Monday, November 08, 2010

The process of reflection and reinvention.

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.


M&Co. said...

I'm just curious. What do you do with the Wonton Wrappers. Fried Wonton's seem too labor intensive for the way you roll.

Christal said...

I hit eBay for cheap Christmas gifts this month. Jewelry for the girls (8 pieces, $45 including shipping, I went a little wild on 2 items and bid up to $8 and $15 because I really wanted them for gifts.) So, the girls are taken care of.

I'll look at Sierra Trading Post with online discounts for the guys. Socks for sure, maybe robes. Or maybe just a gift certificate for them to decide what they want. For hubby, it's a card with a "redeem for a new windshield" on his truck.

In the past, I've tried to get 1 present each payday. Then wrap them up and put them on the shelf. I've got the traditional video/DVDs already.

I sneak in the holiday dinner/baking stuff into earlier shopping trips also. For Thanksgiving, I'm down to "pick up the turkey which was on order at Real Food, grab salad stuff, and make pies." Everything else is bought and in the pantry, ready to go.

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Homestead said...

Fabulous and Amazing Lasagne Cupcakes require wonton wrappers.... because even traditional lasagne is too labor intensive for the way I roll....

I think I'm going to hit Sierra for a giant feather comforter for Hot for Christmas.... I do love Sierra. My T-Day list is: Get some stuff at Costco..... I think my brother is bringing the bird, I'll make some rolls, mom will do pie/dessert and pretty much everyone cooks when we get there. In addition, I bring wine, veggie trays and sandwich stuff for the day after. We are pretty low-key and always manage to have a lot of fun.

Elle said...

Autumn is for reflection and reinvention.