The lesson learned this year for me was, you can scale back and STILL save a great deal of money! And that is exactly the attitude I take with me into my 2011 Savings Goals!
Note: These totals do not reflect all alcohol purchased or Costco/Sam's trips (which probably total between $50-$100 a month together). Spent total is based on actual oop after gift cards.
Here's where I ended up for 2010:
Savings - $8,349.23
Spent - $2,089.77
That's a savings of 80% of retail price!! Although if you compare back to last year, I just about $200 less actual out of pocket this year, but my savings were far less (almost $4,000 less)! My average spending was $40 a week which was under my goal budget of $50 a week! I am aware that this is slightly skewed as I didn't include all trips to Costco/Sam's.
I also submitted 30 rebates for a total of $160.82 back! This is 1/2 of what I sent out in 2009. I don't know if there just weren't as many good rebates, or I just wasn't paying attention!
I also continued to donate to my local food pantry this year, but again - not doing as many deals as last year left me with far less to donate.
What are your money saving goals for 2011? I plan to stick to my $50-a-week grocery/household budget because it seems to be working well for our family. Last year I made a goal of eating out less and was going to convince myself to do that by keeping track of how much we spent eating out. I can tell you I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that A) I stopped keeping track and B) I stopped keeping track because we FAR surpassed what we spent on groceries on eating out. Its just one of those luxuries that even if you try to keep it simple, go to places were kids eat free, use gift cards - it's still expensive! It's one of our family's favorite activities to do together and it gets me a night off from cooking - so although I will continue to try and SAVE on our dinner night outs we just can't cut them out all together!
I'm looking forward to saving with you in 2011!! If you are interested, go here to check out my annual report for 2009!