UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (147) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308685  
Subject: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 12:06 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Hello. I'm burdoned with $50K in CC debt that I'm struggling to pay off. Over the last few months I've been trying to get my financial life in order so I can someday become debt free.

As part of this process, I must come up with a balanced monthly household budget. My problem is that no matter how I slice and dice up the budget, I can't come up with enough to pay all my debts.

It occurred to me that perhaps some of my numbers are off base. I would like some feedback on how others balance their monthly budget.

How much does the average family spend on groceries every month? I budget $800-$900 a month for a family of three adults plus 3 cats. This includes all meals (occasional dinner out), bathroom supplies, cleaning supplies, etc. Basically "consumibles" that are purchased at the grocery store.

Is this out of line? My wife does all the shopping and we certainly don't eat like kings. She cooks 80% of the meals, I cook the other %20.

When I was single years ago I use to budget $500 a month for all of this, so $800 does not seem out of line.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: cgiorgi Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3073 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 12:23 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cable666,

I'm no expert on the matter; however, $800-900 does seem a bit much. My wife and I (mid-20s, both work, so we order take out once a week) only budget $350 a month for groceries (including supplies). I would say $500-600 a month should definitely suffice. Oh, we also have 3 dogs to feed (2 large ones) - This is also included in my budget. I think if you are going to include meals out with $50,000 in CC debt, then don't budget for the Four Seasons, budget for The Olive Garden.

cgiorgi

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3074 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 12:55 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Hi Cable!

What many folks do is come up with a goal that you want to stick to for groceries, and work up or down from there.

You might consider shopping in bulk every month, planning your meals ahead of time, and just filling in the staples during the month.

Also, don't be afraid to use coupons, buy the no-frills brands, etc. Those little things can easily add up.

Another thing is locate some of the extra's that you do every month. If you tend to eat out 2X/week, cut it back to once.

Look at some of the basic bills that come in too. Are you paying for cable services that you're not using? HBO? etc.

And most of all, make every attempt to pay as much above the minimum every month. Little by little you'll make a dent that will become larger as your outstanding balances become smaller.

Good luck!

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3075 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 12:57 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
cable666
I am thrilled to see you here looking to get that debt paid off.
We have three teens still at home, 15 cats, 3 dogs and my wife is a neat freak so we use more cleaners and such than two average households. We also shop twice a month at the commissary (military) which saves tons on some things. Our food bill runs about what you are budgeting and we do eat like kings. My wife has a passion for making sure that we eat well.
She clips coupons and saves $50 to $90 a trip. She also can tell you what prices are for almost any item at several places. Sometimes, WalMart will have sale prices even lower that the commissary. She will make lists for each store. Buying store brands can save but you have to find which ones have a lesser quality. I think that the key is her ability to track prices at several places. Bulk stores offer bargains but not everything is a bargain so you must know where the real bargains are.
I don't know your housing situation but you may be able to save on electricity and phone simply by watching usage. We hang out clothes whenever possible and make phone calls at the most costeffective time.
Break down what you are spending now so that you know where every nickle goes. There are programs that do this and I will send my spreadsheet if you like. A few dollars will probably jump out at you.
I feel that you should definitely pay the smallest bills first as you really need to create cash flow, if I remember you old posts well.
You will get this done and then you will be in really great shape.
Stan

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: DebtCounselor Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3076 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 12:59 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Your posting is a good example of why budgets don't work well. Too many times I've seen people try to establish a budget for themselves only to fail. They get bummed when they can't stick with it because they can't get live their life within the budget.

I'd suggest keeping track of your family finances for at least two months. TRACK THE CASH. You can use Quicken, MS Money, or just a pad of paper. At the end of each month categorize your debt and total how much you spend in each category.

Only then can you make educated decisions on how you want to allocate your funds. There is no reason you can't eat out every night as long as you are willing to change your spending pattern in other areas.

There is no right or wrong way to live your life. The goal is to make sure that your income is more than your expenses. That will be very apparent if you follow what I suggest.

There is a small free publication at www.dca.org/free.htm called "Why Budgets Don't Work". It is really directed at our ON-TRACK program but has a few more comments that might be of interest.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: whineluvr One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3077 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 1:00 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I have to agree with cgiorgi - $800-$900 does seem a bit much when you have that much outstanding debt. (Although, as I recall Cable has the ways & means to pay off this debt.) My husband and I budget about $300-$350 for groceries. Fortunately, I love to cook so we don't eat out...ever.

Christine


Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3078 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 1:02 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Our weekly meal out is under $30 (including tax and tip) for two... hardly Four Seasons.

I'm very impressed with a $88/week budget. Does your $350 a month include other consumibles such as soap, shampoo, etc? Or is it only groceries?

Maybe it is a regional thing. Do groceries bills vary much from region to region? Things tend to be more expensive where I live (Central Calif Coast). For example, gasoline is always at least 20-30 cents more per gallon than in Los Angeles or the Bay Area. Regular costs about $1.38 a gallon right now.

We never buy processed food, we uses coupons, and we avoids brand names.

This food budget also includes my work lunches since I brown bag 99% of the time.

In the 5 years I've been grocery shopping with my wife I've discovered a rule of thumb. The grocery carts have 3 metal "rings" between the bottom and the top. I've noticed that each ring costs $50 no matter what I buy. It never fails. If I fill the cart to the 2nd ring, it is about $100. Fill the cart to the 3rd ring, $150.



Print the post Back To Top
Author: RecoveringFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3079 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 1:06 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
The best way I found to plug the holes in the budget or decide how to cut costs was to track every penny for a month. You would be amazed by what you find. (I still do this occasionally to make sure I'm spending my money on the things I think are important(yes to a mocha in the morning , no to magazines at the grocery store)) Also, I agree with the others, you're budgeting to spend, not save. Your grocery bill seems high to me but I usually buy on sale, with coupons. We test store brands to see if they're acceptable - sometimes yes, sometimes no. If you only buy on sale, then the sale cycle keeps you stocked and only paying sale price.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3080 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 1:08 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
cable
I didn't realize that you are in Calif. I am from Northern California and there is probably another option for you-roadside stands and farmer's markets. I don't know what you mean by Mid Coast but, in season, it probably would be worth your while to take a trip over the mountains and buy in the valley for preservation,freezing,dehydrating,and canning. I really miss the fresh fruits and vegetables out here.
Stan
P.S. Track your spending and look for small savings. You won't find a closet full of money so add the little savings up.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Bottles Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3081 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 1:11 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cable,

I have to agree with both Tony and Sam about their recommendations. Look at your budget as a whole and see where you can trim costs any where, not just in food. I assume you know that too...


As for your specific question about food costs...
I am in a family of 3 also with a dog, note the little one is still in diapers (age:2.5). I dont generally count the dog in this though. Also I separate out my costs for gorceries & dining bills. I have been tracking and now budgeting these expenses for the last six months now. Just use this as a data point, not sure where we fall in the average though...

Typically we spend about $400-500 on groceries per month and and additional $200 - $250 on eating out Now... Both my wife and I started bringing lunches to work and that cut the dining expenses from almost equal with the grocery bill (about 400-500) down to what it is today. This is about average for us. So your numbers to me dont seem too out of line if your including your dining out in that as well.

Also note that is average... We had a one month with 700 in groceries alone, but we had company for a week too. So it will fluctuate some. Right now We try to limit ourselves to 100.00/week to groceries and spent 112 yesterday. Also starting to cut cupons now too. (Learning :) )

Good luck!!! Hope you can get a workable Budget!

Rob
Bottles


Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3084 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 1:19 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
>>I have to agree with cgiorgi - $800-$900 does seem a bit much when you have that much
outstanding debt. (Although, as I recall Cable has the ways & means to pay off this debt.)<<

Not that simple. I can only pay off the debt from two sources (1) future earnings, (2) tap retirement funds. I'm attacking both issues.

From the earnings flank, I'm working on paring down the monthly budget to get extra cash. That is why I posted this food budget question.

On the retirement funds flank, not so good. So far I've been told I have to borrow up to $50K before from my 401K before I can have any principal. I can't borrow $50K because I can't pay it back unless I can come up an exta $700 in my monthly budget.

Please lets keep this thread focused on the monthly budget issues. I will start other threads to discuss the other plans of attack.






Print the post Back To Top
Author: Rogue31 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3087 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 1:35 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
whineluvr wrote:

<<My husband and I budget about $300-$350 for groceries.>>

Ditto my wife and I. Plus a Lab and a cat.

Cable, I remember from your posts that your wife is unable to work. I do not have that as an issue, but I am able to let my wife choose a career (rather than having her forced into a job she hates). She is a real estate agent. Effectively this means very little money coming in on a regular basis. While I also do not have your debt load, I'm still up there with a student loan, car payment, a soon-to-be house payment, and a CC payment. I know how tight it can be. Sometimes we think we aren't going to make it. But then we realize that we don't need to spend extra money on non-essentials. I take a lunch to work rather than going out. This saves us money. But, sometimes, it is still a little tight. So rather than buying TV dinners and taking these to work, I buy an extra loaf of bread and have PB&J for lunch several days in a row. I like Diet Coke. But if things are tight, I can drink water (better for me anyway). Not great, but I can meet my bills. And soon, I'll be the one doing the dance of joy on these boards. Then all of the above won't matter one whit.

It can be done, buddy. And we're all here to help and provide encouragement.

Rogue31

BTW, If you aren't cutting coupons, start. And look for a store around you that does double coupons. I budget $300/mo. for groceries and can generally save $40-$60 each month in coupons alone.


Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3089 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 2:18 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Last year I discovered my grocery bill ballooned to almost $2000 one month. I couldn't figure out why. It turned out that my brother-in-law was selling our groceries to his friends for beer.

He discovered that if he cooked up a few dinners before I got home, and invited all his friends over to watch the basketball game/movie/whatever and dinner, that they would bring a six pack or two each. Considering he drinks about 3-4 packs a day, this was giving him his beer for free.

So I had to ban his "friends" from my house and the grocery bill dropped back to normal.

Before that he took my wife's Shell gas card when he discovered he could charge beer and cigarettes on it at the mini-mart. I discovered this after I got my new "much higher" gasoline bill. I asked Shell to prevent any non-gasoline purchases on it, but they can't do that.

It is always a battle...




Print the post Back To Top
Author: TVWAVs Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3090 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 2:25 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
We spend about $250-300/month on groceries (my wife and I, one dog and one cat).

Keep an eye on what the price differences between different sized products. One local store charges 99 cents for a 16 ounce bag of carrots, or $2.49 for a 32 ounce bag. Go figure.



Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3091 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 2:32 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cable,

Yikes! Your story sounds like the stereotypical brother-in-law from hell story!

If it was me, I'd say the heck with banning his friends, ban him!!

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3092 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 2:36 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
>>If it was me, I'd say the heck with banning his friends, ban him!!<<

I wish I could. My wife won't let me. He is her baby brother and she refuses to let him live on the street even though he should. He is family, bad or good.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3093 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 2:41 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I wish I could. My wife won't let me. He is her baby brother and she refuses to let him live on the street even though he should. He is family, bad or good.

Cable,

I can understand this, and you and your wife are very good people.

But what I don't understand is why he isn't doing his share as part of the deal. Is he working? Does he contribute to the household? Does he do things that need doing around the house?

Hey, fair is fair, right?...

But actually, this is really more of a private issue, and I guess we shouldn't even be discussing it.

Though you did bring it up. ; )

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
Author: pwyles Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3094 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 2:50 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cable666

Our monthly grocery budget for 2 adults, 3 kids ages 5 through 11, a large dog and a cat is about $400. Our monthly Sam's/Costco trip runs $150-$300. We then pick up bread and milk through the month. We will also shop the mark down bins, and GOOD sales through the month. Most things we buy in bulk; 50 pound sacks of rice, flour, sugar, and large boxes of laundry soap. Other things we do to reduce the food budget. Buying from fruit and vegetable stands. Oncce a year we buy a hog from the farmer, and then pay the meat processor in one of the little towns for the butchering. Total cost for the entire hog is one dollar per pound. We are getting lard, pork chops, bacon, sausage and ham all at a dollar per pound. We bake a lot of our own bread.

