Fabulous news! As most of you already know, we paid off the last 2 credit cards, and for the first time in over 10 years, we have NO credit card debt whatsoever! All that we have left is a consoliddation loan, and to pay off Jonny's car. We feel very confident that we will be able to do this by Christmas, and will be able to spend Spring building up our fully funded emergency fund, as well as a down payment on a house. Our goal is to be house hunting by Summer 2011! WEEE!
We've also cut our food and household budget because of the use of coupons and looking for savings. I looked back at my post from about a month ago, when I said I had spent $89, and just shook my head. These days, my shopping trips are more in the $40 range, and I have become successful at "flipping" my bill. I dont go shopping for what I need that week anymore. I go shopping for things that we use, but are also on sale. I stock up on non-perishable items. For example: Hamburger Helper. Normally $2.00 a box, today, they were 10 for $10 ($1 each) and I had three $0.75 off 3 coupons. So I bought 9 boxes for $9.00 - $2.25 = $6.75. 9 boxes at normal price of $2.00 each would have been $18.
I don't buy things just because I have coupons or just because they are on sale though. I buy things that we use, but the key to couponing is definitely to not be brand loyal. I have stocked up on laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, and personal toiletries in the last month and have spent just a little bit of money doing so. They are all different brands, depending on what was on sale when. I have a good 6 months of toletries and laundry supplies stocked up right now.
I also buy more "treats" now, because I can. Jonny and I LOVE brownies....we dont make them all the time, but I'd rather buy them when they are cheap, rather than when I'm having a hankering for some, and end up paying $3 or $4 a box for the "good stuff." Today, the Betty Crocker Hersey Brownies were B1G1, and I had a $0.75 coupon off 2. Price came out to $1.02 per box. So, in short, todays trip to Winn Dixie prior to them swiping my loyalty card was $83.33. After swiping the loyalty card, and applying coupons, it dropped all the way to $37.80.
I look at grocery shopping completely differently now. If it's not on sale, if I don't have a coupon, and it's not something I can't live without for the next week, the I don't buy it. Such a different approach to grocery shopping than I used to have...
I'm still trying to find a cheaper way to buy Gillette Fusion Blades, which is one thing we ARE brand loyal to. Jonny and I both use these, and currently, we buy a pack of 16 at Sams club for $42, which comes out to $2.63 a blade. I've been looking at target, walmart, cvs, publix, winn dixie, etc, for a better price, but even with a $3 off coupon (cant use coupons at Sams), the cheapest I have found at those places are $3.00 a blade. So...until I find a better price, I guess Sam's Club will win for this particular product. If you have any suggestions for me, please let me know!
Here's the new budget. Since the last time I posted, we have lowered the cable bill, lowered the food and grocery bill, upped the medical bill. The snowball has changed as a result of no more credit card debt, and anything left over at the end of the month will also be tacked on to the NFCU Loan until that one is knocked out as well.
A Disability 123
J Disability 123
Paycheck 1051 (after tax)
Svgs Allotment 100
Svgs Allotment 100
Sinking Funds/NFCU 300
Mobile Phone 142
Food & Household 300
Gas & Oil 125
A Blow 100
J Blow 100
Student Loan 126
Corolla Loan 276
NFCU Loan 700