The cash system for our grocery and household expenses has really been working. The envelope has instilled a lot of stress, however. We rarely went over our budget before, though I have to admit, we did once a month on average by $20-$30. That's a hefty amount considering the new car payment. It's really interesting to be walking around, adding up numbers in my head (which I used to do anyway), and knowing that, "I only have $16 left" at a certain point.
Yesterday we did really well. I had $5.00 left over for the produce stand, even! I stocked up on Cottonelle flushable wipes. Target had them on sale and with my $1.00 coupon I got eight 84 packs for just over $2.00 each. They also had our cat food on sale. I was going to get the larger bag and realized that I could get two smaller bags, which were $0.50 more than the big bag if you added them together for the same size, and use two $1.50 coupons instead of just one. The other items, a Diaper Genie Refill and a small toy for the baby, were priced competitively.
We stopped by Richard's for the bulk items that we get. We both eat oatmeal in the mornings so we get a great big bag of rolled oats at $0.59/lb. I also like to eat nuts. (I'm allergic to peanuts but treenuts are fabulous.) I also picked up some almond milk. (I can't do regular milk, except in cooking, or soymilk.)
At Publix we spent the rest of our money and even including baby's brand-name formula brought our total to $115.00 for the day out of $120.00. Not bad! $120.00-$130.00 used to be what we spent each week just on food, plus several last minute trips, plus eating out, and if it was a household need week (paper towels, cat food, etc.) we'd spend $150.00 easily. Now it's $120.00 no matter what--and if we want to eat out it comes out of the entertainment envelope or we save money from the food envelope for it. No borrowing from the following week, either!
I was very excited last week because Publix formula is $10.00 less and has the equivalent nutritional structure of Enfamil Lipil, which we usually use. We gave it a whole week and are going to finish off the can. However, we're switching back. She's been throwing up worse than ever. This is an issue for her anyway, but it's been steadily improving. The Publix formula has put things back on "fountain mode" again. We've also had a few really rough patches of gas, which hasn't happened for a really long time.