Another budget item to consider is clothing. My shirts are seconds, but you would never know unless I tell you. I buy $10 tennis shoes, a pair of tennis shoes lasts me 5 months no matter how much I spend, so I will only pay $10 for a pair of shoes. I sew lots of the clothes, but even if you only have a sewing machine for mending it will save a bundle. My sewing machine paid for itself in less than a year from the savings in the clothes budget.

Our house is also a one income household. I run the reasonable offense in the form of salary, and my wife runs the great defense in trying to not pay to much by reading ads, sale sheets, ... The struggle we are having is changing the mind set from consummer to saver. All advertising wants you to consume whether it be cars, toys or food, the challenge is to resist the temptation.

~~paul

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: PSUEngineerFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3095 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 2:50 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
cable666:

We never buy processed food, we uses coupons, and we avoids brand names.

It appears you are doing the right things.

One suggestion is to stock up when there are sales. My wife will normally buy months worth of laundry detergent when there is a great sale.

Another is to know which stores offer the lowest prices on certain items. Each store will have low prices on some items and high ones on the others. You just have to know which store to buy from. Also don't spend $1.00 in gas to save $0.25 in groceries by driving across town to another store.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3096 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 2:59 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
>>But what I don't understand is why he isn't doing his share as part of the deal. Is he working? Does
he contribute to the household? Does he do things that need doing around the house?<<

Very good questions. He does work, but only enough to buy beer and smokes. He does not contribute or help out around the house. The only "deal" is that we keep him fed and sheltered instead of him living on the street and dying. The rest of his life is up to him.

He has a lot of problems, sustance abuse being the worst. He thinks he is smarter than everyone else, the world owes him a living. I'm sure every family has someone like this. Unfortunatly, ours is living in my garage. If you have ever had to deal with people with addition, this you will recognize this destructive behaviour.

My wife is the weak link. Until she is strong enough to force him to deal with his problems, he will continue to self destruct. I can not help him, or her except to pay for professional councilling for them both when they are ready. I've tried this route already. It was very expensive. That is one of the reasons I'm broke and in debt.

All I can do wait for him to either wake up and get better or die. Either way, it cost me money and taxes my mental strenth.




Print the post Back To Top
Author: CassFool One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3097 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 3:01 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
cable666:

One series of books you may want to look into is called the Tightwad Gazette. The author, Amy Daczyzn, ran a newsletter for years and turned it into 3 books.

They are great for saving money not just on food, but also on everything else. I don't use many of her solutions because lots of them deal with how to raise children cheaply, but SO many of them apply to everyday life and how to do things for less.

I am single, but my monthly grocery bill is about $100, and eating out might be abother $150 or so.

BTW, Amy Daczyzn has 6 kids and a husband to feed, and does it for less than $200/month. Even if you only use some of her tips, it will all add up.

Good luck to you. It's hard now, but in the end it WILL be worth it.

Cassandra

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3098 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 3:05 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cable,

No one can give you advice on this sad situation. You're obviously a saint putting up with what you do, and I truly feel for you having to deal with this while trying to get your debt situation under control. I wish you the best with this, and hope a solution comes about quickly so you can devote your energies to your family's finances.

One thought though--

It's times like these that really put relationships to the test. No doubt there are many stressful moments in your home, but please always keep in mind that the events that are playing havoc in the house can't be allowed to affect your relationships with your wife, and children. They have to come first.

Some day your brother-in-law will come to realize how instrumental you've been in his life.

Good luck!

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Rogue31 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3099 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 3:07 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cable666 wrote:

<<He is family, bad or good.>>

Sounds more bad than good.

Does he work? If not, he should be so he can contribute and your wife should realize that. Is he able to work? If not, is there any type of disability he should be receiving and isn't? That could be his contribution. (If he is an adult and living in your house, he should be contributing.)

If your wife is coddling him and making excuses, does she realize that she is responsible for crippling both him and you (meaning you and your wife)? You, because you are having difficulty financially and him because he isn't learning life doesn't owe him anything. Every responsible adult should have that lesson burned in their mind.

Sorry, I don't mean to preach but I've been through something similar once. Not a pretty subject.

Rogue31

Print the post Back To Top
Author: PSUEngineerFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3100 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 3:17 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
cable666:

Last year I discovered my grocery bill ballooned to almost $2000 one month. I couldn't figure out why. It turned out that my brother-in-law was selling our groceries to his friends for beer.

It appears that you may be having inventory problems, not budget problems. It could be that your brother-in-law has found a new way to trade food for beer. Maybe you should be tracking the food in your house instead of what you buy at the store.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3101 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 5:40 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Thank you everyone for the great feedback!

I am absolutley amazed that other families can grocery shop on less than $400 a month. I would love to know how to do this! I hoisted my grocery budget on this board because it is my second largest expense after housing. Unlike housing or automobile expenses, I have nothing to measure grocery expenses against.

Maybe the problem is that neither my wife and I know how to grocery shop. Neither of us did this growing up. Maybe the Motley Fool should open a section of very basic finances like buying groceries. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this situation.

It sounds like we are doing the right things. We never buy junk or processed foods, we use coupons, and we buy things on sale.

When it comes to buying in bulk, I can't always. My house is very very small and there is no room for boxes of detergent. I can't buy perishables in bulk because they will go bad before I can get to them all.

I went to Sam's Club once. I was unimpressed. It looked like great place to go broke saving money on things I don't need.

Most coupons are worthless to us. They are mostly issued by national brands for overpriced junk that I would never buy in the first place. I don't buy boxes of cereal, chips, snacks, ice cream, whipped cream, and other garbage. Why can't I find coupons for a bag of apples?

My wife and I drive 100 miles (RT) to WalMart once every other month to stock up on non-perishable consumables such as toothpaste, base cosmetics for her, socks, etc. This is definalty worth the trip.

I would love to hire someone to take me grocery shopping and show me how to buy two weeks of groceries for less than $250. I think it would be an excellent investment. I don't see how it is possible. Everytime I go in to pick up some milk and a couple of things my wife forgot to buy, it seems to cost me $20-$30.

Perhaps I should save my grocery receipts for the next two weeks and post them here for others to analyze.



Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3101 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 5:44 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Thank you everyone for the great feedback!

I am absolutely amazed that other families can grocery shop on less than $400 a month. I would love to know how to do this! I hoisted my grocery budget on this board because it is my second largest expense after housing. Unlike housing or automobile expenses, I have nothing to measure grocery expenses against.

Maybe the problem is that neither my wife and I know how to grocery shop. Neither of us did this growing up. Maybe the Motley Fool should open a section of very basic finances like buying groceries. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this situation.

It sounds like we are doing the right things. We never buy junk or processed foods, we use coupons, and we buy things on sale.

When it comes to buying in bulk, I can't always. My house is very, very small and there is no room for boxes of detergent. I can't buy perishables in bulk because they will go bad before I can get to them all.

I went to Sam's Club once. I was unimpressed. It looked like great place to go broke saving money on things I don't need.

Most coupons are worthless to us. They are mostly issued by national brands for overpriced junk that I would never buy in the first place. I don't buy boxes of cereal, chips, snacks, ice cream, whipped cream, and other garbage. Why can't I find coupons for a bag of apples?

My wife and I drive 100 miles (RT) to WalMart once every other month to stock up on non-perishable consumables such as toothpaste, base cosmetics for her, socks, etc. This is defiantly worth the trip.

I would love to hire someone to take me grocery shopping and show me how to buy two weeks of groceries for less than $250. I think it would be an excellent investment. I don't see how it is possible. Every time I go in to pick up some milk and a couple of things my wife forgot to buy, it seems to cost me $20-$30.

Perhaps I should save my grocery receipts for the next two weeks and post them here for others to analyze.



Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3102 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 6:00 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
>>Our house is also a one income household. I run the reasonable offense in the form of salary, and
my wife runs the great defense in trying to not pay to much by reading ads, sale sheets, <<

That is exactly how I'm trying to run my household. However, I don't think my team is working for me. It gets pretty damn tiring playing all the positions myself. I can't micromanage my food budget, inventory, and work two jobs and hope to do them all well.





Print the post Back To Top
Author: RecoveringFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3103 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 6:08 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<I can't micromanage my food budget, inventory, and work two jobs and hope to do them all well.>>
It sounds like it's time to sit down and talk about who does what. Also, in terms of saving money on shopping, there are lots of books out there and some frugal websites too(I lost the bookmarks in a computer transition). Go to your local library and borrow Amy Dacyzn's books(some good ideas, some I don't agree with), Andrew Tobias(most of his books have money saving tips and are pretty funny- particularly Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need and Getting by on $100,000 a year - published in '84 I think) and any other books you can get your hands on on frugal living. Sift through and see what you want to live with. One final tip - don't increase anything in your lifestyle without careful thought because it's twice as hard to decrease your lifestyle as increase it.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3105 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 6:37 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cable
This is off topic but I have to say this, for your wife's benefit. Both of my parents died of alcoholism. I tried everything when I got out of the service to get them out of the behavior until their doctor explained to me that for any substance abuser, as soon as someone else shows concern it becomes their problem, not the abuser's. The most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my life was watch them kill themselves with only a word of encouragement when they showed signs of right thinking. I still feel that there is something that I should have done but I know, intellectually, that they just weren't strong enough to whip it. If the addict doesn't want it, it won't happen. If you prevent him from hitting that low point that wakes him up, he will never be well.
Forgive the digression
Stan

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3106 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 6:45 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Everytime I go in to pick up some milk and a couple of things my wife forgot to buy, it
seems to cost me $20-$30.

This could well be your problem. Make a list when you go shopping and buy only what is on the list. When you go for milk, buy just milk. Try to avoid those in-between trips to the store, they really add up.
When I lived in California, we would buy grocery bags of apples at harvest and make bunches of apple pies and put them in the freezer. When we wanted a pie, you just cook it. This was years ago but the apples were almost free at the right time of year.
Stan
We did the same with peaches(my favorite)

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Rogue31 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3111 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 7:49 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cable666 wrote:

<<I am absolutely amazed that other families can grocery shop on less than $400 a month. I would love to know how to do this! >>

Have you thought about WHERE you shop? I know some of the grocery stores by me can be much more expensive on some items than another store. Where you shop can be almost as important as how you shop or what you buy.

Also, make a list and STICK TO IT! It's tough, but it can be done. As well, try not to go to the store hungry. It usually costs you more that way.

Rogue31

Print the post Back To Top
Author: pwyles Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3113 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 8:23 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<I am absolutley amazed that other families can grocery shop on less than $400 a month. I would love to know how to do this! >>

Cable
How we do it is we don't eat high on the hog unless we buy the whole hog. 8-) Anyway for meat we mostly eat chicken, pork and ground turkey. The only time I buy beef is in the mark down bin. I buy 50# of chicken quarters when they go on sale at about 39 cents/pound. I buy the whole hog at a dollar a pound. We eat lots of macaroni on sale or in bulk. A 50# sack of rice runs about $12 instead of a dollar/pound. I buy 50# of ground turkey when it goes on sale. When I don't bake bread I buy it from the day old bread store which is on my way home from work. We don't like the taste of powdered milk as a drink, but powdered milk can be used in most cooking. Shortning can be substituted for butter in cookies that are baked. When tuna goes on sale with a limit of two I buy two cans, put them in the car, and go immediately back into the store and buy two more. Some store clerks know me so just let me buy enough to stock up. When your reading a sale ad the loss leader items are on the front and back of the ad. If these are items you use go into the store and stock up on just the loss leader items. I buy toilet paper by the case on sale. When fruit/vegetables come in season buy them then and can or freeze them.



