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January/February Grocery budget

January 30th, 2006 at 05:05 am

My husband and I both get paid on the 20th of the month so my budget for items runs from the 20th to the 20th.

I budget $250 a month for groceries to feed my family of four. I don't always stick to it, especially if we have company over often (which we love to do!). I'm planning to track my grocery budget on this blog to help keep me accountable and to have a journal of where all of my grocery money is going when I go past the $250 mark. I also need to point out that "groceries" in my budget includes all toiletries as well (even my son's diapers).

Here's my recap for the current month on groceries. First grocery shopping was on January 21st. I needed quite a few toiletries, so my bill was kind of high for this trip (I try to stay around $60 per week). I spent $79.43.

I then spent $6.12 at Target and $6.49 at Safeway for some soda pop and snack foods for my Pokeno group that I was hosting at my house on the 24th.

My second grocery shopping trip (which had to include diapers again! - for his daycare) was just yesterday, January 29th. I spent $61.19. Then I had to make a quick stop today at King Soopers and I spent $5.64 (hubby insisted on taco sauce and Stoke's green chili for the burritos at lunch!).

So, after all of that, I am only 10 days into the "month" and I have already spent $158.87 - YIKES! I need to remind myself that about $40 of that was for diapers and wipes for my son and I only have to do that about once a month at the most. Also, I now have enough groceries on hand (aside from needing another gallon of milk at some point this week) to last until at least February 8th. Still, I'm concerned that I will go over budget on this category again this month!

Current Grocery Amount remaining: $91.13

Rapid City or bust!

January 30th, 2006 at 04:47 am

Yes, we are trying to put together an affordable family vacation for all of us to enjoy this coming June. We only have about 4 weeks each year that all of us are off together (2 weeks in June and 2 weeks around Christmas), so we are aiming to go in late June.

We've decided to go to Rapid City South Dakota. It is only about 300 miles from here, so we will be driving. We love to camp and have done so many times with our oldest child (haven't tried it yet with our 2 year old), so we are looking at going to a KOA campground near Mt. Rushmore. My parents gave us money (about $150) for Christmas that we have decided to put toward the three nights that we are staying at the campground. We decided to stay three nights because I found a coupon online that offers a free night after you stay for 2 nights. I'm going to call this week to get reservations, so I'll report how that goes (and how much it will cost) once it is done. We also want to spend a night in a Tipi at a campgroung in Custer - looks like lots of fun!

I'm very excited about this trip! It is a bit of a challenge to keep the expenses to something that we can manage, but it is also kind of fun to live up to that challenge! I've been researching A LOT and discovering online deals for many attractions. My hope is to keep the ENTIRE expenses for this trip below $500 (not including the money from my parents). This would cover gas, food, lodging, and everything else. I'm planning to use my $20 challenge money to fund this trip - so it will need to have grown to at least $500 by June. We'll have to see how we do!

$20 Challenge Update

January 30th, 2006 at 04:29 am

Well, I guess that I am moving my reporting about my $20 challenge into this blog area now. Blogs are new to me - but look interesting.

Previously, I had a total of $139.95 through various means. Today I need to add in a few things. First of all, I earned a $75 bonus through a new credit union that opened up out here when I opened an account (I also received a $25 gas card!).

I also need to add another $12.40 from ebay items that have sold. I do have 8 other items listed right now, so I will add the total from those when the auctions close.

There was also a $4 check in the mail recently for a survey I did online awile back, so that will also be added to my total.

Previous Total: $139.95
ebay: $12.40
Bank bonus: $75.00
Survey: $4.00
________________________
New Total: $231.35

Short Articles

January 19th, 2006 at 08:00 am

Wrote another 10 short articles and got paid $30 for my time. So, I will add it to my challenge.

Previous total: $109.95
Articles: + 30.00
___________________
New Total: $139.95

Ebay Sales

January 13th, 2006 at 08:00 am

I sold 2 of the 3 shirts that I listed on ebay so I will add them to my total today. I'm planning to comb through my closets this weekend to see what else I may have to get listed on ebay. I think that I will also relist the one shirt that didn't sell - I did have 4 people watching it - and see what happens.

Previous total: $55.45
ebay: + 44.50
____________________
New Total: $99.95

Article Writing

January 13th, 2006 at 08:00 am

I just got paid for some short articles that I wrote for the internet. This is a new venture for me that I decided to pursue to add money to the challenge. I descover this job listing on Craigslist. It doesn't cost me anything to do - just some time.

Previous balance: $99.95
Keyword articles: +$10.00
________________________
New total: $109.95

Old Clothes

January 10th, 2006 at 08:00 am

I sold some old clothes of mine on ebay and made $38.25. I've already subtracted the listing fees from my $20 total, so I'll just add in the $38.25.

I also purchased three shirts at goodwill for $7.47 and I listed them on ebay. The listing fees were $2.10. So, here is my updated total.

Previous total: $26.77
Shirts from Goodwill: - $7.47
ebay listing fees: - $2.10
Ebay items sold: + $38.25
____________________________
New total: $55.45

2 Books Sold

January 8th, 2006 at 08:00 am

I sold two books on Amazon that I listed. After paying postage and fees, I can add $9.12 to my total.

Previous Total: $17.65
Books sold: $9.12
___________________
New Total: $26.77

Listing Fees

January 5th, 2006 at 08:00 am

OK, I think that I have begun a plan for this challenge. I would really like to see what I can make of an initial $20 investment, so for now my main challenge is turning the $20 into something more.

(1) I plan to list and sell items from around the house (that we no longer need or use so they are "free") on eBay, Amazon and our intranet classifieds at work (no listing fees or postage!). The listing fees will come out of the initial $20, and hopefully I will be able to add more money when these items sell. I've listed three items so far with listing fees of $2.35.

(2) I plan to start recycling our aluminum cans. We don't drink a lot of soda, but I suppose that every bit counts! I'm still looking for a place that pays to recycle other products.

Progress so far: 20.00
Listing fess - 2.35
__________________
Total 1/5/06 : 17.65

Starting The Challenge

January 4th, 2006 at 08:00 am

I am new to these forums, but I am very motivated to take on this challenge! I have a few ideas, but I'm still scouring the forums here to gleam any new knowledge I can. When I have a more definite course for this challenge, I'll post it here. So, as of today my challenge officially starts with $20.

1/4/06 Balance: $20