“The Price is Right” Style Budgeting-Recap

June 28th, 2008 by katie

So, earlier this month I mentioned reading about Jason White’s tip of keeping a running tally while shopping to help keep you on budget.  I am not sure I follow the whole “price is right” aspect but I thought it was an awesome tip nonetheless.  The theory was that this would help me by eliminating wasteful spending and forcing me to recognize when I was out of money and thus stop buying or make more frugal substitutions.

So here’s the reality: I am actually really pleased with how it went.  The difference between my estimate of what I was spending and the actual amount was only a few cents.  I did buy a few things that weren’t on my list but added them to the tally to make sure they fit in the budgeted amount.  Also, the process helped me utilize my $5 off a purchase of $75 coupons which I notoriously suck at.  I am always way below or way over the magic number.  At home, I made my list using my coupons and sales papers to choose what I wanted to buy and wrote an estimated price next to each item.  Once I had everything I wanted on the list I tallied it up so I would have an idea of how much I was spending.  Then, at the store, as I purchased each item, I wrote the rounded cost next to it on my list as Jason suggested.  I was actually impressed with how well I estimated the prices, I must have been paying more attention all these years than I thought. 

What went well:  My total was pretty much exactly what I intended to spend before coupons.  So after my coupons were taken off I was actually under budget.  I estimated the cost of what I was buying pretty well beforehand so there weren’t any nasty surprises once I got to the store. 

What didn’t go so well: I still deviated from my list a little.  I forgot some basic things I would need, like milk and yogurt, when I was making my list so I had to add those things.  Also, my list was only a short re-fill type list and yet I spent 1/2 my total grocery budget.  So in the future I still need to plan better.  It’s great that I stayed on budget but I shouldn’t have spent that much anyway.  Note to self: set stricter goals for short mid-week trips.   

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About chaos

cha·os -noun 1. a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. My chaotic kitchen is the result of three kids, two adults, dog, cat, and fish, a food obsession, a wine drinking hobby, and too few hours in the day. Between trying to feed a family of five healthy, happy meals, watching my weight, saving my pennies, and staying partially sane I have picked up a few tricks along the way. So here they are: the very best tips, tricks, and recipes from my chaotic kitchen-to yours!

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