As far as your brother-in-law is concerned two books that may give a different perspective are "The Richest Man In Babylon" and "The Millionaire Next Door." From "The Richest Man In Babylon," don't make someone else's problem your problem. From "The Millionaire Next Door," the section on Economic Outpatient Care (EOC) is a real eye opener. In short if someone doesn't have the opportunity to fail they will never succeed. I have a couple of relatives that are trying their hardest to self-destruct. If it can be drank, smoked, popped, or snorted they have done it to excess Only time will tell if they will self-destruct or wake up.

~~paul

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFRunkle Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3116 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 10:14 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<How much does the average family spend on groceries every month? I
budget $800-$900 a month for a family of three adults plus 3 cats. This
includes all meals (occasional dinner out), bathroom supplies, cleaning
supplies, etc. Basically "consumibles" that are purchased at the grocery
store.>>

This seems kind of steep. We usually spend about $400 for two adults, one teen and one pre-teen and a bird. When we fall behind on grocery shopping, the bill goes up though, because of the convenience items.
George

Print the post Back To Top
Author: DonRay Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3117 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 10:49 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 1
We have found a freezer and a pantry are our two keys to keeping down the grocery bill. When some item that is on our regular menu is on sale--and I mean really on sale--we really load up.
In case of famine we are all set...
Happy chawing
Don.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFRunkle Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3118 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 11:03 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I made fun of Amy Dacyzn in one of my Fribbles. I didn't mention her by name, but I made fun of her buying in bulk philosophy. She's kind of extreme in what she suggests, things like putting half finished glasses of milk back in the refrigerator (a perfect culture for the bacteria from your child's mouth).

Anyway, I still would read her books - she does present some really good thoughts on cutting the budget. The woman spent her life married to a Navy enlisted man, which is not a way to get rich quick. Instead of going into the ground financially, which sadly happens to many military families, she actually prospered. She must be doing something right.

George

Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3119 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 11:21 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
It appears the key to maximum food savings is a large freezer and a large pantry.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Kari One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3121 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 11:27 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
-----------
It appears the key to maximum food savings is a large freezer and a large pantry.
-----------

Things like detergent can be stored under beds (it keeps the dust bunnies company). If you think creatively there are storage places for non parishable items.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: CassFool One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3123 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 11:45 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
George/TMFRunkle wrote:

<<I made fun of Amy Dacyzn in one of my Fribbles. I didn't mention her by name, but I made fun of
her buying in bulk philosophy. She's kind of extreme in what she suggests, things like putting half
finished glasses of milk back in the refrigerator (a perfect culture for the bacteria from your child's
mouth). >>

<< Anyway, I still would read her books - she does present some really good thoughts on cutting the
budget. The woman spent her life married to a Navy enlisted man, which is not a way to get rich
quick. Instead of going into the ground financially, which sadly happens to many military families, she actually prospered. She must be doing something right. >>

Yes, George, she does have some 'extreme ideas'. But she and her husband also lived well on something like $15,000 a year, and saved a TREMENDOUS percentage of their income while also raising 6 kids. Then of course she started her newsletter and was able to retire at some incredibly early age.... if you're desperate to save money, then even using SOME of her ideas will help to cut back. I tried a number of things she suggested for just one month (figuring I could try about anything for a month, especially since there's no one else in my house to convice to do something). Using her ideas, and NOT even buying bulk at all for that month, I spent less than $15 for a month's worth of food, and most of that was fresh or frozen veggies. Admittedly, I was getting rid of lots of prepackaged stuff that was on hand, but my grocery bill has never returned to the levels they were before I read her books, and I eat better, too. Save more, too....

Tonight I went to the grocery store and I bought enough fresh food to last me for a week to ten days -- I already have meats and grains stored up at home bc I've bought it all on sale.... I wanted to see what I spent compared to what cable666 is spending. I figure even with the cost of the meats and fish I eat (which isn't much) the cost of the grains, plus the snack food I bought (everyone has their vices....) I still only spend about $35 a week to feed myself very well. That's fruit for breakfast, grains and vegetables -for lunch and dinner, and meat, poultry or fish at least once a day. Plus the ocassional candy bar or other snack.

Like everything else here on the Fool, you have to educate yourself about something and see if it is right for you. Some of Amy Daczyzn's ideas are easy for some people to implement, others may scoff at the same thing. (cable666, you should go check her books out from the library, and see what else is out there on the subject. The worst thing that will happen is you won't save a penny. And you might save lots more than that!)

Cassandra (avoiding varmints and mishaps and off to bed)



Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: CassFool One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3126 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/6/1998 11:58 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
cable666 wrote:

<<It appears the key to maximum food savings is a large freezer and a large pantry.>>

Not necessarily.... Until 5 months ago I have always lived in small apartments (as an adult, at least). Even now I live in a townhome that has less than 1000 square feet. I have always had only a standard refrigerator with a freezer on the top, fridge on the bottom, and typically very little cabinet space. I have, though, in almost every place I've lived, added shelves (through creative uses of apples crates or pieces of wood), tucked non-perishables in odd places, and generally packed every square inch of my kitchen space (and the front closet, and other spaces) with food or other items. In my smallest apartment, I had about a two year supply of rolls of toilet paper in my kitchen pantry, bathroom cabinets, and even my bedroom closet! (It was a GREAT buy, it wouldn't go bad, and I was determined to find a space for it!) So even with limited space and no extra 'cold storage', it can be done.

It may also call for some decluttering of some areas of your home, too.... Or maybe even just some better organization? Just some of the stuff that has worked for me....

Cassandra

Print the post Back To Top
Author: mjskas Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3128 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 1:05 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I am absolutely amazed that other families can grocery shop on less than $400 a month. I would
love to know how to do this!


Well, this got me curious. Since we have budgeted $200 a month in groceries, I wanted to see how we were doing so far this year. I stopped going by a strict budget around the beginning of the year, as long as we save 25% of our income. Well, here is what Quicken tells me I spent through the end of June:

Groceries: $1583, $264 / mo., +32%
Household: $353, $59 / mo., -26%
Total: $1936, $322 / mo., +15%

Last year, when we were following the budget a little more closely:

Groceries: $2170, $181 / mo., -9%
Houshold: $897, $75 / mo., -6%
Total: $3067, $256 / mo., -8%

There was also some cash spent (probably around another 10%) on these items. So, we were about on budget last year, and about 25% over budget this year (without trying, as I said before. Habit, perhaps?)

This was for two adults with a child starting to eat adult food (i.e. two adults ;) Here are some of the things that we do to lower our food bill:

1. Buy the cheapest lunch meat and cheese, or better yet: PB&J.

2. Buy large packages of chicken leg quarters (say 10 lbs. or more) and repackage for 2 prior to freezing.

3. Don't buy carbonated soft drinks. Sun tea, off brand Kool-aid, etc. are much less expensive.

4. Buy ground beef. At $.99/lb. or less, you can make a lot of inexpensive meals (just make sure to cook thoroughly;)

5. Tuna fish casserole, spaghetti and other pastas are also inexpensive.

6. Buy canned veggies on sale. Hide 'em under the couch if you can't find a place to store them.


These are a few of the things, but it is important to keep in mind that while we didn't eat like kings, it wasn't a hardship either. We could have saved even more money if we wanted to lower our requirements. I truly feel that we could have gotten it down a lot more with some sacrifice.


To be honest, with an $800 budget for groceries we could eat very well indeed (course, this is Indiana;) If you spend $800 for groceries it sounds to me like one or more of the following may apply:
1. You eat very well
2. You have a lot of waste
3. Someone is taking your food
4. Your cost of living is extremely high.



Good luck with your brother-in-law. 'nuff said.

Mike

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: MFGreyhound One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3133 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 10:04 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<Here are some of the things that we do to lower our food bill:
1. Buy the cheapest lunch meat and cheese, or better yet: PB&J.>>

Hi y'all,

Just wanted to add my $.02 to this thread. When buying lunch meats and cheeses at a grocery store deli, usually they package a pound or two of meat and cheese 'ends' (ie, the heels that don't slice well) and sell them really cheap. You might want to check this out.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: KoshN Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3139 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 11:18 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<< I am absolutely amazed that other families can grocery shop on less than $400 a month. I would love to know how to do this! >>

A few things I haven't seen posted yet:
1) Keep track of the sale prices of things. Why stock up on something on sale for 99 cents if it (or a competing brand) often goes on sale for 69 cents?
2) Use the weekly sale fliers to make substitutions on your shopping list and help decide where to shop for what.
3) Stop off first at the local surplus/warehouse store and get as much as you can there before going to the other store(s). I don't mean the big place where you can get a discount on a case of a name-brand food; I mean the small place that sells a different brand of corn flakes each month (none of which you've ever heard of before) and may want you to not only do your own bagging, but bring your own bags. Don't forget to refer to the price list from #1.
4) Check out any wholesale meat markets in your area, even if you have no way of storing large amounts; some will have good deals on smaller quantities, even though they don't advertise them.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3141 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 11:56 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
As well, try not to go to the store hungry. It usually costs you more that way.

Rogue is so right on this one! I do the shopping every week, and doing so gives me free reign to buy what I like.

But when I go when I'm hungry, the bill is sky-high! Everything manages to find its way into the cart.

Though it sounds simplistic, always go shopping on a full stomach!

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3147 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 12:37 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I have heard of two or more families buying wholesale meat and splitting the cost and meat. This can work for other things too.
Stan

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFJedi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3151 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 12:48 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Ask her for the receipts so you can figure it out (and maybe even figure out if anything can be trimmed off). Also, if you use Quicken, you can use the autobudget to tell you approx. how much/month you are spending on groceries.

Good luck!

Kaiti
Jedi in orbit.



Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFJedi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3158 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 2:06 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<Most coupons are worthless to us. They are mostly issued by national brands for overpriced junk
that I would never buy in the first place. I don't buy boxes of cereal, chips, snacks, ice cream,
whipped cream, and other garbage. Why can't I find coupons for a bag of apples?>>

I can totally sympathize here. One of my worst grocery problems is that I can be terribly stubbornly brand-loyal. And cupons are never for the brands I like. Go fig.

But every once in a while there are some good coupons for simple stuff -- quite some time ago I worked in a grocery store that had some awesome coupon for milk -- something like $1 off a gallon. They're rare, but well worth scouring the store ads in the Sunday paper for.

Good luck!

Kaiti
Jedi in orbit

PS -- Double good luck with the bro-in-law! You are a far kinder soul than I.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFCheeze Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3161 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 2:37 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Rogue is so right on this one! I do the shopping every week, and doing so gives me free reign to buy what I like.

But when I go when I'm hungry, the bill is sky-high! Everything manages to find its way into the cart.


Tell me about it, Tony.

Cheeze
Eating Oreos for Breakfast

Print the post Back To Top
Author: whineluvr One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3163 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 4:23 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Another money-saving grocery tip: hit the Asian markets. Here you can buy 50# of rice for $10.00, a gallon of soy sauce (use as a salt substitute) for $5.00. Also, their veggies are always cheaper than regular grocery stores.

Christine


Print the post Back To Top
Author: etherbuddy Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3164 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 4:24 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Ok, I apologize up front for being an busy body, but.....

Please consider that neither you nor your wife are helping her baby brother. Maybe it is because I am from Minnesota where everyone seems to have been in treatment or an intervention ( land of 12 steps) but you are helping (enabling) him to continue his addiction.(Sometimes we have to let people we love hit bottom.) I learned this the hard way.

Often this situation is called codependency and is clearly destructive to BOTH parties.

I still think this relates directly to debt reduction....learning how to say no in one of the most difficult situations.

If the expensive counseling didn't help with that, consider cheaper alternatives in the community. You really do need to protect yourself and your family and...your pocket book. I am glad that you realize that and hope that things work out. Been there, done that, and it ain't no fun.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3165 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 4:35 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Another money-saving grocery tip: hit the Asian markets. Here you can buy 50# of rice for $10.00, a gallon of soy sauce (use as a salt substitute) for $5.00. Also, their veggies are always cheaper than regular grocery stores.

Hi Christine!

Great tip. I'll put that one to good use!

Another idea is that I've found that Superstores such as Costco have excellent prices for large sizes of spices, and flavorings (Garlic powder, natural vanilla extract, etc.)

