Groceries: ($130.00) $80.51
We did FANTASTIC this month on groceries, mostly due to me "shopping" the pantry. I've made a Youtube video about this since my channel has been sadly lacking in grocery hauls. We only spent 62% of the allotted budget.
I purposely "overbudgeted" this year, not knowing how much food would be sufficient for a tiny person (and nursing mom). For the last three months, we've consistently spent less than 80% of the allotted amount. So far this year I have $118.17 extra dollars; I'm not sure if I should use this for new/upgraded kitchen tools or improved food (I'd like to buy more locally, especially local meats).
Personal Care: ($15.00) $0.00
Drum roll please... this month we spent NOTHING on personal care! Wowza! First off, we got two free tubes of toothpaste at Kroger with coupons. Second, I started using the stash of hotel toiletries that we've accumulated over the past few years. Third, I've been diligent in using the reusable flannel tissues I made for nose-blowing. I didn't realize how much TP we were wasting just to blow noses. We used up the last of the Cottonelle TP (wasteful stuff), and I figured out that a roll of Scott will last a whole week! At $0.50 a roll, I'll only need to earmark $2.50-$3.00 per month for toilet paper. Our $10.00 pack from last month will last through May.
Household: ($25.00) $8.32
This month we bought a bottle of wood glue ($4.54) and $3.78 worth of thrift store kitchen items, including some containers for flour and sugar, plus a new (used) garlic mincer. Total spent was only 33% of the monthly budget, but I know I will use the extra $16.00 later in the year, probably on a large purchase.
I paid $0.50 for a pair of 2T leggings for Baby Girl. I bought them in hopes that the larger size would fit over her cloth diaper. I do like the way they fit, except the legs are way too long. I might make some alterations to the pants, so the extra length is less visible. I've made her three pairs of Maxaloones (special cloth diaper pants), but by the time you pay for fabric and a pattern, you could buy over 20 pairs of thrift store leggings, and not have to spend hours at the sewing machine.
I've spent a significant portion of our clothing budget on outfit solutions that will work with Baby's cloth diapers. The best solution I've found is to have a thinner diaper (Alva pocket diaper with one microfiber and one hemp insert) or use a onesie extender (made for free with a hand-me-down onesie) with a thicker diaper. Then I can put her either in a jumper or leggings. We tried baby leg warmers, but her little thighs were too fat, and the warmers slowly slid down her legs during the day.
I've been eyeing some new nursing tops on Amazon but decided to put off the purchase until later. I also patched four or five pairs of jeans for Hubs and I. For Easter I wore my black funeral/wedding dress, dressed up with a pair of black high heels and a black velvet fascinator that I pulled out of storage. Hubs wore some nice jeans and a button-down shirt. Baby Girl wore a spring-like jumper over a pink long-sleeve onesie. No new Easter clothes here, although I considered buying Baby a new dress.
Overall, we had a great month: I spent $81.17 less than was budgeted! I'm amazed at how setting a limit has made me more creative about stretching resources and aware of what I'm buying. The first month I kept track of clothing and personal care, I thought I'd never be able to make it work. I was breaking out in a sweat at how expensive toilet paper was, Baby girl didn't have enough cloth diaper friendly outfits, and I'd already spent 30% of my personal clothing allotment- in one month! But now I think my proposed budget IS reasonable. If I stick with it, we'll have saved over $450.00 on household supplies, personal care, and clothing. As far as food costs go, I MIGHT even be able to beat last year's total, if I follow my own advice from The Housewife's Guide to Frugal Food and The Housewife's Guide to Menu Planning. Lol!
Til next time,
Til next time,