Do You Have A Weekly Budget?

So…..do ya?

I am interested to see just how carefully some of you budget.  I did really good last year for the first few months keeping track of every penny spent and every penny saved but it just got to be too much.  I knew there were things that Hubby probably bought throughout the week that he wasn’t telling me about ( those darn gas station trips for gatorades and the like) anyway so I stopped keeping track.  Our average weekly spending was around $20 – $25.  That includes everything except for gasoline, bills and fast food ( this was our biggest killer in more ways than one!). 

This year I am not going to try and overwhelm myself with tracking every single penny but I am going to keep a close eye on our spending and I am going to aim for an average of a $35 weekly budget.  That will include all diapers, wipes, toiletries, groceries etc. .  I am looking to cut out the fast food not only because it is a HUGE budget killer but it is horrible for our health. 

What about you?  Are you setting a weekly ( or perhaps monthly) budget?  Do you save all of your receipts or write down all purchases made?

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20 Responses to Do You Have A Weekly Budget?

  1. adina says:

    We have a budget.. but I break it down yearly, not weekly. I was able to stick to my 3000 bucks last year, so I am going to do it again this year! Thats food, cleaning items, health and beauty items, dog food, diapers, and eating out! Now, we hardly EVER eat out! Because its a budget breaker.. and with a family of 6.. its no less then 40 bucks! OUCH! I break it down yearly because some weeks the coupon deal are hot and other weeks they are not.. this way I dont feel I have to miss a deal because my budget is gone already!

  2. Amy says:

    We take out $60 a week for groceries/spending. It used to be $80 but when I stopped working we knocked it down to $60. Most of the time we don’t spend all of it and I just keep it in a envelope and “roll” it each week.

    • couponlove says:

      I am not sure that I left myself much room for “rolling” but Hubby took a pay cut when he took this job ( only for the first few years though) so we have to be extra careful with spending.

  3. Precious says:

    You know what I am doing. Cherry Picking! That is a terrific goal you have for the budget. I applaud you!

  4. wendy says:

    Welcome back! Missed you!

    I’m keeping track, day by day in a note book and putting receipts there. It does get very complicated, but I really don’t know how much I am spending. When I buy things for my sisters, I am charging them for it. The tax and couple dollars add up.For Christmas, my one sister wanted household stuff as she recently divorced and moved out. One of the kids was delighted to have zip lock bags! My other sister wants help to put the stuff together that goes to the summer home. She always drops a wad to get set up for the summer. I see the situation as a challenge. I’m putting a lot of time into this but I am finding couponing fascinating.

    I decided to try buying on e-bay and I just realized I bid on Oikos coupons…BUT…they are $1/2! @#$%

  5. Tiffany says:

    I am starting a new one! Thanks to a friend sharing! We need to cut back on everything! We are not making as much anymore and prices keep going up. I am going to track my spending for awhile to see where I can work on then start working on those areas!!

    Adina… wow! That is amazing you can do that!! Awesome!!

  6. Felicia says:

    $35 a week? WOW!

    My weekly budget is $60, although sometimes I go a little higher. That is everything grocery-related – food, toiletries, EVERYTHING. However not including eating out. We TRY not to do that.

    We have a budget for everything, including weekly spending money and weekend/eating out money. My husband spends $20 a week (which is a little more than coffee every day). I buy drinks and such at the grocery store for much less than the gas station (I try to keep enough around for him!).

    I save a lot at drug stores to be able to buy the food we want (although I do use grocery coupons wherever possible)!

    • couponlove says:

      I know that our grocery sales aren’t as amazing as most other places ( other than the rare deals like this weeks beef deal @ Tops!) or else I would set my budget back to $20.00. It will require a lot more planning on my part though because $35.00 is pretty low. It wouldn’t be too bad if the boys weren’t in diapers though. I am working on that this year so hopefully they will be out of them soon!! I split the $35 budget into parts like you.

      • Felicia says:

        Our spending and weekend money is separate from our $60 grocery money though. I am really inspired by your $35, especially with having to buy diapers – I don’t even have kids! So it’s only 2 of us (although we do have 2 cats, and I feed them Natural Balance, but still…). I am going to try to lower my spending one of these weeks (lol)… see if I can do it. I can’t imagine spending only $20, that’s amazing.

        =)

  7. Felicia says:

    Oh I forgot to answer your last question in our post. I do save my receipts. Once I get home from the store, I enter the amount OOP that I spent for each store, total coupon amount used (I just include RR/+Up now-easier) and if I received any rewards/rebates back. Pretty simple but at the end of the week I just add all my OOP spent for the week at all the stores to figure if I am on track.

