:::: MENU ::::
Posts tagged with: costco

Cash Envelope System

by

As you all know by now, one area where our spending has gotten out-of-control is in the realm of food (groceries and eating out). To try to combat the ever-increasing line item in our monthly budget, I decided to return to the cash envelope system. It’s been a loooooong time since I’ve done cash envelopes. But they helped me once, I know they can help me again.

To start, I’m using envelopes for eating out ($200/month) and groceries ($600/month). This represents a HUGE decrease compared to what we have been spending the past few months. Our groceries, for instance, have trended over $1,000/month the past several months. And our eating out/restaurant budget has trended in the $350-$500ish range. Just a disgusting amount of money spent on FOOD!

Reducing down to $800/month for all food (restaurants + eating out) is a big savings for us!

Here’s how I’ve figured it:

$600month/4 weeks = $150/week. Because I want to save a little money for mid-week perishables (we always run out of milk and fresh produce), my goal is to stick to $110-120ish for my big/initial grocery trip. That saves about $30ish for a smaller mid-week grocery run (and/or leaves some wiggle room for the last half week of the month).

I’ve been doing the cash envelope system for a month now (I started at the beginning of September) and so far, so good. My only “wrench” this month is that I really need to hit Costco to stock up on some bulk items. Does anyone else find it impossible to get out of Costco for under $100?!

 

Source

Because of our need for some bulk items, I’m actually going to try to limit our grocery store budget to closer to $100-110/week so I can save the excess for two weeks to have a solid $80-ish bucks or so for a Costco trip. This way, I’ll be able to get my bulk stuff but still be sticking to our overall grocery budget!

Do you have a Costco (or Sam’s Club) membership? How do you manage to save while buying in bulk?


Halloween 2015

by

I know we’re still in August and just doing the back-to-school thing, but I want to skip ahead a bit and talk about Halloween!

Last year we didn’t really “do” Halloween as a family because my friend got married, so I was busy with wedding festivities. As a result,  I’m extra excited about Halloween this year. It will be the girls’ first year to actually trick-or-treat door-to-door (they’re 3 years old). But you know what I’m NOT excited about? The price tag!

Since we didn’t really celebrate the holiday last year I didn’t buy them costumes. Hubs dressed them up in the same baby-bag type ladybug costumes they’d worn the year prior (see post I wrote about it here. Side note: RIP to the beautiful rug the girls were sitting on that picture. It got destroyed only about a week later with the great flood of 2014). Last year a couple of people recommended buying Halloween costumes on clearance after October 31st and save them to use for this year. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that organized and it didn’t happen.

Enter:  Costco!

Y’all know how much I love Costco! Well, they’ve done it again! They got a bunch of costumes in early and they are SO CHEAP!!! I’m talking $13.99 for a princess costume with little accessories (necklace, tiara, etc.). We took our girls and let them pick out costumes – Elsa and Anna (from Disney’s Frozen). We were out the door for right at $30, including tax!

You guys, I’m floored! That’s cheaper than second-hand costumes on Amazon or even the cheapy-type costumes at Party City! And they’re brand new with accessories!

Now the hard part is going to be keeping the girls from wearing them until Halloween (because I already know they’d lose the accessories and it would be a huge ordeal to a threenager). But just in case anyone else is starting to think about Halloween costumes – get on the ball now! Costco gets them in early, but they also don’t restock so once the costumes are gone there’s no more.

Have you started thinking about Halloween yet? How do you save money on Halloween costumes?


Quick Tip – Taco Seasoning

by

Mexican food is one of my all-time faves (comes with the territory of growing up in Texas and currently living in Arizona…I’ve always been very close to the border!)

It tends to be cheap, quick and easy to make, and delicious!

So I just wanted to peek in today with a quick tip on cheap taco seasoning.

One word: COSTCO!!!!

I mentioned a couple months ago that I buy Taco Seasoning from Costco because its so cheap and I had several commenters mention that they make their own for pennies compared to the store bought stuff. So feast your eyes on this photo….

