Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What do I spend each month?

Since I started diligently and strategically couponing, I have been keeping better records. I am spending less than half what I used to spend but I seem to be buying much more. Go figure. So I thought I would share my results for the last three months, particularly for those who do not believe coupons are worth the time. We are a family of five with four pets. I include all the pet food and toiletries in these numbers. We occasionally eat out (cheaply, usually with coupons) maybe twice a month which I include in entertainment budget not grocery so those numbers are not in these. My children eat lunch at school which I include in childcare expenses so those numbers are not in these as well. My goal is to keep true out of pocket at $400 per month.

So I kicked butt in August for value primarily because CVS had great $/$$ coupons and deals. I think that lead to September's low numbers. The money to be returned is either rebates (like Walgreens, Rite Aid and MIRs) or FSA dollars which I unfailingly apply for and get back. I have a spreadsheet that calculates these results after I enter total information from the receipts. So if you were to add school lunches into the True OOP, it would still be lower than The Thrifty Plan that the government uses to calculate food stamps (for my family of five it would be $647 per month not including toiletries). I would love to get it even lower like JANE4girls who has an $800 budget for the entire year and still has $128.54 left. She is amazing. I don't think I will ever be that frugally good. However, I am really happy with our progress into the conservation of money!


Brenda said...

Amazing numbers! It always surprises me how much more I bring home & how much less I spend OOP when I use coupons and plan before I shop. It is the impulse buys that kill my budget!

Right now we are spending $120 per week on food for 4 & 2 pets, prescription co-pays & little extras, like the book fair or birthday gifts.

Shynea @ Penny Pinching Diva said...

Your out-of-pocket expense is pretty low. I think that keeping track of what you spend is a good idea, and one that I think I am going to implement this month. I would love to see how much couponing actually saves me.

Julie said...

This is so interesting! I never have kept up with it! I would like to try it too. What kind of program are you using to track it? Where did you get it? Thanks Julie @ Coupon Saving Family

shopannies said...

wow you are doing great I would love to do that great. I am learning though and spend time looking you help to make my job easier though. I would love to hear any tips you have to offer