  8. Kate says:

    I don’t record or keep track of anything. I do take pictures of a lot of my trips and put the total out-of-pocket amount in the picture and save them in a folder on my computer. Dunno why though =P

    It’s just me and my boyfriend and we have full-rides and stipends for school right now, so we aren’t too concerned right now. But, I DO like saving money! Love the drug stores!

    I DO hang on to all my receipts. I have a drawer stuffed with them 🙂

  9. Sarah says:

    Wow…I don’t know how you do $35 a week! I have 2 kids in diapers full time and one only at night and luckly I went crazy earlier in the year with diaper deals so I have been stocked up for a while. With that being said, I struggle with $300 a month I have budgeted. I would love to hear what you do for meals. I am really upset right now because this was the first time I checked your blog in a week or so and I missed the Tops meat deal! I know deals come and go but that was pretty fantastic! That could have been a HUGE budget helper! I know that all of the couponing and deals you write about are a huge part of staying within a tight budget but do you find it hard sometimes to stay on top of the deals and still keep it in perspective. I feel like I am not focused sometimes on the right things like my family and home and I spend way too much time “couponing”…planning and executing. I think sometimes that I should back off for a while but finacial, it doesn’t make sense! I am having a hard time finding the balance…

    • couponlove says:

      Hi Sarah!

      Having a low weekly budget helps if you have a nice stockpile. To be honest I really don’t when it comes to food. The only things that I know I don’t NEED to buy for a long time are beans, pasta, cereal, beef ( only thanks to just last week though) and until recently I was good on frozen veggies. I had slowed down in my deals the past few months ( starting back up again now)and counted on my stockpile to help. It did but now I am starting over with most food items. The only non food items that I NEED to try and stock up on soon are diapers, wipes, toilet paper and paper towels and maybe a few more razors.

      Unless I need something or am super low in my stock for it then I won’t get it just because it’s free ( since free usually isn’t “free” and requires you pay for tax). I will ALWAYS get free food deals . But I do try to get all of the money makers that I can as long as they require a very low out of pocket. I don’t have much money to play around with so I am much more cautious with my spending then I was the first year or 2 that I was couponing.

      As for meals I am not the greatest or most creative cook so I am not sure that I would be much help there. We often eat a lot of the same meals especially if I come across a sale on something. My very favorite thing to make is rice & beans because it is super cheap and it can be as plain as just rice and beans or if there was a sale on chicken then I will add that or a sale on guacamole then I will top it with that. I will usually make a ton of it. I always try to get marked down meat when I can and sometimes our meal plan will look something like this:
      Day #1: Baked Chicken ( marked down due to soon exp date) plus sides
      Day #2: Rice & beans with cubed ( or shredded) chicken mixed in from the night before
      Day #3: soft shell burritos filled with the rice,bean & chicken mixture plus a veggie gets mixed in ( usually corn) and if we have it then I will add shredded cheese, sour cream and guacamole

      So the above example is what I will do when the sales aren’t so good at our grocery stores or if my stockpile is low. It is cheap even without coupons and gets us through almost half of our weeks dinners. All 3 meals have their own unique taste too so it doesn’t get too boring.

      I know EXACTLY what you mean about spending too much time couponing. I will admit that I often have to re-examine where most of my time is going. Couponing can take up a TON of time especially if you are trying to hit up all of the money makers at all 3 drugstores plus grocery store deals and maybe even target and walmart as well. I do spend a lot of time on deals between cheking out other blogs and forum sites, posting deals on this blog, clipping coupons and then actually going out and getting the deals. It is my one and only hobby ( plus a necessity) but I have cut back a lot. I used to put deals first and was so upset with myself when I realized what I was doing. Maybe set a time limit for yourself as to how much time you plan to spend online and off looking for deals? I should probably do that as well.

  10. Sarah says:

    I wonder if you have a lot of Buffalo area followers? Wouldn’t it be fun to meet other couponers and share ideas? Maybe I am just a dork for thinking that would be fun, but it would!

    • couponlove says:

      Hi Sarah, according to my site stats about 40- 50% of my readers are in the western, NY area. I would love to have a meet-up. I am just not sure exactly how to go about it. I will try to do something when the weather gets a bit nicer. Where in Buffalo are you located?

  11. Sarah says:

    I am in Clarence. It would be fun if it ever works out!

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