The pressure was on this month. I went over budget last month and I was absolutely determined not to do it again. I didn’t look at any ads. I’ve only been to Rite Aid and CVS once this month. We’re dangerously low on barbeque sauce (as in, the last bottle is in the fridge and is sitting upside down…), but I resolved to make my own if we ran out (which we didn’t). Every time I wanted to buy something while at the store, I reminded myself that if it wasn’t necessary, it had to wait.
Here’s a conversation I had just this past Wednesday while at Safeway… a conversation that is, with myself.
Deal Tiffany: Oh look! Couscous for $2.19/lb! We’re running low on couscous and this is WAY better than what I paid last time. Plus I haven’t seen it in bulk at our local stores.
Budget Tiffany: Nope. It needs to wait. We still have couscous, probably enough for two nights, which will be just fine for next month.
Deal Tiffany: Ooh, rhurbarb! I’ve been wanting to try a new strawberry rhubarb pie with cream cheese crust! It would be SO delicous! Plus I can batch cook some to have available in the freezer for when rhubarb season is over.
Budget Tiffany: No can do. You’ve got a blueberry pretzel salad in the fridge and a container of cookies on the counter. Plus you’re going out of town this weekend – you wouldn’t even be able to finish the pie before you left, and then it would be waste. Just wait until next week when you’ll be home to enjoy it; plus the budget will have reset anyway.
Deal Tiffany: We’ve been going through a lot of pepitas with all of our salads. Since I’m here, I should go ahead and get a container. I don’t know if what we have will get us through the week.
Budget Tiffany: Put them back. You don’t put that much into each lunch so what you have will last you for two more days. If you run out, you’ll survive.
Man, that Budget Tiffany can be one pushy broad! 😉
That is how I approached the second half of the month. After tallying the first two weeks, I realized that I had $52 to get through the last two weeks. I was afraid that I’d go over, again, so determination was the name of the game. Here’s how I did:
Target – $42.39
I had some coupons that were expiring for cheap yogurt, free nail files, free lotion and free coffee creamer. I couldn’t pass up the free creamer and my daughter LOVES yogurt. Plus Mr. Crumbs was kinda offering to go with me, and shopping with him is always fun.
Unfortunately, the creamer flavors that Mr. Crumbs picked out weren’t meshing well with our coffee, so a few days later I returned the two creamers and picked up a few things (cool whip, cream cheese, pretzels, frozen fruit, jello…) for a last minute request for. I ended up doing a wild berry variation with blueberries, raspberries and blackberries – YUM!
Again a few days later I was getting everything together for Memorial Day’s greek pasta salad. I was planning a trip to Costco, but I only needed one cucumber, not three, so I made a pit stop to Target.
Costco – $34.33
I picked up grape tomatoes, bananas, mini sweet peppers, Kalamata olives (their price is THE BEST I’ve found so far), vanilla extract, feta cheese (beats out Trader Joe’s!) and eggs. I didn’t have any big baking planned, but Mr. Crumbs loves to make cookies with the kids and I did NOT ‘t want to be the bad guy when the eggs and vanilla were gone (and we were dangerously low on vanilla too).
Safeway – $4.59
While getting the oil changed on our car, the kids and I made an impromptu walk across the street to pick up a few fresh vegetables for a new dinner dish. One eggplant, two zucchinis, two yellow squash, a head of lettuce, a conversation with a pushy broad and a busted 2-year-old lip later (which is what happens when she climbs up on the self-checkout lane behind Mommy and tries to jump off but her sandal catches the ledge, all while Mommy is trying to find a bag to carry home the vegetables only to be told that they don’t have any plastic bags and paper bags are available for purchase for $0.10…), and we were outta there.
What’s the bottom line? $328.47
I went over again, but at least I’m headed in the right direction. I made do with the meat we had in the freezer and started making my own bread to keep the budget in line, which I look forward to sharing with you guys!
The new budget resets today and I’ve got a great plan for the meals this month. We’re having lots of meals with friends so there will certainly be some creative budgeting involved, but I’m all for a good budget challenge!