Sunday, March 21, 2010
This morning Robert woke up at five and wanted fed, after sleeping since 8:30 last night. He was very hungry! Usually he wakes up at least once earlier than that, so he must've been pretty full to start with. After that, he went to sleep again until nearly eight, so we were all in a good mood to start the morning. We went to church, where Robert's good mood was ruined when the bottle failed and I poured milk all over him during the Gospel reading. Boy had excellent lungs. A friend from church made lasagna for us, which was immensely nice of her, and since we didn't have room for it in the freezer, we had it for lunch and supper today. It was very good! M had a ton of work to do, grading finals, so it was really nice to have a break from preparing meals.
While M was busy, I took Robert and we hit up the new weekly drugstore sales while the getting was good. This week was an awesome week for diaper coupons. Today I went out and got eight jumbo packs of diapers, two of Pampers and six of Huggies. I like Pampers better, but they hardly ever go on sale, and even on sale they are a bit more expensive. Right now I'm only buying Size 2 diapers, since although Robert is still in Size 1, he is just on the cusp and I still have two jumbo packs of 1s waiting to be used. I have amassed quite a stockpile, and am almost ready to admit I might not need anymore diapers for awhile. But it's so important to buy them on sale. Name brand diapers are between 9-11 dollars for a jumbo pack of around 40 diapers when they aren't on sale. That's almost a quarter per diaper, and we go through a lot of diapers! The diapers I got today averaged 11 cents per diaper, which is a lot more manageable. I also got my mom a Mother's Day gift she's going to loooove, but I'm not going to say what it is because she reads this. ;-)
Unfortunately, I realized when I got home that I was over my alloted budget for the month, after stocking up on all those diapers! I have a spreadsheet that I keep, where I enter all the receipts from my shopping for the month. When the budget is gone, the shopping has to stop. Generally I try to stretch it out more, but since we're going to Illinois in the middle of this coming week, and the sales have been so exceptionally good, I didn't do that quite so much. The way I do it is that I start with a base of 150 dollars for all groceries and shopping for the month. Not gas or bills or rent, which tend not to vary much, but the things we buy at stores. When I have a gift card and use it, I take the amount I used and add it to the budget, or when I get a little income from somewhere. This month we were extremely blessed and had seventy-five dollars in gift card money added to the budget, and I also got a rebate from some diapers I bought before Christmas that added another fifteen dollars. With that 240 dollars, I bought 711 dollars worth of stuff this month, for a savings rate of 66.25 percent. Neat!
Like I said, though, the budget has to be balanced. Luckily for me, I remembered one last thing I hadn't added to the budget. I do a few things online to make money, I use Swagbucks (their little gizmo is on the bottom of my page here), I do MyPoints, and I take surveys with a few different companies. I reached a cashout threshold on one of them this month, and they sent me a check for thirty-five dollars. That may not sound like much, but at a savings rate of 66%, that's like a hundred dollars! I added that sum into my budget for the month, and I'm back in the black. Still, I have to be careful, because if I go over again, I'm going to be stuck digging through sofa cushions or something to make up the difference.
(P.S. If you are interested in any of the things I do online to make money, let me know and I will set you up with referral links. Those help me out, and sometimes people who get referred get a bonus to start as well. None of them are very hard, especially the Swagbucks, which is mainly a search bar, and though they won't pay the bills, it's nice to get a little money or a gift card from time to time.)