I’ve been trying to be a smarter grocery shopper. I’ve shopped with a list for a long time, and am good about not deviating from the list too much, but lately, I’ve been paying more attention to sales and coupons in an effort to save money. I’m also working on stocking up on groceries a bit more, just to keep the cupboards from getting bare on the off chance I can’t get to the store for longer than normal.
For example, today, I discovered that my favorite brand of coffee was on sale. $1.30 off. I needed one bag. But I bought two. I also noticed that Lean Cuisines were marked down to $2.50, so I picked up a few of those as well, even though they weren’t on the list at all.
Unfortunately, it’s the end of the month. I didn’t have enough in my monthly grocery budget to cover all of these extras. I just decided to pull from next month’s budget, since I’ll be eating most of the food next month anyway, but that’s not a trend that can continue from month to month.
I definitely spent more this month on groceries than I have in the past. But I also have more food in my house than I normally do, and even though I’ve spent more than normal, I’ve also saved quite a bit by watching for sales. Obviously, saving is good, but spending out of budget is bad.
I hope that in a month or two, this plan will start to pay off in that I will be spending less because I’m buying on sale, and stocking up when things are less expensive. And that the budget busting will end.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.