As we’ve reached the end of the first month, the $25,000 question is, am I staying on budget while shopping small.
Before we get to the answer, let me preface with the fact that January is always an expensive month for us (why does it seem like January is the LONGEST of 31 day months?): the kids are on holiday break, then back to school grocery shopping, restocking household items, etc.
The five categories mainly affected in this challenge are groceries, dining out, general shopping (dog food, vitamins, & non-essentials), “non-target” (toilet paper, cleaning supplies, household essentials), and gas.
I read in the Tribune that the average family of 4 (with two school-age kids) spends $235/week in groceries. Even shopping organically, that seems a little high to me. My weekly budget is closer to $125 (family of 4, kids are 11 & 10). Which would be about $625 for the month of January.
So…did I do it?
Yes and no.
Since there wasn’t truly 5 weeks in January, my grocery budget was $560. I spent…
Still under $625 and only $6 over my budget. I’d say that’s pretty good. And, if you go with the Tribune’s average of $235/week, we did really good!
Adding in dining out, general shopping, “non-target”, and gas- I was about $200 over. But, I really don’t attribute that to shopping small. The dog food & vitamins I restocked last 6-8 weeks; and, with my grandma in the hospital, the extra driving equaled one extra tank of gas.
I have a feeling, though, it will all average out next month.
I don’t miss Starbucks, but I am still searching for a local indie coffee shop (I miss you Koobies!). Suggestions?
Which Small Businesses did you try for the first time this month?