December 26, 2008

Holy Spending, Batman!

Posted in food, money tagged , , at 12:41 pm by allisonwonder

Can I just say, first of all, that it’s extremely difficult to make a budget when you have no idea what certain necessities (like, say, heat and light) are going to cost every month? I guess we’ll be getting those bills soon enough, but in the meantime, I’m kind of stuck.

While I’m waiting for those, I’m going through our other expenses from last month, according to our bank statement. One advantage of not having any credit cards is that everything gets paid for directly from the bank, so everything’s on the one statement. There are, of course, those pesky “GM/WD” entries- cash withdrawals from bank machines- but that’s understandable around Christmas, as having only the one statement makes secrecy difficult. Also, Tim Horton’s doesn’t take debit- Ack!

Here’s a scary figure: we spent over $1000 on food last month (mid-November to mid-December). That’s more than double our normal food budget. Now, that’s what we spent at grocery stores, and occasionally Wal-Mart; some of that might not have actually been food (we might have bought diapers at the grocery store or something like that). Also, that includes both stocking a new pantry from scratch AND a significant number of convenience/prepared food items that we needed before we had a stove or a full-sized fridge. Buuut…

It just seems like a lot. I’ve been saving receipts, so I’ll go back and have a look at what we actually bought, see what we’re spending on things (milk, for example, is horribly expensive around here). Then it’ll be time to figure out what I’m willing to do to save money on food. I’ll bake bread sometimes, and I’ll plan to cook using fewer convenience foods (not that fresh meat and produce are cheap, but it’s got to be better… right?)

If we’re trying to save money, I could probably turn the heat down a degree or two, as well… it’s not tropical in here by any means, but we’d survive if we were a bit colder. Right now, we’re just enjoying the novelty of a heating system that works well and consistently.

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