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Saturday, October 1, 2011

The 200 Challenge - October 2011

September was a hard month on the 200 ChallengeYou can already tell that we failed again, can't you?  I'm still glad that we have a goal set though, even if it is really hard to stick with it and to make ends meet.  I am constantly reminded of how much food prices have gone up.  I am also constantly reminded of those who make do on much less with a good attitude. 

I've decided to use a slightly different approach for October, to see if it makes any difference.  Instead of grabbing items {that I want to stock up on for later} while I shop, I'm going to try only buying the exact items that we need for the meals we will be eating for the week.  That does mean that I will be in the store every week, but I think it will help me to not end up with 2 jars of peanut butter left at the end of the month, and no rice.  :-)

So here are the totals.  Out of our $200 budget for the month of September, we spent $211.73, which means we spent $11.73 over our budget.  I do feel like it has been a really busy month and I think I could have been more on top of it with planning better menus {to use exactly the things we already had in the pantry} and I could have kept better track of the amount of money we had left each week, too.  So my goal for this month is to sit down and total everything the same day I go to the store.

How did you do?

What helps you stay on top of your budget goal?  Do you shop weekly, bi-weekly, monthly?  Do you have a special trick or strategy that helps you out?  Please share it!  :-)

Also, how do you deal with extra stuff like having guests over, or birthday parties?  Right now, I'm not including those things in our budget if it's extra items that we purchased specifically for a hospitality event.


Amy said...

I have found that I don't do well with a "stocked pantry". I always overspend and find myself re-buying items I didn't know I had because the pantry was "stocked". I think you will be very pleased with how well you will stay on budget by just getting what you need for meals. It is my biggest help for my budget.

Also, special event I do plan into my grocery budget. But, I also compensate by planning very basic meals the rest of the week (salad, sandwiches, eggs and french toast....).

I think the fact that you are changing up your strategy is great. I find when I get in a rut with my shopping my budget takes a beating.

Keep up the good work! $11.00 over budget is still something to be proud of!

Michelle said...

I have a birthday savings account that I deposit a little bit of money into each month. Then when we're celebrating, I make a withdrawl without ruining my regular budget. That's just what works for us. I know every family is different! Thank you for everything you do on your blog. It is wonderful!

Randall and Rachel Beita said...

I usually shop bi-weekly. By the end of the second week I am getting real creative in making meals but makes me use what I have. The only downside is I tend to run out of fresh fruit and veggies! May need to start buying a few of them every week.