The process of reflection and reinvention.
I realized reinvention does not occur without reflection.
And so we will take a moment to reflect.
And now to proceed.
I need to talk about Costco. It isn't that I WANT to talk about it, no, I need.
This is about our budget. For October's reinvention I made a simple plan.
Costco. Every two weeks. $200 or less. One hour or less.
That's it. That's the budget for money and time. With an additional $25/week for "non Costco" grocery items... in our house that's mostly dressing mix packets, vanilla yogurt (Mountain High Low-Fat), wonton wrappers, canned soup in cartoon characters & sour cream.
So.... 4 weeks in... let's reflect on how it is working out.
1. The actual budget: Weeks 1-2 I was at $206 for Costco and $23 for the grocery store. Weeks 3-4 saw $218 at Costco and $5 at the grocery store. There was also an outlay at Target for post-holiday candy that I plan to absorb into future weeks.
2. I'm amazed at how many non-grocery things I sneak into that $200 or less list..... expensive prilosec, batteries, coffee cups (travel ones... with coupon), dog treats, dish soap, antibacterial wipes. I don't know what my initial plan really was going to include... I just had to start somewhere and see how it played out.
3. I confess that Weeks 3-4 included a bottle of wine for $9. Mmmm. But Hot has a separate "wicked" fund that includes his alcohol and, ahem tabacco products. I just sneak my booze into the grocery budget. I'm ok with eating Kirkland brand mac-n-cheese a few nights so Mama can have a bottle of creme de menthe (sp?) for the holidays. Also.... there were several splurge items in weeks 1-2. Oops.
4. I thought about taking whatever was leftover from the $450/month and using that for eating out the next month.... but what I'm finding is it is more fun to see what things I can sneak in that I am not spending elsewhere.... like Hot's daily prilosec.
5. I'm keeping us well stocked.... possibly over-stocked on some items. Hot is back to packing a field-style lunch most days. This means more sandwiches and less leftovers. So I have LOTS of bread in the freezer.... way more than we can eat in the next two weeks. But I figure as long as I rotate the stock that is ok. I also keep an extra bag of chicken nuggets, butter, chocolate chips, flour and a bag of coffee in the garage freezer at all times. Essentials.
6. We don't drink as much milk as I thought. Only about a gallon a week.
7. We will see how I maintain as baking season gears up. And gift buying. Can I sneak some gifts into my grocery budget? Hmmmm.
Next up will will discuss how I hope to convert this time savings in the grocery shopping category into physical activity.