Monday, June 1, 2009

May I Save Challenge Totals

I really thought it would be difficult to live this month with a goal of spending only $80 out of pocket. It wasn't as hard as I thought. What I learned was that I have just been lazy about shopping and keeping tighter control of my finances. I was still able to add to my stockpile and purchase a lot of what I wanted to buy, though not everything. Living on just $80 did use up a chunk of my freezer stockpile. I also had to use my Walgreen's RRs and CVS ECBs for pet supplies. Of course beginning the month and ending the month with Harris Teeter triple coupon days certainly helped! Not to mention Kroger suddenly wanting to compete with Harris Teeter and offering triple coupons as well. Also starting with a good stockpile was a big plus.

I previously had as my limit $100 a week for our family of five and four pets. I am cutting that back to $50 a week and an additional $50 a month just for the pets. On a truly happy note, I was able to send off an additional $300 toward my husband's student loan this month which was the point of the plan! Here is the final count of my purchases:

Total before sales/coupons: $1,051.68
Actually spent: $105.63
FSA Reimbursed: $27.60
True OOP: $78.03
Remaining: $1.97
Percent Saved: 93%

I does take work to do this. You really have to plan carefully and shop only the sales with coupons. You also have to know how each store works, i.e. coupon rules, number of coupons you can use, how overage is treated, etc. I am just thankful that there are so many money saving sites to use for ideas and bargains. If I had to do it from scratch, I wouldn't. It's just too much. Being able to share information with other shoppers makes all the difference.

I could not have done this last year when I first started strategic couponing. When I first came across Jane4Girls who spends only $800 for an entire year, I thought there was no way it could be done. Now I think it is possible, though it's certainly not something I want to attempt anytime soon! I think what I like most is that if I can teach my kids how to shop and save money, they will never starve and their future college and young adult years will be much easier than mine.


Tshanina said...

That's awesome!!! Way to shave down the student loan. Did the $80 include buying papers to get your coupons?

Dr. Mom said...

Yes it did! I even had to pay full price for them one weekend at Publix because CVS was out. Because Publix allows overage on products to be applied to other purchases, it was not a hardship.

Becky said...

This was a great experiment to follow. I knew you could do it. You'll do well on $50 a week. You're a great shopper.

hurrayic said...

My food budget needs quite a bit of help - thanks for listing your ideas and the other blog. I've been trying to whittle down the $ spent.

A.Marie said...

Great blog post! I love to read about how other's manage their food budgets! I wish that we had a Publix nearby!

Justine said...

AWESOME job!! Keep up the good work. I am jealous of all of your triples. I don't feel like our sales are anywhere near as good as last year!

Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom said...

Great job!! A lot of my couponing savings go towards my student loans too... so an extra "hurrah!" on that one. :)

Now that I have pets I really need to follow your example and budget specifically for their expenses... it adds UP!

But yeah, your savings percentage is RIDICULOUS. I'm going to go off and be jealous about triple coupon days again now... ;P