Friday, January 1, 2010

NEW YEAR CHALLENGE

Happy New Year to all. I've been thinking about a challenge(s) for the new year. Asking myself what do I want to do and how do I want to document the results. The first thing I decided to do was tear apart the budget. Look at each entry and see if I can save. I do this because it is a challenge and I like to do it. Right now I am looking at the grocery budget. We're pretty close to saving all we can because I use coupons, buy only what is on sale, and use rebates. The pantry is almost fully stocked to keep us going for 3 months in the event of an unforeseen catastrophe.

The one area I did look at is dog food. The dog always ate Kibbles and Bits and Alpo canned food. Her treats came from Wallyworld. She is a large breed so she eats quite a bit at a feeding. The cost is approximately 50.00 a month to feed her. I didn't want to make drastic changes all at once because it is not healthy for the dog.

I searched for treats that could save us a dollar a bag or more. I changed to an off brand at a savings of 2.00 a month. This doesn't sound like much, but over a year's time it's 24,00 that can go in the Christmas gift fund and equates to one or more gifts.

The next step was changing the dry food. It's important here to get good nutrition for a lower cost. I purchased a large bag of Dad's food and mixed it with the Kibbles. Then went to Dad's without the Kibbles. The dog was happy with the change. This bag I got for 1/2 price so I only paid 5.00 for it. But again a 2.00 savings each month (at regular price) to put in the Christmas fund. The fund, so far, has increased 48.00 for this year. That's an increase of two or more gifts.

Canned food was the last frontier. Alpo has consistently raised prices over the past 3 years. Kibbles and Bits was 1.50 less for a 12 can pack for a savings of 3.75 a month. If my calculations are correct, that's another 45.00 saved over the year, for a total of 93.00. That equates to lots of extra gifts.

I'll use the cash for the 2 new babies' gifts and for an extra angel tree gift.

I'm not done going through the budget. This is just the beginning.

Is there just one area you can look into in your budget? Or maybe two? It can be so much fun to challege yourself. It certainly keeps boredom away!

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