As I mentioned in my last post, my food/cleaning/health&beauty/pet expenses (ie. my food/misc budget line) seem like they are way out of whack. I started a little spreadsheet to see how much I am actually spending. I think it will probably need at least a 2 month tracking to really see what I am spending. We do a lot of "stocking" up, so some of it will last quite awhile. Even so, I have a feeling I am spending way more than what I have listed in my budget line for this stuff.
Monday we shopped at 3 places:
a feed supply store for 2 bags of dog food. $40 ea. I also recently ordered a bag online from Chewy.com to give that a try (they delivered in like 3 days). It was $4 cheaper thru them, plus I got a first order discount. One bag lasts about exactly a month, so no change there in cost compared to what we have always been spending. We also buy treats and cosequin, on a regular basis. My estimate for that stuff is about $40/mo. Won't have to buy dog food for 3 more months.
Target: I picked up 2 prescriptions for $11 (I just include this in my "food/misc" budget line. That amount is constant and doesn't really change much.
Then, still at Target, we picked up various items that totaled: $120
We also got 2 big cases of TP (DH goes thru TP like crazy! plus he's completely brand loyal). But this should last us 2 months?, 2 boxes of Ritz crackers, a bag of Oreos, a big "bonus" can of Folger's coffee (I don't think I quite have enough left to last a month, so decided to buy, but this should last me several months), large jar of Jif peanut butter (I'm brand loyal on this one), 8 12-packs of Mountain Dew. He tries to only drink 2 can per day, but sometimes it's 3. He's addicted to the stuff. This should last us 5-6 weeks, kitchen trash bags, a big jug of laundry detergent and box of dryer sheets. We really didn't need the laundry stuff this trip, but he always thinks we do. The soda I had a 25% off cartwheel coupon as well as got back a $5 gift card, so it came out to $3.33 per 12-pack. I had a 5% off coffee store coupon and forgot to give it to the cashier. There was a $1 coupon stuck to the laundry soap, so I did use that and saved 5% using my Red Card.
At the grocery store we spent a whopping $330.75. 6 cases of water on sale for $2.50 ea. A few bags of chips, dh got 3 more 12 pk sodas (root beer and orange), other snacks, bread, rolls, and stuff to make dinners and lunches: lunch meats and cheese, hamburger, steak, chicken, bbq ribs, frozen skillet meals. Basically, from what we got I count enough stuff for about 26 dinners....almost a whole month. We got juice, milk, coffee creamer (bought the biggest this time - the medium usually last me 2 weeks, this one should last a month, frozen strawberries and bananas (so DH can start drinking smoothies again), my instant breakfast I drink every morning (bought 20 servings, but still have about 12 more from previous purchase).
I budget $650 a month for all the above. You'd think that would be enough for 2 people to live on. I know it's more expensive when I have to shop at the town store, but we try to stock up in the city and I order online. I just try to get milk and bread there in between trips to the city. and sometimes ice cream LOL.
Monday's total was $542. Seems a terrible amount, if I only want to spend $650 for the next 30 days. We won't be doing a big trip for another month now. Our last trip to the city to stock up was Dec 8, so over 5 weeks. I didn't spend much at the local store the first 2-3 weeks after that trip, but then the last 2 weeks I did, as we were running out of stuff, as well as I placed online orders.
Other than milk (and we are out of ice cream) I really don't think I would need to buy anything at the town grocery store for the next 2 weeks. It will be interesting to see what I end up there for. I know I will end up buying stuff I have forgotten or whatever. Probably will need more chips. I also tend to spend at least $25/week for online orders. Plus, we go out and eat about 2-3 times a month. Sometimes it's just $12 from Wendy's in the city, sometimes it $50 at the nicer restaurant we like. The town restaurant is about $25. I include those in the budget for food/misc. Maybe I need an "entertainment/fun" line going forward and have it be there instead of food/misc. Bottom line it all comes out the same, but it might be a better "mental" trick. Before the 30 days is up I will need to order our older dog's cosequin and brushing chews, about $30.
I'm not really looking for ways to cut down. DH eats what he eats (and me too) but I just think I'm not budgeting based on reality. I'm not tracking the spending, so I'm not sure if I'm really in the ballpark for what I am budgeting. DH mentioned that when we get our house and have lots and lots of storage room, he'd really like to stock up on everything we can - less trips to the city. If we start doing that I can make sure we are stocking up only when stuff goes on a good sale. That will save.