You just have to be careful when in these stores, as it's soooo easy to overbuy.

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3166 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 4:47 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
cable
Walmart takes coupons too so those trips you make can be even more worth it.
On some things, you can do really well on introductory items. The best example is when my wife came home with a ton of deodorant. I can't remember the name but they issued really good coupons to get people to try them and had mail in rebates. My wife went to the commissary where the price was low anyway and they ended up paying her something like $.15 to take them home. True story. You won't do that well but on things like that you can stock up easily. If WalMart has a good sale, take coupons and make it better. If your neighbors don't clip, you can get theirs too.
Stan

Print the post Back To Top
Author: emtwo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3170 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 5:14 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
sam4d wrote;
"My wife went to the commissary where the price was low anyway and they ended up paying her something like $.15 to take them home."

LOL....Stan...been there....found a coupon on in my local paper, and saw the product in the Commissary offering a rebate. By the time it was over, I had gotten the product for free, and the manufacturer ended up paying me $2.00

Must admit, one of the few times I ever actually used the commissary.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: FreeCashFlow Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3183 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 9:07 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<When I was single years ago I use to budget $500 a month for all of this, so $800 does not seem out of line.>>

$500 a month for food several years AGO? Either you eat caviar, or you have a VERY huge appetite.

<< I budget $800-$900 a month for a family of three adults plus 3 cats. This includes all meals (occasional dinner out), bathroom supplies, cleaning supplies, etc. Basically "consumibles" that are purchased at the grocery store.>>
A few hundred dollars per person per month? I guess you cut back on the caviar.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: FreeCashFlow Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3184 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 9:14 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<You might consider shopping in bulk every month, planning your meals ahead of time, and just filling in the staples during the month.>>

Shopping in bulk may be counterproductive. You only have so much space, food rots given enough time, and you may not need all that stuff. Besides, don't warehouse clubs charge membership fees that present a hurdle to saving money?

<<Also, don't be afraid to use coupons, buy the no-frills brands, etc. Those little things can easily add up.>>
Just make sure that you only use the coupons for items that you would have bought anyway. Also, sometimes generic brands are cheaper than the name brand items even with a coupon.

<<Look at some of the basic bills that come in too. Are you paying for cable services that you're not using? HBO? etc.>>
Cable TV as a basic service? Come on, I don't have time to watch. If I had cable TV at a time when I was concerned about paying off huge credit card debts, the cable TV would be one of the first targets for my budgetary axe.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: FreeCashFlow Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3185 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/7/1998 9:38 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<All I can do wait for him to either wake up and get better or die. Either way, it cost me money and taxes my mental strenth.>>

Don Aslett, author of several anti-clutter books, would call your brother-in-law "junk on the hoof". A few ways to get rid of such people:

Stock your house with stuff that the loser is allergic to.

Lend the loser a few dollars (Well, this probably won't work for you.)

Join a cult, militia, or paramilitary group. (Unless your loser is a violent individual.)

Get a license to sell, and keep pitching the product you are selling to the loser.

Eat raw onions and garlic, and do anything else that would drive the loser away.

If the loser is a heavy metal or grunge music fan, always have the radio tuned to the nostalgia music station.

If the loser is a nostalgia music fan, keep playing heavy metal and grunge music.

You get the idea.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: JABoa Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3186 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 8:14 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
While I am a worshipper at the Temple of the Reduced Mortgage, I think I have to disagree with FreeCashFlow about dumping the cable TV. As I write this, I'm watching a 3-hour program about the White House on C-Span. And earlier today I got to watch Sen. Bumpers make another jackass speech on C-Span2, confirming my opinion about Arkansas politicians. If I didn't pay my $30 a month to the cable company, I wouldn't have these, or Discovery, or AMC.

Suppose I am $10,000 in debt at 12%. Shall I pay an extra $30 each month to pay that debt down, over and above what my debt reduction plan would have me pay? If I do, I'm saving 1% interest per month, each month, by paying that down. Over the course of a year I save $30x(.12/12)x(12)(12+1)/2=$23.40 by not having cable. In the meantime, I'm ignorant mean & ornery, my children are out trying to do bad things instead of being safe at home watching TV, and my wife decides she needs a hobby like collecting Beanie Babies.

Of course, if there really is no money, then cable is unnecessary. So are new shoes.

I understand the virtues of frugality and I think I even practise some of them, but surely our self-worth is not equal to our projections of our net worth. (Apologies in advance to FreeCashFlow who I think lives his frugal life out of conviction and not because he will have luxury in the future because of his behavior now.)

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3191 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 11:04 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
>>A few hundred dollars per person per month? I guess you cut back on the caviar. <<

Please! I'm here on here on this board to get solid ideas to work with, not to be insulted. I don't eat caviar or junk food. If you have productive ideas, or can tell me what you manage to feed a family of x size on each month, I would like to know.

If you must know, I am a large solid guy, 6'-4" 230 pounds, and very active outdoors so I burn a lot of calories. I mostly eat grains and vegetables with occasional meat. I only drink water, some tea, and one beer a week.



Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3192 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 11:37 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
>>Don Aslett, author of several anti-clutter books, would call your brother-in-law "junk on the hoof".
A few ways to get rid of such people:<<

Sorry, but I don't consider family to be "junk" to be thrown away, no matter how much of a loser he his. He has a disease, acute alcoholism. He is actually one of the smartest people I've even met, definitely top 10% IQ. Alcoholism is a terrible disease. It can aflict anyone of any IQ. It has really screwed him up and may eventually kill him.



Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3194 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 12:39 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cable
Two points
Some folks may have missed the fact that you include anything purchased at the supermarket as groceries. I do the same thing because it would be a nightmare otherwise but some read your numbers and think only of food.
Have you tried Alanon? Just contact your local AA and ask about it. It is for the families of alcoholics, its free and it can give you some help to both you and your wife.
We really do care about you and are here for you.
Stan

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3195 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 1:06 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I feed a family of 4 [2 adults and 2 children one of which eats more than my husband in _quantity_ daily...I can envision a 2nd mortgage when that child hits puberty just to feed him!] on about $250 per month. And that includes dinner out about once a week, but we usually spend under $30 for that. I think we eat fairly well as we eat a lot of beef and chicken and generally all fresh produce. Food is actually an area that I will shop carefully on, but it's a priority so I make sure we eat fairly well. I also have a freezer and a large basement for storage, so I can do things that Cable can't like buy in bulk. But something I didn't see mentioned yet is to buy your produce in the discount/clearance/reduced section. That generally just means that it's ripe and has to be eaten right away, but since you don't have any storage space per se, you seem to be eating everything right away anyhow. I live across the street from an orchard, so I actually get better 2nd's produce there than what is sold at first quality and much higher prices at the supermarket. I also make my own jam and applesauce [orchard sells bulk apples at $0.49 per pound all year, and I generally convert about 80 pounds of apples a year into applesauce for above-mentioned son's lunch and snacks - that kid loves to eat].

I also tend to make just about everything from scratch except macaroni and cheese and bread, although I do have a breadmaker, so that saves quite a bit and my family likes my cooking. I generally do this because I enjoy cooking so it's not a chore, so if you or your wife like to cook, making things from scratch may be something to look at.

And I agree with someone else on looking at where you shop. The closest grocery store to me is also the most expensive, but they have the best meat, so when they have a meat sale [and their prices are _very_ good on sale], I do some major stocking up. But I don't buy anything else there and can imagine my grocery bill at least doubling if I did.

And although I've never found buying food in wholesale clubs to be either cheaper or easier for me, I do buy some things there. But I refuse to pay their annual membership fees, so I use the free coupons they send out a couple of times a year to get a free 3-month trial membership. I just never sign up when the 3 months is over. I wouldn't buy enough to justify it, and I do get 2 or 3 of those a year, so I'm virtually always a member anyhow.

I also tend to remember prices and who sells what for the least amount, so when I need something, I buy that particular item at the place that's got the best price.

Try keeping your receipts for a month or so to see what you're buying and if you could get it cheaper elsewhere. It will at least help you to get your hands around why your grocery bill is so high.

Oh, and I live in Massachusetts, so I'd guess we have a medium to high cost of living.

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFJedi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3196 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 1:30 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Y'all, cable's right, here -- people come here for encouragement, information, and advice (in whichever order), not to take abuse.

So you don't agree with someone, fine. But no snide remarks and personal insults, please. We're all essentially in the same boat (debt) or else we're recently out of it or we're trying to help out someone who's in it. Every situation has something that makes it unique from every other situation. And we're all just trying to make the best of it. And then you throw in point of view. NONE of us it COMPLETELY familiar and knowlegable about cable666's personal situation. We just know what he has told us.

So, to sum up here, please back off a little and remember to play nice. We're all really good about that here, we just need to remember to STAY good.

Just step back, take a deep breath, and do the happy dance for a minute.

Feel better?

Kaiti
Jedi in orbit.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: emtwo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3197 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 1:43 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Happy Dance? Someone say Happy Dance?

>>Giving into the uncontrollable urge to do the Happy Dance, this poster will be unavailable due to having way to much fun.

thanx Kaiti...you've saved me another $75.00 in therapist fees.

v/r

Michael


Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFJedi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3198 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 1:54 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<Happy Dance? Someone say Happy Dance?>>

Four out of 4 Fool recommend the Happy Dance as a great way to:
1) Beat stress
2) Get a little exercise
3) Just have fun
4) Approach the light at the end of the tunnel (so long as it isn't a train)

We don't always recommend it as a means to avoid professional counseling, but hey, if it works for you... :-)

Kaiti
Jedi orbiting the Happy Dance

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Rogue31 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3199 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 1:59 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Dancin'! Yeah!

Sorry. My colleague has the Saturday Night Fever CD in right now. Bee Gees overload!

Rogue31

Print the post Back To Top
Author: emtwo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3200 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 2:09 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
>>Four out of 4 Fool recommend the Happy Dance as a great way to:
1) Beat stress
2) Get a little exercise
3) Just have fun
4) Approach the light at the end of the tunnel (so long as it isn't a train)<<

Need all of the above, as I just returned from my first Smoking Cessation class.....gonna be a long 6 weeks.

v/r

Michael


Print the post Back To Top
Author: CorvetteBarb One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3202 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 2:31 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Kaiti said:

So, to sum up here, please back off a little and remember to play nice. We're all really good about that here, we just need to remember to STAY good.

Yup, you're right - and that's what is so great about this board. We're all in the same boat, and we're all trying to help each other get ahead, without tipping the boat over and sinking in a sea of debt. Hard? You bet. Worthwhile? Unquestionably!

Let's refocus on the debt dragons we're here to slay, and keep the credit card demons at bay.

Corvette Barb

Print the post Back To Top
Author: KoshN Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3205 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 4:04 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<< Though it sounds simplistic, always go shopping on a full stomach! >>

Not necessarily. Studies have shown that a large percentage of people spend MORE money after having eaten than when hungry. To save money, you need to figure out which way is best for you personally and proceed accordingly.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3206 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 4:29 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Thanks for all of the great feedback. It seems the problem is that my family doesn't know how to plan meals and shop accordingly. I'm pretty nervous about telling my wife that she is paying twice as much as she should to run the house. She does take great pride in the work she does and would be very insulted. God knows if she goes on strike and makes me do all of the shopping, things would be even worse.

What I'll do is keep all of my grocery receipts for the rest of July. I'll plug them into a spreadsheet so I can tell how much I'm paying for various items.

What I would like to do in August is ask any super shoppers out there to look over this sheet and tell me that you think of it.

If there are any better ideas, I would love to year 'em.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: jpg1 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3207 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 4:38 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<Need all of the above, as I just returned from my first Smoking Cessation class.....gonna be a long 6 weeks.

v/r

Michael>>

Michael,

We all wish you the best of luck quitting the habit; to keep this message on topic, think of the Foolish effect the savings will have on your debt management budget long term.

