a budget warm and fuzzy

I discussed here how the hubby and I follow Dave Ramsey's envelope system.  (FYI...it's a cash-crazy, insanely intense form of budgeting).  Sounds fun, huh?! Oh...it is! (No sarcasm there...I am budget-crazy enough to really mean that.) Check out his website for details...or email me personally if you have questions of what all the fuss is about.

Anywho...when we first got married I had no, I mean no idea of how to grocery shop for the two of us.  I had done the minimum grocery shopping needed to get me by in the dorm and my apartment in college.....but that didn't prepare me for "wifehood".  Well, so we budgeted a whoppin' $100 a week (yes, I said week) for groceries...for the two of us.  No babies.  Not even a puppy for the first 8 months.  This is where I will give you permission to laugh at me.  Yes, laugh at my ignorance.  It's okay, I'm human. :) Well, let's just say after a year and half of marriage, I kinda feel like I have our eating patterns down.  I know what we need for lunches (we both take our lunch every day to work) and I plan my meals for the week before I go to the grocery.  So I dropped our grocery budget to....drum roll.....$50 a week.  Oh my heart is smiling.  That puts us at a savings of $200 a month.  That's $2400 a year.  I could keep going. My mind plays these little games on the envelope system. 

February has been our first month on this "slashed in half" grocery budget.  Last week I came home sad.  Before leaving, I cut my coupons like crazy (only the ones for items we actually buy), had them organized just-so like I blogged about here, studied Kroger's ad, strategically planned my list according to sections of the grocery so I wouldn't be distracted by running all over the place and could focus on my coupons and unit prices, and I still came in over budget.  With coupons...my total came to $61.00.  Boo.  However, I got home, pouted a little, and my sweet hubby reminded me that I had cut our grocery bill by $39.  With that, I felt better and even more determined to win this fight.

So fast forward to this week's grocery trip.  After reflecting...last week's trip did include our drinks that last us a couple weeks and other items that are a little more expensive, but last us a while.  (I have learned that it seems every other grocery trip is like this.  The next week's trip is usually just for some "necessities" to add to the pantry for the week.) This week was one of those "necessity" trips.  I do use that term lightly...as I am still learning, folks. :)  Are you ready for this? Remember how I told you I get easily excited? Well I was tonight.  Our grocery bill came out to be $28.75! Yay for the "newlywed" wife!

So if you add the previous week's bill, this week's bill, and the $9.50 we paid for Boone's food that we bought this week (yes, we include his food in our grocery budget.....he is our child after all).....we came in at $99.25 for two week's worth of groceries.  (Some of the items of course will continue to carry over into other weeks.)  That means for the first two weeks of this month we have spent what we spent on just one week's groceries in past months.  Oh, I love this!

A few things that made this week's shopping trip so "warm and fuzzy":
-Boone's Purina dog food was on sale from $14 to $11 and then I had a $1.50 off coupon.
-When pouring Boone's food into his bin, we found a "free" coupon for a Purina granola treat...so he got a $3.99 treat for FREE. (We love our frugal puppy.)
-Kroger doubles coupons $.50 and under....even if it says "do not double"....gotta love those grocery rebels!
-Simply the fact that Kroger has great "generic-brand" products that are much cheaper and you don't feel that you are sacrificing quality.

Check out our $28.75 spread....that does include the ingredients to make a heaping amount of that yummy tortilla soup I gave you the recipe for on a previous blog.  (We have snow on the way, people.  A good homemade soup is a must-have!)

Of course, Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace has been a huge inspiration for our budget.  However, for more grocery saving inspiration in the blogging world, visit Money Saving Mom.  You can find great coupon scenarios, printable coupons, freebies, links to other money-saving bloggers and tons of other thrifty tips.

Happy budgeting!! (Don't you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?)

blessings, Cait

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  1. Just loved this post... coming from SITS. Random, but are you going to Bloggy Boot Camp in Baltimore?

  2. I was the same way- only it took me more than 2 years of marriage to figure out. I have to say though, when the beagle needs a new bag of food, and the cat needs litter it is hard to stay under $50 a week!

  3. Great post! I try to budget our shopping to the penny, but it doesn't always work out. We have some friends who've been doing the Dave Ramsey method and are having great success with it. Thanks for stopping by my little corner of the blog world!

  4. I just had this super long comment and it erased it... grr... but I relate, to say the least! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day. And don't be discouraged by the first shopping trip. I have those days some too, so I hear ya. But 30% savings is still great!
    Thankfully Thrifty


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