2017 Money Saving Challenge – January Follow-up

As you all remember, I’m currently in a 2017 Money Saving Challenge from Earnest! I told ya’ll in January that my goal was to create a grocery budget. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, click here to refresh your memory! I’ll wait.

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My grocery budget goal was $120 per month. I shop at Aldi, so I figured it would be pretty easy to stick within that budget. In January, I went a little over. I added up all of my Aldi transactions & came out with $126.92. Technically, for January, I hit $104.87. But I don’t get paid until February 10, so technically I need my “monthly” budget to last 2 pay periods.

What I did right: I saved all of my receipts from each trip & kept track of what I buy the most often. This way, I could easily see what I spend the most money on.

What I can improve on: I can plan ahead a little better. If I go into the store already having an idea of what I need, I can budget ahead of time how much that shopping trip will cost.

What I will do differently for February: I plan on actually just withdrawing $120 from my bank account & spending cash. I’m hoping that will allow myself to be a little more strict with myself. Also, I’m thinking that instead of taking the entire budget in cash with me to the store, that I’ll split it up & (plan ahead), buying only the things I’m going there for.

Do you guys have any input? What do you think? I’m hoping February goes a little bit better, as I have a few trips coming up that I need to make sure I have money set aside for, & I don’t want to be dipping into that for grocery money.

Remember: my goal for February is NO Starbucks/Dunkin for the entire month! I already slipped once (this past Monday). I was exhausted & needed an extra coffee. But – no more excuses.. I need to keep this goal!

❤ C

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4 thoughts on “2017 Money Saving Challenge – January Follow-up

  1. Jessie @ The Acquired Sass says:

    I always look at the ad before I plan what I’ll make // buy for the week. Almost ALWAYS, the produce that’s on sale at Aldi is what I’m eating for the week. Then I figure out what meals use those things, or what I can incorporate them into.

    Once you start saving more receipts you’ll be able to look back & see exactly what something will cost, then you’ll have an EXACT total before you waltz in the door, you could make changes to your grocery list as needed to make sure you’re in budget.

  2. Rebecca Jo says:

    I just cant do the cash thing. I like keeping track of my money.
    I’ve been using Mint.com (you can do it online or an app) & that way, when I use my cards, it totally keeps track of my spending & at the end of the month, I do a spreadsheet of my spending so I can see what it is at year end. Love that site.

    • Ciara says:

      I’m still playing with my options. I really like Mint, but they only do “monthly” budgets. My budgets go by pay period. So, it’s hard to track.

  3. Lauren Hopkins says:

    i do a lot of shopping at Aldi, but don’t exclusively shop there. If I’ve got a great coupon for something, I will usually try to get it at Shop N Save where they will double the coupon. I also like to double up discounts by checking for Ibotta rebates (let me know if you need a referral code!) or Cartwheel savings (from Target). Sometimes I will find that even with a coupon or rebate it still might be cheaper to get at Aldi, but sometimes not.

    I second the Mint recommendation, but I *think* there are apps that work like the envelope/cash method as well – I think one might actually be called MVelope or something like that haha – that might help break down the budgeting by pay periods?

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