I did a modified all-cash experiment for my grocery and drugstore spending in March, and ending up going over my $500 budget (as I predicted I would last week). The total stands at $568.23, although I think I’m missing a few Walgreens purchases using the Friends & Family coupon on Friday, and the final total should actually be more like $590.
My spending in the past few months was also around $600, so that just seems to be the right amount for my family. As I neared the end of the month and that $500 mark, I realized that I wasn’t willing to give up those things that would put me over – namely, the organic and hormone/antibiotic-free products that I choose to buy, stock-up items like butter, and donation items that will be put to good use in the coming weeks.
For example, I’ve begun stocking up for the post office’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive in May. And Challenge butter was $1.49 at Ralphs through Saturday, so I bought 12 pounds last week. We’ll use it all in the next six months or so, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get that much RBST-free butter that cheap again now that Ralphs has eliminated double coupons.
So I don’t regret going over budget at all. And I don’t regret doing the cash experiment either. I did find that I was inclined to spend less when I was using cash, and I could have kept my costs down if I’d made different choices. That realization alone made the whole experiment worth it – it’s nice to know that I’m not mindlessly spending money on groceries, toiletries and household items. The amount I spend is a good balance between keeping expenses minimal while still accomplishing my priorities of serving my family organic and hormone/antibiotic-free products, and helping others. ^_^
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