Saturday, June 23, 2007

I'm so excited....

I did it! I did it! I did it! Okay, I should probably not get *too* excited just yet as I do have 1 more shopping day left before the end of the month.

Yesterday I spent a grand total of $133.85 which leaves me $19.31 to spend next week. I should only need apples and a couple of loaves of bread so we'll see what happens. AND I bought everything on my list except for glad wrap (not sure how I missed that one but it wasn't urgent - just replacing my spare one). I also managed to get a few extras that weren't on my list.

I was really pleased with the amount of fruit and veg I was able to buy. Sometimes I do well at the fruit and veg place down there and sometimes the specials are not so good. I spent $23.75 and got 5kg carrots, 5kg potatoes, 2 kg apples, a whole butternut pumpkin, 2 sweet potatoes and just over 1kg bananas. That's pretty good going for what we usually pay.

I think I have enough powdered milk now to last me until the end of the year. I usually only use it in cooking. Last month I bought 4 packets because Coles had a Bi-Lo brand for $1 cheaper than the Coles brand and I figured they were just using up Bi-Lo stock and wouldn't always have it. This time when I went it was on a clearance sale and only $3.99 (Coles brand is $5.99) so I bought the last 4 packets on the shelf. We're going through it quicker now that I'm using it to make up Easiyo yoghurt so the savings will be very nice. I had to make some up in a jug this week as we ran out of milk the day I went to town (none left for my breakfast!). I've decided I don't really mind using it on my breakfast. I don't have a huge amount of milk anyway as I have hot water as well. Because I prefer a little lower fat milk, I made it up a little weaker than recommended so got an extra little saving there (more litres per packet). I may even continue to use powdered milk for myself. We'll see.

On the topic of milk, I noticed that Coles UHT milk has increased in price. Their fresh milk worked out cheaper per litre than the UHT milk. This is the first time I've seen this so I bought 6 Litres of fresh milk as well as a carton of UHT milk. Only thing is, I'm hoping having fresh for a week doesn't put the kids off the UHT milk. Time will tell I guess.

Within that total I was able to get 18 rolls of toilet paper. We usually use Kleenex Cottonelle (we're fussy about our toilet paper) but about 12 months ago I found an Autralian brand recycled paper that we didn't mind and was quite cheaply priced. Haven't seen it since though. I found a packet in Kmart that's not the same (but is recycled and Australian) and figured it was worth giving a go - and it was on sale for nearly half price ($4.00 for 18 rolls).

I was also pleased to be able to get a Carpet Cleaner I saw advertised on TV the other day which I wanted to try. DH said he needed some anti-dandruff shampoo this shop and I thought that might have made things a bit tight (his bottles of shampoo are usually around $8-$10). He's been using up various natural shampoos I've bought to try on my own hair but needs an anti-dandruff one every now and then. Fortunately he likes to switch around the brands he uses so this time I bought him a new brand to try (which was a little cheaper). If he doesn't like it - no problems, I'll buy the more expensive one next time. At least he's the type of person that's willing to give things a go. I also bought new toothbrushes for the kids (only needed 2 as I had 1 spare one in the cupboard) and toothpaste.

Probably the thing that *saved* my budget was a lack of meat on special. I did buy a roll of fritz but that was the only meat I bought. It wasn't urgent as I've been able to get some meat throughout this month and our local specials can often be as cheap as I can get meat elsewhere (other than chancing upon super specials).

I think DH has a sheep that he wants to get killed in the next month or so which will boost our meat supply somewhat. It's been over a year since I've had a sheep. We don't tend to eat it all that often (think it's on June's menu once) because it does seem to have a higher fat content than other meats. It costs me less than $30 (butchering fees) to get a sheep so that does help with the budget a little. I had someone ask me recently if my $100 a week spending includes meat. Well it comes pretty close. We do get the occasional sheep for a discounted price but then some people have access to regular fruit and vegetable bargains or eat regularly at their parents place (I know my SIL and her family go to her inlaws every Sunday for instance). So I figure the bonus we get with the sheep is not really much different.

One thing I'm finding with Coles is that I need to be very alert when I'm shopping. They now have 2 ranges of generic brands and it's not consistent which of the two are going to be the cheapest. I have to keep checking and comparing prices which is annoying and draining. I have learnt though to send DH off car shopping or whatever he feels like doing. When he comes shopping with me he likes to be *helpful* and then I can't concentrate on what I'm doing. He still gets to be helpful though - by packing it all in the car!!! :-) When I've done a big shop on my own I've really noticed the difference with having to pack it all away in the car myself. Now that we don't have the dual cab ute I have to be more careful with how things are packed in the back of the car (we now have a Pajero) to get them to fit. Some of my big shops have been one of those double trolleys full as well as a single trolley overflowing. So we're talking BIG shop. The joys of living in a rural area. :-) With my regular dental treatment and having to take DS to an orthodontist, we've been finding lately that we're in a regional centre more often so I haven't had to do a *massive* shop for a while.

