Monthly grocery budget update: March

by Melody on April 5, 2011

TOTAL SPENT: $166.67

To read more about our monthly budget and what is included, click here.

We came in right at budget this past month, which was a bit of a struggle towards the end.  I really think I’m in a bit of a rut with my shopping, I imagine we all go through ups and downs in this couponing way of life.  We were all really sick for a few solid weeks, which made me lose interest in “chasing deals”.  

I find myself doing one or two shopping trips each week, absolutely no more.  Especially now that the weather is getting a lot nicer, we are going on a lot of play dates, heading to the park, visiting friends.  Shopping finds itself way down on the list.  I do love finding great deals, but won’t head to the store for just one or two items.  I try to make sure my trips are worth the time it takes.

We started out the month of March with a budget of $166 to make up for our overage in February.  $40 was automatically taken off and went towards paying for our CSA subscription that starts in May and $14 goes towards our newspaper subscription, so essentially we started with $112.

I’m thrilled that at the end of May, our CSA subscription will be totally paid for, so it should be super easy to stick within our budget and still get TONS of fresh, locally grown produce.  Plus, we are starting to plant some of our own vegetables, so hopefully soon we will be rolling in produce!

This link here will download my Excel spreadsheet so you can take a look at how I track our spending.  You can download your own blank spreadsheet to start your tracking here (I highly recommend this.  Once you start couponing, it’s awesome to see how much you are saving and where you are at within your budget). 

How I interpret the spreadsheet and how I make it work for our family is going to be different than how anyone else does it.  I only use ours to track our grocery shopping, but you can customize it to make it work for you however you feel will suit your family best. 
  • Total shelf cost of items: $324.76
  • Total coupon savings: $125.82
  • Total savings (coupons, discounts and rebates): $158.09
TOTAL SPENT: $166.67
That’s an overall savings of 48.68%.  This is probably as low as it’s been since I started couponing, but I’m still happy with it because we ate fresh fruits and vegetables for every meal and that’s the best I can hope for.
One thing to note is the shelf cost.  This is where people will differ on what they enter.  My savings could be a lot higher if I entered in the full price of the item, before any store sales or discounts.  I could pad my stats a little.  However, I know, I would never, EVER buy an item full price so I count the price I would have paid at the store that day, without coupons or rebates.

How did you do this month?  I’m really curious to know what kind of “couponing phases” you all go through?  Do you have off-months?

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