Monday, January 4, 2010

The Year in Review - 2009

I finally had a chance to sit down and finalize my totals for 2009:

Groceries/Household/Pet: Total OOP $1,520.71 (average of $126.73/month)
Household Utilities/Internet/Cable: Total OOP $4,469.16 (average of $372.13)

I didn't start tracking our groceries/household/pet expenses until November 2008, so I only know the last two months of 2008 averaged $455/month, which sounds about right for the whole year, since I only started couponing in October 2008. But, based on $455/month in 2008, in 2009, we spent 72% LESS on these items per month. Even with spending so much less, we still had an abundance, sending regular substantial "care packages" to four related families, and supplying several single friends with toiletries, cat treats, and other goodies regularly. Since we plan for me to be minimally employed, if at all, through the early summer, my goal is to reduce the monthly expenditures on groceries and household items to $100/month (or less!). I have noticed a trend in our spending, which is when my husband goes to the store by himself, lots more money is spent as he usually has no coupons and often buys "impulse" items.

Utilities averaged $356/month in 2008 and rose to $372/month in 2009, an increase of $16. We had a slight decrease in gas and electric services, but averaged a $25 increase in cable/internet/phone. I can't break it down precisely, because in September 2009, we combined these bills into one bundled service plan with a different cable provider. In February, our monthly discount with the bundled service provider ends, and my goal is to see if I can find a comparable package elsewhere for less. Unfortunately, getting rid of cable isn't an option for my husband, who also has to have all the HD channels and HD DVR, all of which add to the service fee!

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