 IMG_1441

That’s $4.29 for a 24 oz jar of seasoning, coming out to .179 cents per ounce. (To be clear, this is not a sale price, either. This is the normal everyday price).

To make my own, the very cheapest seasonings I could find were $1 per 2oz. container. So even if I made my own taco seasoning mix (by buying garlic, chili pepper, etc. and mixing everything together), I’m still coming out way ahead by just buying the Costco taco seasoning.

Those of you who make your own….do you find seasonings somewhere cheaper? Grow (and dehydrate) your own? Other secrets I don’t know about?

If not, then you might be better off just picking it up from Costco, too.

But if I’m wrong and you actually do have taco seasoning cheaper somehow, please let me know in the comments!


If My Mortgage Doesn’t Kill Me, Costco Will…

by

I scrimp, I save, I budget but there are two things that can empty my bank account in three seconds flat:

My mortgage and Costco Wholesale.

I suffered an attack from both yesterday.

My mortgage cleared my account in the morning and even though I’m prepared, even though it’s budgeted, it’s always a little disheartening to feel rich one day and broke the next. It’s like watching a car full of cash leave my checking account each month.

For some reason, I thought yesterday might also be a good time to go to Costco. We ran out of paper towels and we would soon need napkins and toilet paper. This trip SHOULD have cost $45.

I tried to make a straight line down the center of the store, directly to the paper products (conveniently placed in the BACK) but found myself saying, ‘Peaches? OF COURSE I need a huge flat of peaches. Sure, it’s only hubby and me and we’ll have to eat 17 peaches each in the next 5 days, but I CAN’T live without them.’

It’s as if all logical thought and reasoning disappear at those roll-up doors.

I loaded the cart with apples, pre-cooked dinners, dog food, and paper products. My exit cost me…
$191.

I’m tricked into thinking I’m ‘saving money’ by purchasing toilet paper 92 rolls at a time but those rolls are typically accompanied by loads of items I don’t need.

It’s not as if anything I purchased will go to waste, but it will take 10 years for us to use it all. Fortunately, my husband worked a side job a few weekends ago and we had the cash, but that’s $191 that won’t be going into our emergency fund this month.

I think I’m going to have to break up with Costco.



Optimism in Finances…

by

I’m trying to be optimistic about our new spending habits and decided on…

My Top 5 Reasons Why Living Within Your Means (Especially While Broke) is Totally and Completely Awesome

#1) For once in my life, I’m not all that concerned about a purse snatching. The days of credit cards in my wallet are long gone. If a thief can profit off my purse containing only a Costco card, a snotty tissue, and a pair of tweezers… more power to him.

#2) My husband and I get to try ‘experimental’ cuisine!

The old me used to take grocery lists to the store with silly items like: Expensive pre-cooked chicken, organic herbs, fine chocolate, $3 avocados…

Now my list reads: Anything on sale.

If anyone knows a good recipe for pigs intestine, Safeway brand peanut butter, and Ragu pasta sauce, please pass it my way.

#3) When solicitors come to my door peddling everything from magazine subscriptions to pest control, I can say, ‘We can’t afford it at this time’ and for the first time, it isn’t a bold faced lie.

#4) I finally have a sense of value. I value everything I have worked for….

And I think about how much I could get for it on EBay.

If my husband comes home tonight and all the furniture is gone…

I didn’t auction it off, we were robbed. Or at least, that’s my story.

#5) My husband and I are forming a tighter bond in our marriage. No, we aren’t ‘holding to each other during these trying times’ or whatever romantic notion you have, we simply cut back on our cable tv. Since neither of us are fans of the Public Broadcasting Telethon nor the 50,000th re-run of Everybody Loves Raymond, we are forced to…

Talk.

After 15 seconds of that garbage (wink), we warm up the Nintendo and shoot the crud out of each other in Contra.

Bonding I tell you, Bonding.

Hmm. Maybe this optimism thing isn’t so bad. What do you have to add? What makes you smile about living within your means?