Anyway, all in all I'm really happy with how the grocery spending is going. This month I have bought 4 litres ice cream, 2 packets of corn chips, 4 packets of Tim Tams (um ah, no wonder I'm not losing weight at the moment) and some donuts so we're not going without our treats either. :-)


Anonymous said...

Sounds like you did have lots of fun! The reward must be so fulfilling too. It really is amazing how much one can save with forethought! Maybe that's my problem, sometimes I don't have any thoughts let alone "fore"thoughts!LOL!Sometimes my brain is so numb when it comes to planning and I have to wing it on the day! Always room to improve hey?
With some of the discount food stores here in Adelaide, its easy to pop in and see if anything appeals, and come out with $30 of unessential jars, packets and treats, which could have been used for necessities! I am learning not to go into those shops now unless I have specific items in mind. Actually I generally don't go "window" shopping at all nowadays because its too tempting to spend dollars and I actually get bored! My age must be showing!
Just wondered if you make your own bread as you do make rolls etc dont you? My hubby loves homemade bread for work lunches but the kids arent big bread eaters, unless its nice and hot, straight out of the machine! We can all relate to that hey?
Keep on having fun being creative!

lightening said...

I find the more I shop, the more I spend. You find things you never knew you "had to have" until you saw them in the store (or worse, a sales catalogue!). We won't mention my spending aside from food this month. I've had a bit of a "spending" type month - will blog about it at the end of the month (or early next month depending on how I go).

We do have a breadmaker (a wedding present that's still going strong 11 years later). These days though I tend to mostly use the dough setting. I make rolls for the kids and buns with icing and sprinkles. We find on the full setting, the loaf is a difficult shape for cutting and the end bit gets wasted. Instead I've been using a soy and linseed mix and baking it in 2 loaf pans. It stretches further, is easier to cut and gets all used up before it goes stale. Even better, the soy and linseed mix doesn't have preservative 282 in it. The kids will eat the soy and linseed bread but they do prefer the white. They do love freshly baked bread but will eat any kind of bread. We go through quite a bit of bread in this house.

Kez said...

Hey well done meeting your challenge! That's so great!!

Anonymous said...

Doing great! Keep up the good work! Madly Saving

Kin said...

Excellent work on your spending. I'm about to enter week 4 of my menu plan with a goal of spending under $125 a week. I've succeeded so far.

With the UHT and fresh milk - here it's always cheaper to buy fresh. I keep a couple of UHT in the cupboard for real emergencies (flooding etc), but have you thought about mixing it? That was how I got my kids to drink powdered milk, I would mix half powdered and half fresh and then lower the fresh until it was all powdered. Just add a little UHT to each bottle of fresh so they remember the taste ;-)

Good Going!

emma said...

Congratulations, Jodi - you do so well with the groceries! I like reading your posts about grocery shopping because I'm still going over so figure I need all the help I can get. I've just cut my groceries back to $70pw from $80pw to cover a decrease in income so that will be even more of a challenge. I guess the safest thing for me to do is to not allow myself to use credit or dip into other funds - that way, if I shop badly, I'll just have to figure out what the heck to put in the lunchbags / on the table!

lightening said...

kin - sounds like you're doing well with your groceries too! Well done. :-) I think having a goal figure is a great way to keep spending down.

I have considered different options with milk. The reason UHT milk is cheaper for me is that I can buy up at a cheaper supermarket and also buy up when it's on sale. It was cheaper to buy UHT than fresh locally here but I will have to recheck that now. I know they like to swap and change things to catch people out.

I used to mix powdered milk with our fresh milk and when I went to UHT milk the savings weren't as great so I got slack. I probably should look into that again now (do some calculations) and see if it's worthwhile. Now that DD is eating 4 weetbix in the mornings and DS (who eats 5) has switched from mostly hot water and some milk to all milk, we are going through a lot more milk.

Emma - I think you just have to keep at it and refuse to give up. I've always worked on 1 or 2 ideas at a time so that I don't get overwhelmed and give up. I also think it is more of a challenge if you have a tight income and can't stock up on specials. It's not so bad with pantry stuff as I buy nearly all generic brands. But with meat I can go weeks without buying any and all of a sudden have a big stock up on sales.

I think stubbornly refusing to spend money unless you have it will help though. I've also found switching to using cash has reduced my spending. It makes me more aware of what I'm spending. Although I do still use credit card when I do a BIG stock up shop though. Partly because it's almost impossible to estimate how much cash I'd need and partly because we get flybuys points using our card in Coles (but not locally obviously).