Hang in there.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Meowiz Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3208 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 4:38 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cable666, I think your fortitude in exposing your problems, and responding to msgs here, standing up for yourself despite awkward msgs with imperfect strangers, and looking for constructive ways to solve your cc debt speaks to your determination to become financially independent. Godspeed. It is awkward talking about personal problems without the face to face contact, or at least without ever having had a personal relationship with someone here...people can blurt out things without full understanding of each other. There are alot of good people here. Take advantage of the positive things you can.

I personally think the Alanon idea is very good. best wishes to you, meowiz

Print the post Back To Top
Author: RecoveringFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3210 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 4:56 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Maybe you had the answer to the food budget all along - plan your meals. I used to do 2 weeks at a time, plan the meals, plan the shopping list but before you plan the meals, have the grocery circulars at hand to plan around what's on sale. You've mentioned what you eat but no one else. Frankly I buy cereal but only on sale & with coupons so always < $2 a box. Snack foods like chips are notoriously expensive. I think your research may net you some surprises. Here's another hint - try to get any computer supplies free with rebate although outside of a metro area it may not be possible. Also, if you don't want to feel way deprived, try to find your closest Entenmann's outlet(ours also sells Boboli & Pepperidge Farms) Good luck & let us know what you find out.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3211 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 5:14 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cable
My wife is a treasure beyond words but I WOULD NEVER TELL HER THAT SHE WAS PAYING TWICE AS MUCH AS SHE SHOULD. As part of a debt and stess reduction plan, you both need to go over each aspect of spending to see where you can cut back a bit, groceries being one.
It is going to take both of you at least not working against each other so make the partnership to reduce debt first.
A cold shiver just ran down my back thinking of the scene when I told my little darlin' what you said.
You can also find extra cash in the utilities bill if you take a hard look at usage, you may be able to cut back on travel expenses to and from if you combine trips. The key is save the little bits and the big chunks take care of themselves.
There is absolutely no profit in trying to affix blame. Your situation is what it is so start now, together, to remedy that situation. I don't mean to preach or to make you feel that you are less than intelligent. The biggest difference between you and I is time. I have been where you are and want to ease the pain for you.
Stan

Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3212 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 5:14 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
>>try to find your closest Entenmann's outlet(ours also sells Boboli & Pepperidge Farms)<<

What is an Entenmann & Boboli? I've never heard of it. We probably don't have those stores here. We do have a Trader Joe's which is a pretty cool store most of the time. I've heard of Pepperidge Farms advertised on TV but I've never tried one. I don't like sweets or cake, and I don't like paying for expensive sappy TV ads.





Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFJedi Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3213 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 5:23 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I think that is a brilliant idea, cable! There may be some areas to cut back in that nobody's mentioned yet.

And speaking of comparison-shopping, has any done a good comparison of netgrocer.com to their local chain grocery store? I'm a little curious on that one, meself...

Kaiti
Jedi in orbit

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Anya Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3214 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 5:50 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<What I'll do is keep all of my grocery receipts for the rest of July. I'll plug them into a spreadsheet so I can tell how much I'm paying for various items.>>

Having read all the messages in this thread, I have decided it is time for me to break down and start paying attention to prices at the grocery store. My husband and I are devoting half our net income to paying off $34k in student loans and $8k in CC and kitchen renovation loan debt.

Having tracked expenses on Quicken for over a year, I recently added up all the food categories (groceries, dining, and weekly cash allowance) and was appalled at the results: between $750 and $1050 per month for food! Taken separately,our budget for each category didn't seem that high: groceries - $325, dining - $200, cash (mostly for lunches at work) - $240. Still, we often went over the total $765 food budget.

Now that we have woken up to the reality, we have cut back our budget significantly in the dining and cash categories and are sticking to it. We knocked off a total $160 per month, but have been reluctant to whittle the grocery budget down. It seems a foreboding task to try to memorize how much each item costs and which store charges the least for each item, not to mention scouting for sales and coupons! But if Cable can do it, so can I. We're going grocery shopping tonight, so this time the receipt will go into a spreadsheet for tracking. Ugh! Financial independence is hard work, but well worth it.

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: emtwo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3216 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 6:44 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Oops...sorry...forgot to put in the effect that my quitting will have. Actually, I didn't have the information till I got home from work tonite.
But with the approximately $60.00 a month I will save, and adding that to my accelerated payment schedule, I find that I will retire my debt approximately 4 months early!!!
And hey..I just realized...I spend about $5.00 a month on breath freshener too!!! Woo Hoo...mo money, mo money.

Incidentally...thanx for the vote of confidence and support...it is greatly appreciated.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3218 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 7:10 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
emtwo
When I quit about six years ago, I used the patch for a month and couldn't stand paying the price for them anymore so went without from there on. The biggest problem I had was simply believing that I would quit. It is difficult to explain but I was sort of going through the motions until one day, I just said "I can quit" and quit. I was just puting off my next cigarette until then.
Bank the bucks and believe in yourself and you'll be smokefree soon.
Stan

Print the post Back To Top
Author: emtwo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3220 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 7:32 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Stan..
Ahhh...here is the even more Foolish Part...I get the patch, and it is FREE!!!! Actually, I am in the military, and they have a huge push to get the masses smoke-free.
And I think it is a good thing, although I don't neccessarily like their Methods. They make it dang inconvenient to be a smoker. Cannot smoke inside any installation building, and must be at least 25 feet away from any open door or window. Which means when it rains, I am out in the middle of a parking lot, getting wet.
Hey...another money saver....the money I spend in the winter months on cold tablets can go to CC debt too...:)

v/r

Michael

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3221 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 7:38 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Michael
That is quite a change. When I was in the service, cigs were $.20/pack and they gave them to us in Nam. If you didn't smoke when you got in you started out of self defense, I did.
Stan

Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3222 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 7:42 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
emtwo

A big Whooo Hooo from me for quiting! I haven't touched a cigarette for 10 years now. It took me three times to quit. The first day is the hardest. After that, it is all downhill. Honest!

My mother, father, and grandmother all quit smoking after 30, 40, and 60 years of smoking respectivly, so "I've smoked too long to quit" is not an excuse.

Someday you look back on your smoking days and say "What the hell was I thinking?". I do.

I hope someday I can look back on my CC days and think the same thing.

Whooo Hoooo!


Print the post Back To Top
Author: pwyles Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3224 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 7:55 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
emtoo
I quit seven years ago so I could buy a computer without using credit. (Pretty sneaky how I bring it into topic) I quit smoking cold turkey. The first week was the hardest after that it keeps getting easier to not want to smoke. The problem I have is I still like the smell of smoke if someone is smoking next to me. I knew I had truely quit smoking a year after my last cigarette. I was at a party and everyone was smoking, the cigarettes smelled so good, but the drag I took tasted so bad.

RecoveringFool
I think a "living below your means" board sounds like a great idea. The problem I see is living below your means is really appropriate on all the boards. If you want to get out of debt live below your means. If you want to invest for retirement live below your means. When you go to buy your next car remember you are not what you drive, so live below your means and buy cheap transportation. A separate board would make it easier to share tips on living below your means. I'm sure it would still be necessary to check the usual boards for money saving messages.

Cable
Sounds like an interesting plan to save the receipts and see where the money goes. I will have to try that in August. If I started now the results would be misleading since I have already made the monthly major shopping trip.

We don't dine out muxh. Dining out for us is 29 cent hamburgers at McDonalds once or twice a month. This month we spent $40 including tip at a sit down restaurant. We hadn't been to a sit down restaurant since January. We were trying for cheap prime rib $2.95 at a casino in Blackhawk Colorado. Couldn't take advantage of the deal though since our kids couldn't get into the restaurant because they would have to cross gaming floor. Ended up eating expensive hamburgers in one of the two restaurants the kids could get into without crossing gaming floor. To get back on topic we paid the check with a debit card 8-)

~~paul

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFRunkle Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3225 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 8:59 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0


<< Need all of the above, as I just returned from my first Smoking Cessation
class.....gonna be a long 6 weeks.>>

Michael,
I gave up a 3 pack a day habit 20 years ago, and I'm still doing a happy dance! As the years go by, you see people your age that smoke encountering all the health problems, and you'll be glad for the few weeks of agony.

It's worth it. Don't worry about gaining weight either. I only gained 40 lbs.

George

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFRunkle Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3226 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 9:07 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cable666, having come from a family full of dysfunctional people and engineers (coincidence?), I need to make a suggestion about your brother-in-law. Covering for him, giving him a free place to stay, and feeding him, only encourages his alcoholism. A number of rehabs have programs that help family members encourage their loved ones to seek treatment.

You have my sympathy on this, because I'm sure you can't just throw out your brother-in-law without making your wife very angry. The consequences to your marriage would certainly not be worth it. That's why it might be a good idea to talk to one of your local rehab centers for some advice (include your wife in on this).
George

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFRunkle Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3227 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 9:15 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0


<<Having tracked expenses on Quicken for over a year, I recently added up
all the food categories (groceries, dining, and weekly cash allowance) and
was appalled at the results: between $750 and $1050 per month for food!
Taken separately,our budget for each category didn't seem that high:
groceries - $325, dining - $200, cash (mostly for lunches at work) - $240.
Still, we often went over the total $765 food budget.>>

My big shock was when I discovered how much eating lunch out was costing me. I estimate I save $3 to $5 a day from brown bagging. That adds up quickly.

I also discovered how much I hate standing in line at a Mc Donalds, or taking the time to go out to eat. I can also read in peace, or watch CNN.

George

Print the post Back To Top
Author: CassFool One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3228 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 9:22 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
cable666 wrote:

<<My mother, father, and grandmother all quit smoking after 30, 40, and 60 years of smoking
respectivly, so "I've smoked too long to quit" is not an excuse.>>

This is so true!! Both my grandparents were in their sixties when they quit. Actually, my grandfather quit while my grandmother was in the hospital (and essentially sedated) for about a week. When she came to he said, "Neither of us has smoked in a week, and we're not going to again." Gramma wasn't too thrilled about his deciding that, but she never smoked again, either! I'm pulling for anyone who is quitting smoking.


<<I hope someday I can look back on my CC days and think the same thing.>>

You already are. You've quit using them, right? You may still be working out the repayment plans, but you will get there!! Just as the first day after you quit smoking was the hardest part, I bet that you are already through with the hardest part of the CC days. You still need to figure some things out, but I think you are well on your way to finding 'extra' money to pay them off.... It does take examining every expense to find where you can cut things out, though.

I wish you the best of luck, and we Fools are always here to help, even if we can be a bit rough around the edges sometimes. (and when you look at some other financial message boards, we're actually quite civilized in comparison.)

I'm pulling for you!

Cassandra

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: DonRay Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3233 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/8/1998 10:54 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Stan:
When I enlisted shipstores cigarettes were 50 cents a carton. About year later the price was increased to 60 cents. The Navy almost had a mutiny.
And the most awaited announcement was
"The Smoking Lamp is Lit....."
Don
(course, to lend some perspective...My apprentice
seaman's pay was $50 monthly. Six years later as
a petty officer second class it was the princely
sum $137.50 (including seapay and longevity)).


Print the post Back To Top
Author: FreeCashFlow Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3234 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 12:07 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<Please! I'm here on here on this board to get solid ideas to work with, not to be insulted. I don't eat caviar or junk food. If you have productive ideas, or can tell me what you manage to feed a family of x size on each month, I would like to know.>>

Sorry about that. A few things I do:

Use a grocery list.
Look at the very bottom and very top shelves.
Buy generic items (except bread, as generic bread is awful).
Don't buy much junk food.
Don't buy pop or fake fruit juice. Water is cheaper AND healthier.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 5853 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3237 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 8:26 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
This has been a great thread, and I'd like to put in my $.02 to vote for the new board on living below your income. Seems like an appropriate topic for the Managing Your Finances Folder, right? Aside from the very valuable information everyone has been sharing, such a board would help *me* keep focus. One issue for me has become balancing a fulfilling lifestyle (very personal deicisions there) with constantly increasing net worth. I've rid myself of debt and increased my income substantially; however making appropriate choices re my spending/saving has now become a big issue. I'd hate to say how much I've spent on gardening since March!

