Apr 2, 2012

Final March 2012 Shopping & Cash Experiment Update

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. ^_^


Qwendykay said...

I am so glad to hear that it seemed like your spending stayed the same. I have made a goal to spend $450 on groceries for my famiy of four for the first 6 months of the year. Our freezer and pantry were bursting and I felt like a reduced budget would force me to be more creative and use what I have. I wondered if going all cash would help me stick to that budget better. I've been coming in around $475 every month, but I also buy organic meat and drink organic milk. Have you ever looked into buying a side of beef?

Chief Family Officer said...

You know, I have considered it but I don't have a ton of freezer space and living pretty much in the middle of Los Angeles, I'm not sure it's even an option that's available. I keep hoping the right opportunity will just fall into my lap, LOL!

Gina said...

It sounds like you're doing great! I'll be curious if the number changes with the change of seasons or for other reasons. Maybe the $600 will be an average when you look back over the year?

Chief Family Officer said...

Thanks, Gina! I'm going to keep track of my spending for this month, and maybe the next few months, and see where it stands. I'm trying to cook more too, and to get the kids eating more fruit and maybe even a veggie here and there, so we'll see!