. I didn't have enough in my monthly grocery budget to cover all of these extras. I just decided to pull from next month's budget, since I'll be eating most of the food next month anyway, but that's not a trend that can continue from month to month.

I definitely spent more this month on groceries than I have in the past. But I also have more food in my house than I normally do, and even though I've spent more than normal, I've also saved quite a bit by watching for sales. Obviously, saving is good, but spending out of budget is bad.

I hope that in a month or two, this plan will start to pay off in that I will be spending less because I'm buying on sale, and stocking up when things are less expensive. And that the budget busting will end.

3 comments:

Mrs. Accountability said...

I think sometimes you have to do a little catch up shopping when you start watching the sale ads - you know like if you buy a certain kind of toilet paper every month and you always spend $8 a month but then it goes on sale every four months for $5 a package, then you would be better off to overspend one month and buy $20 worth of TP, than to spend $32 over the same amount of time.

Mrs. Accountability said...

Hey so what I meant to say was you're right, I think it will eventually balance itself out. At least you are aware it's happening, that's an important step!

TheLocoMono said...

That is a fairly common pratice to buy things that are not on the list. However, you are aware which is a good thing. One thing you should also be aware of is that grocery chains have to move products at the end of the monthly cycle for the next shipment so they will often advertise the same brand for sale every two to four weeks. Keep an eye on the ads in your local paper. The brand of coffee we get goes on "sale" every 4 weeks so we buy them during this sale. You can save an easy 20 bucks this way.