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Crazyfred Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3239 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 8:54 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<It seems a foreboding task to try to memorize how
much each item costs and which store charges the least for each item, not to mention scouting for
sales and coupons!>>

My experience is that certain stores tend to have the lowest prices on meat, others tend to have the lowest prices on veggies, one may have higer prices on veggies but fresher ones, and so on.

For stuff I use a lot of, I have a good idea of what every store charges for it (and amaze and bore my friends when I complain about how the price jumps -- they never notice!), but that's only a few dozen items. I can't tell exactly what sort of price they're selling for at any time, but I have a rough idea, which is enough to tell me if this is a good deal elsewhere. There are another few dozen 'luxury' items, where I will buy if the price goes below a certain level (usually once or twice a year).

I usually buy the store brands, so chasing coupons is not often rewarding for me. I find that when there is a coupon, it is often just around the same price as the store brands. That will probably be different for different markets.

As to sales, about half the local food places mass mail the sales fliers, and I could probably get the rest to do so if I talk to management (Your store is a bit out of the way for me, so I need a reason to make the trip, and if I don't know that you have anything I want on sale . . .)

When I sit down and think about how much information I keep track of for this, I'm amazed, but it never seemed like much work.

Crazyfred

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3241 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 9:48 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Four out of 4 Fool recommend the Happy Dance as a great way to:
1) Beat stress
2) Get a little exercise
3) Just have fun
4) Approach the light at the end of the tunnel (so long as it isn't a train)


Warning: The above is a great recommendation for everyone...'cept Cassfool, who's accident prone.

We don't want one of our favorite Fools to twist her ankle. : ) Perhaps she can do a happy finger twirl. ; )

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3244 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 9:55 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Not necessarily. Studies have shown that a large percentage of people spend MORE money after having eaten than when hungry. To save money, you need to figure out which way is best for you personally and proceed accordingly.

Hi KoshN!

Really? This surprises me. I'd love to see the studies that you're referring to. I'm don't doubt what you're saying, but I'd think that people would be much less tempted to buy extras when on a full stomach.

I know it makes a world of difference in my case.

Anyone have any other opinions on this?

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
Author: CassFool One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3245 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 9:59 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<<<Four out of 4 Fool recommend the Happy Dance as a great way to:
1) Beat stress
2) Get a little exercise
3) Just have fun
4) Approach the light at the end of the tunnel (so long as it isn't a train)>>>>

TMF2Aruba wrote:

<< Warning: The above is a great recommendation for everyone...'cept Cassfool, who's accident prone.>>

<< We don't want one of our favorite Fools to twist her ankle. : ) Perhaps she can do a happy finger
twirl. ; )>>

Hey, now..... In my own defense, I have never hurt myself dancing...... okay, well, there was that one time I was learning the Cha-Cha and threw my back out....

But believe me, I LOVE doing the Happy Dance for anyone who's paid off their cards, and especially when I pay one off!! (But that won't happen again for who knows how long...) :(

Tony, will you at least let me sit in my chair and jiggle for everyone else's Happy Dances?

Cassandra

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3246 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 10:02 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
My big shock was when I discovered how much eating lunch out was costing me. I estimate I save $3 to $5 a day from brown bagging. That adds up quickly.

I also discovered how much I hate standing in line at a Mc Donalds, or taking the time to go out to eat. I can also read in peace, or watch CNN.


George,

You left out one other major point. How much healthier you eat when you're bringing your own lunch. :)

There are many benefits! : )

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
Author: KoshN Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3249 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 10:38 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<< Frankly I buy cereal but only on sale & with coupons so always < $2 a box. Snack foods like chips are notoriously expensive. >>

Try the local "bag-it-yourself" type stores (like a Shop-N-Save or Price Rite). You can get clones of most of the big-name cereals or snack foods (often made by the big-name companies for someone else) for at least 50% off. Wal-Mart also has good prices on SOME of its snack foods.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: KoshN Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3250 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 10:58 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<< I usually buy the store brands, so chasing coupons is not often rewarding for me. I find that when there is a coupon, it is often just around the same price as the store brands. That will probably be different for different markets. >>

If you eat at fast-food restaurants, like Boston Market or Arby's, you should still look for their coupons, but what you said tends to be true around here too, with one exception: new products. For example, when Golden Grain comes out with new flavors of Rice A Roni or Pasta Roni you will generally see coupons knocking off more than usual, but only on those new flavors. Within a month or so, local stores will also put the items on sale in order to get things rolling, making them almost free if you were smart enough to save the coupons for the sale. Occasionally, I have been able to take advantage of a triple-coupon store promotion running at the same time, resulting in them paying me to take the stuff.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3252 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 11:21 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Fred
I am not sure if it is a talent or a developed ability but my wife can keep that running price list in her head. It may be that seeing something at $1.00 triggers the memory that someone else is selling it for $.90 I don't know but she doesn't seem to work at it. If I can get her to not do the same thing with her checkbook, I'll be happy.
Stan

Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3253 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 11:25 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Here is a way for some Fools to make some money....

I've been impressed with the amount of work that most people put into researching the best and cheapest way to feed their families. If the person that does this is a full time homemaker, they could pay for their groceries by selling their shopping list to local subscribers for $50-$100 a month. Get 5-6 clients and your family eats for free.

I would gladly pay someone $100 a month who could e-mail me a weekly shopping list of what to buy where in my town. If it saves me $400+ a month in groceries it is definactly worth it. The publisher would only have to write down what they are doing anyways and send it to me.

I don't have the time to track who sells what for what price. I'm also poor at planning heathly meals a week in advance. If I had a list I could follow, I would be very very happy.

Think of it as selling your Household Cost Management skills.



Print the post Back To Top
Author: cable666 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3254 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 11:31 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
MF Webmasters:

I too vote YES to a new forum called "Living Below Your Means". For many people, that IS the first step. Only after accomplishing this can people start attacking debt, retirement, and then investments.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: KoshN Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3255 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 11:31 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<< I'd love to see the studies that you're referring to. I'm don't doubt what you're saying, but I'd think that people would be much less tempted to buy extras when on a full stomach. >>

As I recall, the explanation had something to do with being in a better mood after having eaten and willing to spend more. I suspect there's also a second reason at work: many people, when hungry, are in no mood to linger in the store, picking up additional items on impulse, but would rather get their shopping over with as soon as possible so they can go have dinner. That was often the case with my father, years ago.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: Rogue31 Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3256 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 11:43 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Maybe a compromise of sorts. Eat enough so you're not in the "Boy! I'm hungry and that box of Dove bars looks SOOO good!" frame of mind, but not enough so that you are in the "Well. I've just eaten a fine dinner and life is looking real good. So what if this isn't something I need. I want it and I don't care about the price!" mindset.

Rogue31

Print the post Back To Top
Author: CorvetteBarb One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3258 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 12:12 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
emtwo wrote:
Incidentally...thanx for the vote of confidence and support...it is greatly appreciated.

Anytime! Big Guy (my husband) quit shortly after we were married -- he said it was the hardest thing he has ever done in his life. But now (18 years later) he says that he can't imagine how he ever smoked for so long, and he feels much better physically than he did while he was smoking.

Hang in there -- don't quit quitting!

(and back on subject -- you can add that $65/month to your reduction program and be debt free even sooner!!)

GO GO GO GO GO!

Corvette Barb

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Bottles Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3259 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 12:49 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
This is a little off thread but realted to Groceries and saving money with cupons. I seem to recall that some ppl make a game out of it. I believe they used baseball for reference and it followed...

Saving money on an Item with either a cupon or a store reduced Price savings would be like a hit.

Then if you had a cupon for an item that had the price reduced by the store in addition would be like a double. Also a double would apply to going to a store that offers double cupons w/o any additional store discount.

A homerun would if you went to a double coupon store and got a double cupon and the store reduced the price of the particular Item.

I believe those were the basics, Its been a long time since I saw that expose, realted to cupon cutting clubs. The seem to tout it as an additional way to save and make it fun!

I have never been big on cupons due to a number of reasons most have been mentioned in this tread at last once. I am revisiting that for now.


Bottles
Rob


Print the post Back To Top
Author: CorvetteBarb One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3260 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 12:50 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
5853 wrote:

"One issue for me has become balancing a fulfilling lifestyle (very personal decisions there) with constantly increasing net worth. I've rid myself of debt and increased my income substantially; however making appropriate choices re my spending/saving has now become a big issue. "

I agree. I have worked very hard (VERY VERY HARD) and thanks to some great ideas [a lot of which came from these boards], good timing, a bull market and a lot of luck, I am only about 30 days away from doing the HAPPY DANCE. (yes, Kaiti, I'll let you know when!) Because I am not putting all my extra $$$ into payments to credit card companies, I suddenly have a rather substantive amount (to ME, that is!) each month that is uncommitted capital. I'll admit it -- I've been indulging my cooking hobby A LOT lately. (see previous parts of this thread -- FOOD AIN'T CHEAP).

I want to continue to make good choices (i.e., spending, investing and saving) but I'll admit the temptation is there to indulge in some luxuries. I'm trying to be responsible, but it seems almost as hard as paying off the ccs. Different decisions, but they are just as difficult.

Corvette Barb

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3261 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 1:08 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Tony
We spend less when shopping on a full stomach. We also buy differently, fewer snacks etc. and more staples. When shopping hungry, everything looks good and we end up throwing extras into the cart.
I understand the psychological trigger when shopping hungry that increases the bill but I can't get a grip on the opposite. It is an interesting concept.
Stan

Print the post Back To Top
Author: RecoveringFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3262 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 1:18 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<< I understand the psychological trigger when shopping hungry that increases the bill but I can't get a grip on the opposite. It is an interesting concept.>>
I buy more when I have a sense of financial fullness - like the purse strings feel looser. I usually do better shopping when I'm not hungry because I'm more relaxed and willing to take the time to sort through coupons, compare prices, etc. And the number one way to spend less for me is to shop ALONE(kidless, my husband is shopping-impaired so never wants to go anyway.)

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3263 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 1:23 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Barb
I think that it is not only responsible but CRITICAL to indulge yourself once in awhile. The tendency to feel deprived is more damaging than a fling on occasion. By paying yourself a little, you save splurging alot.
Set aside a portion of your newfound wealth for things that you just want, not things that you need. If you keep in mind that those things are rewards for a job well done and not a definition of who you are, you'll be happier and more able to control you money.
JMHO
Stan

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Kobalt Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3264 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 1:25 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Actually, there are occasional closets of money.

Cable found one with his brother charging to his shell card.

Others include collision car insurance for a 10 year old car worth less than $500. Dropping that, especially if you have points can lower your insurance bill by quite a bit -- mine went down by $1200 dollars a year. That's New Jersey for you.

Also, sometimes we forget about automatic deductions to our accounts such as gym memberships. A friend of mine had a membership costing $100 dollars a month but was not using it.

But for the most part everyone is right, the little stuff is what adds up.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3267 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 1:47 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
We spend less when shopping on a full stomach. We also buy differently, fewer snacks etc. and more staples. When shopping hungry, everything looks good and we end up throwing extras into the cart. I understand the psychological trigger when shopping hungry that increases the bill but I can't get a grip on the opposite. It is an interesting concept.

I hear ya Stan!

Since I do the shopping, I'll generally go on a Saturday morning, and I tend to go after only having coffee (not much of a breakfast eater).

When this happens, it never fails that once in the store, the appetite arrives. Then, lo and behold, magically all kinds of things start finding their way into my cart--Oreos, chips, Hershey bars, you name it.

When I get home and bring the bags in, my wife looks at me and says, "You didn't eat breakfast again, did you."

