First, I will end the brief period of suspense. I have $3.07 in my wallet. It is Monday, and this money will last me until Friday...Halloween...the end of this loooooong month.
The worst thing about this month? Not the food we've eaten or the places we've gone. It's the boredom of not having any opportunity for adventure in the grocery store, kitchen, or any other store at all!
Here's what the receipts sayToday -
Aldi: Bananas, red grapes ($2.69...note inflation in 11 days!), tortilla chips, oranges $8.31 (Folks, Aldi is dirt cheap, and we're happy with it)
October 16 -
Aldi: Bananas, red grapes ($2.49), tortilla chips, iceberg lettuce, table salt ($.33), 6 oz. yogurt, onions, apples $10.05
October 10 -
Walgreen's: feminine products that were an absolutely unexpected expense. Argh! $3.49
Aldi: Red grapes (still $2.49), potato chips, cheese puffs (Eva picked out her special treat), potatoes (10 lbs./$2.99) $7.76
So, I started with $100, spent $20 on costume stuff, spent $29.61 at Walgreen's and Aldi (above), I recorded a few other grocery store stops here and here...all of this equals $80.84.
Where did the other $20 bucks go??? I recall pulling out $2 to give to our babysitters on Thursday (don't worry, we aren't that cheap...Eric pitched in the rest of a reasonable wage). I also recall at least two fast food splurges at McDonald's and Taco Bell. With just myself and the girls, we can pull away from McDonald's spending less than $4.00 thanks to the value menu. Now that I'm searching the archives of my brain, I remember tossing $2.00 towards a group tip on Friday night. And now that I've been typing for awhile, I remember that I bought 4 lbs. of butter at CUB a few weeks ago for $.99/lb. I really wanted to stock up more, but I didn't.
Now is the time to pat me on the back and celebrate my thriftiness. It's also a good time to marvel at how we didn't end up eating our Fall Fest costumes and acknowledge that I must have been Spirit led that day when I dropped a large percentage of our budget on absolute un-necessities. Go ahead, I deserve it...
Just kidding! Truth be told, I pulled out my debit card a few times. I specifically recollect purchasing a loaf of day-old artisan bread from the French Bakery across the street. It was $2.49. I also bought a pail of ice cream for a friend, which I agreed was a last minute emergency! Applaud my selflessness, I didn't even get a taste of it, either :). Yesterday we bought Subway sandwiches after church while en route to visit family in Mankato ($9.00). My legalistic self just can't feel OK about it. I know it's not a big deal at all, but that's just how I roll.
Therefore, in the spirit of transparency (and blame shifting :), I will tell you that Eric blew his $25 within about 10 days and decided to abandon the plan altogether, I think. At least that's what the credit card statement is telling me. Strange too, because he is most certainly the more disciplined half of this marriage. When he feels like it. Anyway, I digress.
Overall, I am happy with this month. We even managed to entertain a few times and bring two meals to struggling families. I'd say God provided for our needs! On a practical note, it seems obvious to me that we could scale back our normal grocery budget. It means less variety, less spontenaity, and more planning. But it would be rewarding to be able to use our money for a less mundane purpose than groceries.
So, that's the official audit of the month. I have no idea what I will spend my last $3.07 on, but I'll be sure to let y'all know!