Groceries ($130.00): $90.18
We only spent 69% of our grocery budget this month! I managed to pull this off by eating from the freezer and pantry. We were also gone for a week in January and I skipped a shopping trip because we were sick. The money that I didn't spend will probably go toward bulk purchases later in the year.
Personal Care ($15.00): $23.97
I went over in this category thanks to my fabulous Bath and Body Works haul. Did you know that B&BW has a semi-annual sale where many items are 75% off? Well, they do, and it definitely drew some dollars from my pocketbook. We also bought toilet paper this month. I could have done better on the TP (we bought it at Home Depot), but I waited too long for a deal. We ended up paying full price at a not-cheap store.
I can see already that toilet paper might be my biggest challenge in this area. One roll costs about $0.60 and usually lasts at least four days. That means our toilet paper should cost about $5.00 per month. However, in January all three of us had runny noses from cold/ cold weather/ etc. I don't buy Kleenex, so we use toilet paper for tissues*. The sickness wiped out (no pun intended) a large amount of the toilet paper that I just bought. $15.00 budget minus $10.00 worth of toilet paper does not leave a lot left for buying other personal care items. In coming months I will keep an eye out for fantastic deals (as in, almost free) on Kleenex to keep handy in case of sickness.
*I do sometimes use a handkerchief when I'm consistently blowing my nose. This saves money on TP, but some people think that handkerchiefs are gross. I can understand that.
Household Items ($25.00): $21.52
Last month I bought trash bags and laundry soap. For laundry soap, I bought our usual large container of Xtra from Walmart, and a smaller bottle of Tandil from Aldi. I need to do some detailed math to see if the Tandil is a better deal than Xtra. Normally I just make our own laundry detergent (and I still use that for clothing), but Baby's cloth diapers require a stronger detergent. The Xtra works great for her diapers- I just wanted to experiment and see if the Aldi brand was a better deal.
Clothing ($225.00/year): $50.93
I bought a nursing shirt last month for $19.99. I got Baby Girl a super-cute sun hat for vacation in Cancun ($14.99), plus five sets of baby leg warmers ($15.95) to wear with her cloth diapers. I probably could have made the sun hat, but would've had to buy a pattern (and probably only saved a few dollars unless I found a multi-sized pattern). Baby sewing patterns are definitely going to be on my thrift store/garage sale list this year. I'm thinking I could have made the leg warmers as well; either with old sweater sleeves or knitting them from scratch. However, now I do have some store bought leg warmers to use as patterns for future pairs.
One thing I did this month is make a "needed clothing" printable to use as a garage sale shopping list. Baby clothes are ABUNDANT and far cheaper at garage sales than at thrift stores. The cheapest you are going to find baby clothes, even on 50% off / $0.99 day, is $1.00 per item. Garage sale items are frequently $0.50, $0.25 or even less. The last three months taught me just how fast babies can grow. I want to make sure I have a whole wardrobe for her in 12- to 24-month sizes by the time our 2018 garage sale season is over, so I don't end up paying $2.00 or $3.00 per piece for stuff she will grow out of in a month or two.
So, that is my (selective) spending report for the month!
Until next time,