<hanging head in shame>

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Meowiz Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3268 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 2:17 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<Set aside a portion of your newfound wealth for things that you just want, not things that you need. If you keep in mind that those things are rewards for a job well done and not a definition of who you are, you'll be happier and more able to control you money.
JMHO
Stan >>

Stan, very well said. I am going to print this for our bulletin board....thanks!meowiz

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3271 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 4:28 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Another idea that one of my friends did with coupons was to put aside the money she saved on coupons each week into a little savings account. Her logic was that she would have spent that money anyway, so putting it aside and saving it for a bigger expenditure was a nice reward for her savings work. In her case, she used the money saved to buy a freezer so she could then buy things in bulk and save even more. I suppose you could do the same thing and take the savings [maybe even use the amount you would have spent if you had spent the budgeted number] and use it for something you deem to be a good reward - savings, credit card debt, something you've been saving for that you can get sooner, whatever.

Sometimes, I think you can concentrate too much on the savings aspect and not remember to pat yourself on the back for having done a good job.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: whineluvr One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3272 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 4:51 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<Not necessarily. Studies have shown that a large percentage of people spend MORE money after having eaten than when hungry. To save money, you need to figure out which way is best for you personally and proceed accordingly. Anyone have any other opinions on this?>>

This is absolutely not true for me. I always have a large meal before going grocery shopping - if I am full, I don't want anything so my bill ends up being less than if I hadn't eaten.

Christine


Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFTwitty Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3274 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 7:05 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Your cry is heard, Fools! Here is a new folder dedicated to budgets and living below your means, titled: Budgets / Live Below Your Means.

http://boards.fool.com/messages.asp?id=1040018000001000

Enjoy!

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TchrP Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3275 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/9/1998 7:12 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
>> If you have productive ideas, or can tell me what you manage to feed a family of x size on each month, I would like to know.
---------------
I'm guessing that a significant part of your grocery bill is actually for non-food items. Those have a higher profit margin than most food items, so it is especially important to evaluate them carefully and decide whether to purchase them at the supermarket or somewhere else. In my experience, buying cleaning products and paper goods selectively and in quantity at a discount or warehouse store can be a major economy.

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 5853 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3281 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/10/1998 12:01 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Corvette:

<<I want to continue to make good choices (i.e., spending, investing and saving) but I'll admit the temptation is there to indulge in some luxuries. >>

Especially if you've been disciplined and self-denying in order to get out of debt. Hard to tell what's reasonable anymore.

--Margo

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 5853 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3282 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/10/1998 12:06 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Yayy!

Print the post Back To Top
Author: 5853 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3283 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/10/1998 12:08 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0

<<Yayy! >> = In response to the info about the new board.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: KoshN Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3288 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/10/1998 10:38 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<< Others include collision car insurance for a 10 year old car worth less than $500. Dropping that, especially if you have points can lower your insurance bill by quite a bit -- mine went down by $1200 dollars a year. That's New Jersey for you. >>

You also want to interrogate your insurance agent with regard to different deductables and levels of coverage. When I first insured my current car, I was able to save about $450/year by increasing the deductable for damage to my car by $500; i.e. the standard deductable was a ripoff. I was also able to increase my coverage in other areas for FREE; some other coverages could be doubled for only a buck or two. BTW, I'm in Massachusetts.


Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFRunkle Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3301 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/10/1998 9:56 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<Not necessarily. Studies have shown that a large percentage of people spend
MORE money after having eaten than when hungry. To save money, you need
to figure out which way is best for you personally and proceed accordingly.>>

Personally, if I grocery shop when I'm hungry, I get some bizarre stuff. I find it best to shop when I'm thinking straight.
George

Print the post Back To Top
Author: megeranski Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3303 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/11/1998 6:31 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Not necessarily. Studies have shown that a large percentage of people spend MORE money after
having eaten than when hungry. To save money, you need to figure out which way is best for you
personally and proceed accordingly.

Hi KoshN!

Really? This surprises me. I'd love to see the studies that you're referring to. I'm don't doubt what
you're saying, but I'd think that people would be much less tempted to buy extras when on a full
stomach.

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

i just have to jump in on this one...

i have found that i shop more judicously when i am hungry. this has to do with my quirk of hating to cook. when i'm hungry, i only buy things that i'm willing to cook when i'm hungry. if i shop when i'm full, i go hogwild and buy extravagent ingredients for meals i intend to eat, but never fix. so all the veggies go bad.(you don't want to know what happens to the chicken!)

so, i save money and eat better when strolling the ailes with a growling tummy. ( i also stay in the store for less time = spend less $$!)

truth is stranger than fiction!

megeranksi

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFTwitty Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3316 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/12/1998 4:13 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Runkle:
Personally, if I grocery shop when I'm hungry, I get some bizarre stuff. I find it best to shop when I'm thinking straight.
George


So, you don't shop that often, George?

[ducking]

Richard

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Kobalt Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3325 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/13/1998 10:55 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Kosh,

Good call on the deductable and increasing coverage. I remember asking to eliminate broken windshield coverage and I was told it would only reduce my coverage cost by four dollars.

Kobalt

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFRunkle Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3344 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/13/1998 8:56 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0


<<So, you don't shop that often, George?>>

Only when I'm good, and they let me out of the straight jacket AND give me a weekend pass :)

Typing with my toes is difficult...
George

Print the post Back To Top
Author: funkychair Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3372 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/14/1998 8:34 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
How much does the average family spend on groceries every month? I budget $800-$900 a month
for a family of three adults plus 3 cats.

Just one money-saving tip with the cats. About a year ago one of my cats had an operation making it dangerous for him to use the regulat cat litter. Now I use ripped up newspapers. They don't mind. It's a little work for me, but I never have to run out to the store fro cat litter and there is no shortage of used newspapers.

funkychair
and two frugal cats living below their means

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3373 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/14/1998 8:46 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Just one money-saving tip with the cats. About a year ago one of my cats had an operation making it dangerous for him to use the regulat cat litter. Now I use ripped up newspapers. They don't mind. It's a little work for me, but I never have to run out to the store fro cat litter and there is no shortage of used newspapers.

Wow, funkychair, you've got a lot of patience! I've tried this with our cat, and while she's so good about trying new things, I found it impossibly messy and we went back to the scoop litter. I agree it's outrageously priced, but on some things I have to draw the line.

I found the newspaper to be smelly and worse, there's much more opportunity for her to be stepping in her own messes. And believe me, we were vigilant on cleaning it.

Maybe it works for some people (and cats), but this was not a good thing for us.

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
Author: funkychair Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3374 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/14/1998 8:47 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Maybe it is a regional thing. Do groceries bills vary much from region to region? Things tend to be
more expensive where I live (Central Calif Coast). For example, gasoline is always at least 20-30
cents more per gallon than in Los Angeles or the Bay Area. Regular costs about $1.38 a gallon
right now.

I'm in nothern California and I lived in Boston last year and NY last summer. Fish is more expensive here than Boston. Pate is cheaper in California than in NY. Here I notice I have to go to three stores to fully shop.

I go to what I call the "pretty people" store - like the expensive health food type, and get fruits, vegetables, and meat, and certain teas and scones are only available there. Also bulk flour and cashews. Its like a Bread and Circus or Whole Foods depending on where you live

The second store I'll go to is Lucky's, like an in the middle store for make-up, certain canned things, and processed stuff like cheese and Boboli pizza.

The third store is Super K-Mart. They are good for garbage bags, shampoo, soaps and the like. I do not trust their food, it's a personal opinion.

Another thing is that my "pretty people" store is in Berkeley, California, and a can of peas is $2.99. That very same can of peas is 69 cents at Lucky's or Super K-Mart. Same brand and everything. I live in an awful poor neighborhood, so my Lucky's and K-Mart are cheaper than the peoples' who live in Berkeley.

One person and two cats living on $250/month for food, soap, household supplies, etc, and eating quite well.

funkychair
bad neighborhoods have better prices

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3375 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/14/1998 9:21 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
"Special Kitty" cat litter at WalMart is $1.97/25lbs. We use it and like it better than the more expensive brands and with 16 cats(one new addition)we are litter experts.
Stan

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Kari One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3376 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/14/1998 11:17 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
---------
Just one money-saving tip with the cats. About a year ago one of my cats had an operation making it dangerous for him to use the regulat cat litter. Now I use ripped up newspapers. They don't mind. It's a little work for me, but I never have to run out to the store fro cat litter and there is no shortage of used newspapers.

Wow, funkychair, you've got a lot of patience! I've tried this with our cat, and while she's so good about trying new things, I found it impossibly messy and we went back to the scoop litter. I agree it's outrageously priced, but on some things I have to draw the line.
---------

I gave in to my daughters desire to get a cat. I have never had one or been around them much. I have always been a dog person. Scooping litter turned out not to be a pleasant task.

I started with one of those 3 tray deals that you pick it up and it sifts the litter and you just empty it. My cat threw litter all over the place.

Next I went to one with a lid and plastic liners with slots to sift the litter. That was pain to keep the liners in place.

Okay I think I have found the perfect litter box for me. It is a big covered litter box and your roll it. There is a sifter built into the side of it. As you roll it the clean litter sifts into it. As you continue to roll it the presents roll to the top and into a tray. The tray you just pull out and empty.

Why the long post? Well since I have starting using this I find I use so much less litter. I dont have to clean the litter because my daughter thinks it is fun to roll the box. The experimental litter boxes I gave to the no kill animal shelter where we got our cat. So I think it was a happy ending for all.

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: funkychair Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3377 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/14/1998 11:20 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Is he able to work? If not, is there any type of disability he should be receiving and isn't?

When a family member of mine joined AA and NA she got SSI - Social Security Income for people with disablities. The feds recognize alcholism and drug addiction as a disability.

Don't know if that'll help, but there's also that al-anon group for people whose lives have been affected by other people's drinking.

funkychair


Print the post Back To Top
Author: CassFool One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3388 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/15/1998 4:13 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Stan wrote:
<<"Special Kitty" cat litter at WalMart is $1.97/25lbs. We use it and like it better than the more
expensive brands and with 16 cats(one new addition)we are litter experts.>>

Stan,

WOW!! That's a lot of cats!! I have three of them myself, and recently figured out that in my lifetime (30 years) my family has had over 35 cats.... Whew!

WRT the 'cheap' food. Yes, it is VERY cheap! But one of my mom's cats nearly died bc the ash content is very high in the cheap foods, and cats that eat high ash content foods tend to have serious urinary tract (bladder, kidney, whatever) problems, which if left untreated (even just for a few hours) can be fatal. Plus it doesn't support them very well nutritionally.

So now my kitties get 'expensive' food, but it saves LOTS on vet bills in the long run bc they are less prone to both degenerative diseases and things like urinary tract infections. They also eat LESS food, bc it meets their nutritional needs better.

Not only that, but their 'output' doesn't smell when they eat the good food, which I consider to be a MAJOR advantage of it!! (And my says to use the cheapest clumping litter you can find, bc the nice scents that they use to cover the odors can tend to make cats not want to USE the litter box -- they don't like the perfumes.)

Cassandra
(and Buster, Cory, and Solange kitties)

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: SmartConsumer Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3389 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/15/1998 5:01 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<WRT the 'cheap' food. Yes, it is VERY cheap! But one of my mom's cats nearly died bc the ash
content is very high in the cheap foods, and cats that eat high ash content foods tend to have serious
urinary tract (bladder, kidney, whatever) problems, which if left untreated (even just for a few
hours) can be fatal. Plus it doesn't support them very well nutritionally.>>

I have to agree with you on this one Cassandra, one of my cats (I have two) also nearly died of kidney failure about 4 years ago and now we always feed her and my other cat a low ash content food. Unfortunately, I've found that most of the low ash content cat foods also are high in fat. This resulted in my second cat (who has hadn't any kidney problems) topping out at 17 lbs (he's not a finicky eater like my other one). Finding a low ash, low fat cat food that wouldn't cost me a fortune and that was available at my local grocer took an awful lot of nutrition label reading. Of course, to me my cats are worth it :-)

Oh and to keep this on topic, I buy all my cat supplies with my credit card and pay the balance in full each month!

Print the post Back To Top
Author: SactoFool One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3394 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/15/1998 7:23 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<< Our weekly meal out is under $30 (including tax and tip) for two... hardly Four Seasons.

I'm very impressed with a $88/week budget. Does your $350 a month include other consumibles such as soap, shampoo, etc? Or is it only groceries?

Maybe it is a regional thing. Do groceries bills vary much from region to region? Things tend to be more expensive where I live (Central Calif Coast). For example, gasoline is always at least 20-30 cents more per gallon than in Los Angeles or the Bay Area. Regular costs about $1.38 a gallon right now. >>

Well, I'm not on the coast, but I am in the Central Valley, Sacramento to be exact. My fiancee and I have budgetted $200 out of each of my biweekly checks. That works out to roughly $433.33/month and we rarely come close to spending that. When we're under budget, we use the difference to eat a nice meal out. (We have an all you can eat pizza buffet that comes to $12 for the two of us with drinks, or Old Country Buffet is about $18 for the two of us.) We also attend a number of aquarium meetings that all seem to be at Round Table Pizza parlors so another 3-5 $20-25 meals out come out of that budget every month as well.

We "only" have around $3,500 - 4,000 worth of debt. Unfortunately it's all at 23.99% interest. <sigh> I've applied for a couple of lower rate cards (2 with rediculously low teaser rates) with the hope of rolling some of those balances. Also, I'm up for a promotion that will come with a $5,000/year raise and we've already decided that every net penny of it is going to the credit cards.

I hope this helps, but it's only the ramblings of the

Sacto Fool

Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post Back To Top
Author: SactoFool One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3395 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/15/1998 7:28 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<< On the retirement funds flank, not so good. So far I've been told I have to borrow up to $50K before from my 401K before I can have any principal. I can't borrow $50K because I can't pay it back unless I can come up an exta $700 in my monthly budget. >>

Here's a thought for you to consider. What's the interest rate, payment terms, monthly payment for the loan from your 401(k) as opposed to the highest interest cards you could pay off with that loan?

Not that I advocate borrowing against your retirement to get out of today's trouble, but you may well find that your total payment will decrease and the interest you pay will be going into your 401(k) instead of to some bank's bottom line.

This has been another rambling of that blasted

Sacto Fool

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Meowiz Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3399 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/15/1998 9:35 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<Stan wrote:
<<"Special Kitty" cat litter at WalMart is $1.97/25lbs. We use it and like it
better than the more
expensive brands...>>

<<Cassandra wrote: So now my kitties get 'expensive' food, but it saves LOTS on vet bills . They also eat LESS food, bc it meets their
nutritional needs better.>>

Thanks for the info, Stan. I am going to try Special Kitty again. I think I have before. I'm hooked on Fresh Step on sale/coupons...especially in summertime heat, I have found it best for deoderizing ...& the cats have always used it, so no problem with that. But it IS expensive! I would never have patience to do the newspaper thing unless they'd had surgery. As for food , I agree with Cassandra about high quality food. My cats are 15 years old & look ten years younger. They've never had surgery except for spay/neuter,& have no health problems at all. Also much neater in all the regards she mentioned. My only problem is a treat-loving cat who loves garlic and parmesan cheese, blackberry jam, chocolate, and shrimp with cocktail sauce!(Just to name a few!) New cat-food flavors? No way! She wants the real thing. They are why I am Meowiz. Almost like Neowiz. (No, Tony, it's not because I'm a descendent of Russian nobility)

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3400 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/15/1998 10:00 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
I'm finding all these cat posts purr-fectly fascinating. We spend quite a bit on our cat, and (here's where I stay on topic!) we charge most of the expenses for her.

Lately, the biggest charges have been for the vet. Last year it was feline diabetes (which is under control now thru diet) and now it's an ear infection, and allergies.

I don't mind paying for the stuff--I just wish she'd be more agreeable to those darn ear and eye drops, and especially the amoxicillin (the pink stuff that tastes like bubble gum) which we have to force down her little kitty throat with an eye dropper.

She makes it very clear that she does not like the way we are currently torturing her. ; )

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
Author: funkychair Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3402 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/15/1998 10:16 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
"As for food , I agree with Cassandra about high quality food. My cats are 15 years old & look ten years younger. They've never had surgery except for spay/neuter,& have no health problems at all. Also much neater in all the regards she mentioned. My only problem is a treat-loving cat who loves garlic and parmesan cheese, blackberry jam, chocolate, and shrimp with cocktail sauce!(Just to name a few!)"

Yes the diet. My cat who had the surgery and has banned us to a life of newspaper litter boxes had a urinary tract infection. One of the causes of this is feeding a cat table scraps. Even a fresh can of tuna is not good for your cat. There are some home-cooked things you can give to your animals, but anything you put salsa, or cheese, or salt, or etc... isn't good for them.

To tie this in with the board - when this surgery happened I had no emergency fund, and opened a new medical emergency credit card. 23%APR. Paid off, closed and cut-up November '97. The operation was in January '97.

funkychair
with an expensive cat

Print the post Back To Top
Author: funkychair Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3403 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/15/1998 10:16 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
"As for food , I agree with Cassandra about high quality food. My cats are 15 years old & look ten years younger. They've never had surgery except for spay/neuter,& have no health problems at all. Also much neater in all the regards she mentioned. My only problem is a treat-loving cat who loves garlic and parmesan cheese, blackberry jam, chocolate, and shrimp with cocktail sauce!(Just to name a few!)"

Yes the diet. My cat who had the surgery and has banned us to a life of newspaper litter boxes had a urinary tract infection. One of the causes of this is feeding a cat table scraps. Even a fresh can of tuna is not good for your cat. There are some home-cooked things you can give to your animals, but anything you put salsa, or cheese, or salt, or etc... isn't good for them.

To tie this in with the board - when this surgery happened I had no emergency fund, and opened a new medical emergency credit card. 23%APR. Paid off, closed and cut-up November '97. The operation was in January '97.

funkychair
with an expensive cat gone Foolish and frugal

Print the post Back To Top
Author: CassFool One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3404 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/15/1998 10:28 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<I've found that most of the low ash content cat foods also are high in fat. This
resulted in my second cat (who has hadn't any kidney problems) topping out at 17 lbs (he's not a
finicky eater like my other one). Finding a low ash, low fat cat food that wouldn't cost me a fortune
and that was available at my local grocer took an awful lot of nutrition label reading. Of course, to
me my cats are worth it :-)>>

My vet recommended Science, Diet, ProPlan, and Iams for my cats, and although I have never looked at the fat content, my cats are healthy, athletic looking, bouncy kitties, with no health problems. (knock wood.) Yes, it is pricy, but I figure that it would all balance out with vet bills in the end, and I rather prefer the 'known' expense to the unknown!

Cassandra

Print the post Back To Top
Author: CassFool One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3405 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/15/1998 10:35 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<They are why I am Meowiz. >>

When I was registering to use the boards I tried to have my username be 'Catwoman'. .... but it was taken.

I was distressed......I shoulda signed up to be 'Casswoman' instead!! Wish I'd thought of it then....

Is there any way to change ones' user id?

Cassandra....for the moment.....


Print the post Back To Top
Author: CassFool One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3406 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/15/1998 10:40 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
She makes it very clear that she does not like the way we are currently torturing her. ; )

Tony:

I, too, am torturing my calico kitty with pills these days. She's apparently 'stressed' and is on an anti-anxiety medication!! So the vet told me she needed to take these pills twice a day. My response was something to the effect of 'and my shoving pills down her throat twice a day is going to make her LESS stressed?'

If this doesn't work she goes on Prozac.... seriously!

Cassandra

Print the post Back To Top
Author: sam4d Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3408 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/16/1998 12:24 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Cassandra
I live in a fairly rural area, Wadaphooliam saw a moose just up the road the other day. All of our animals are neutered, we have never had a birth. All of the animals were abandoned as people are wont to do in the sticks.
You are correct about cheap food and ash. It is most critical in fixed males. Watch the fish flavored drys. I believe that the highest total that we have had at one time is 20 or 21 cats and 5 dogs along with 5 kids and one fat old man. I forgot the parrot and cockatoo that we had at that time.
Stan

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Meowiz Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3413 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/16/1998 8:33 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<...I shoulda signed up to be 'Casswoman' instead!! Wish I'd thought of it then....
Is there any way to change ones' user id? Cassandra...>>

Hi Casswoman! Yes, you can change your user name...look at the directions on board somewhere...you just send email to Foolish techies, with current user name and password, and your new username...read directions for sure. meowiz

Print the post Back To Top
Author: CassFool One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3425 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/16/1998 2:50 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Stan wrote:

<<I live in a fairly rural area, Wadaphooliam saw a moose just up the road the other day. All of our
animals are neutered, we have never had a birth. All of the animals were abandoned as people are
wont to do in the sticks.
You are correct about cheap food and ash. It is most critical in fixed males. Watch the fish flavored
drys. I believe that the highest total that we have had at one time is 20 or 21 cats and 5 dogs along
with 5 kids and one fat old man. I forgot the parrot and cockatoo that we had at that time.>>

I grew up 'in town' as it were, but Mom decided that we should see a birth once as we grew up, so we let ONE of our cats stay unfixed and once she had one litter, she was fixed. Actually, that was just over 14 years ago, and the last of her litter died last week, at 14 years and 10 days old. :( He is the only kitty we've buried in the backyard, and the funniest cat we EVER had. We rescued lots of cats and dogs over the years, too, with the high count being 11 animals, 2 kids, and Mom in the house.

One of these days I want to be one of those little old ladies who lives alone has lots of cats....but not yet!! Too much living to do first!!

Cassandra

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Meowiz Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3426 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/16/1998 2:55 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Funkychair wrote: My cat who had the surgery and has banned us to a life of newspaper litter boxes had a urinary tract infection. One of the causes of this is feeding a cat table scraps. Even a fresh can of tuna is not good for your cat. >>

Yes, ...we only give her a little piece of cooked fish when we have it for dinner, once/wk or less. Just a tiny piece less than a teaspoon. The vet said that is ok, also same amount of tuna from can when we make tuna salad. We used to give her tiny amounts of her other favorites, not on any regular basis, but don't any longer. Also, Milk and milk products are terrible for cats...causes diahreah (spellling?) I don't know why television & books always show cats drinking milk from a bowl. They do like it , but it is horrible for them. meowiz

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMFRunkle Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3444 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/16/1998 11:11 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
<<My vet recommended Science, Diet, ProPlan, and Iams for my cats, and
although I have never looked at the fat content, my cats are healthy, athletic
looking, bouncy kitties, with no health problems. (knock wood.) >>

Captain Nemo (the official Fool Bird) is getting a little bit nervous with all this cat talk. By the way, he'll eat the table scraps your cats can't have.

George


Print the post Back To Top
Author: Need2Know Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3463 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/17/1998 11:57 AM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
>>What I'll do is keep all of my grocery receipts for the rest of July. I'll plug them into a spreadsheet
so I can tell how much I'm paying for various items.<<

This is a Foolish idea. I am in the same boat as you. My wife does the shopping and I'm left to balance the checkbook. I started rounding up all the shopping receipts a week ago and am in the process of putting a spreadsheet together.

I am also thinking of setting up a comparison spreadsheet of different stores and see for myself which items are cheaper at which store.

We recently subscribed to the newspaper simply so we can try clipping coupons (we've never been a fan of this before.) Well, we went on our first (yes, I had the day off and actually went shopping with my wife) coupon shopping trip. We also went to a store that is further away (about 15 miles) than our regular store (right across the highway) because it is larger and has a more competetive market. Well, we came out with a enough groceries to fill the trunk of our small car and it only cost $60. Way to go coupons!!!

Print the post Back To Top
Author: Helter Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3464 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/17/1998 12:02 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Coupons! Always keep in mind, you're not taxed on SAVING money. That 60 cent coupon is worth 80 cents in your salary!!

Print the post Back To Top
Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3477 of 308685
Subject: Re: Montly budget to pay off CC's Date: 7/17/1998 6:16 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 0
Captain Nemo (the official Fool Bird) is getting a little bit nervous with all this cat talk.

George,

I'll bet The Captain gets a few grey feathers everytime you're chomping on the wing from a chicken dinner. ; )

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

Print the post Back To Top
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (147) | Ignore Thread Prev Thread | Next Thread
Advertisement