$400 Budget Update – 6/9

It has been a busy, albeit relaxing, week at our house.  The kids were gone at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Todd and I went camping for a couple of days.  I took (and passed) another CLEP test.  The carpets are shampooed.  Our storage room is organized enough we can walk in it again.  And the annual purge of broken and used up toys and art supplies is done.

Whew.  I crossed many things off my to-do list.  And I shopped at several stores.  A lot of stores, actually.  This week I went to Sam’s Club (twice), CVS (twice) , Dollar Tree, one local chain (three times), and Swanson Vitamins.  One advantage of having the kids gone is that I can make quick trips for last minute items without being shadowed by little helpers.

Last week, I bought a Sam’s Club membership.  I have debated for a long time about this, especially since we are letting our Costco membership lapse next month.  A Sam’s membership is $45.00.  Sam’s was running a deal where you could get a $20.00 gift card, a free rotisserie chicken, a free apple pie, and thirty free buns with the purchase of a membership.

For our personal price point scenarios, the chicken, pie, and buns have about a $9.00 value.  This left me with a $16.00 or so ultimate cost for the membership.  Our likely savings on yeast, flour, other baking products, and dairy offset this cost, so I decided to take the plunge.

I actually ended up with a $25.00 gift card, the pie, and a free 12-count package of Bounty Select-a-Size paper towels instead.  Sam’s must have made some unadvertised substitutions.  I give the pie and paper towels a $12.00 value.  In the end, that means I “spent” $8.00 on the membership.  I saved over $10.00 on dog food already, so the membership has already paid for itself as far as I am concerned.

If you are new to my weekly budgeting posts, you can catch the original story here.  As always, our weekly menu is listed below!

Sam’s Club (1st trip):

  • Paper towels (12 ct.), Kettlecorn (46 oz.), Milk (1 gal.), $9.22 after deductions for free items
  • Membership, $20.00 after gift card
  • Total: $29.22

Sam’s Club (2nd trip):

  • Apple pie (4.5 lb.), free
  • Total: $0.00

Swanson Vitamins:

  • Witch hazel (12 oz.), $9.42
  • Total: $9.42

CVS (1st trip):

  • Veggie chips (1.5 oz.), Cookies (10.6 oz.), Paper towels (90 sheets), Deodorant (2.25 oz.), $6.70 after coupons and Ibotta rebate
  • Total: $6.70 plus I earned $5.00 Extrabucks to use on my next shopping trip

CVS (2nd trip):

  • Conditioner (25.2 oz.), Toothpaste (8.4 oz.), Contacts Solution (24 oz.), $4.34 after coupons and Ibotta rebate
  • Total: $4.34

Local Chain (1st trip):

  • Baked beans (28 oz.), Salsa (32 oz.), Macaroni (1 lb.), Oranges (15 oz.), Pasta sauce (72 oz.), Potato chips (10.5 oz.), Peanut butter (16 oz.), Cereal (14 oz.), $12.64 after coupons
  • Tomatoes (0.94 lb.), Apples (2.68 lb.), Carrots (1 lb.), Lettuce (1), Potatoes (5 lb.), $9.04
  • Cottage cheese (22 oz.), Ham (1 lb.), Almond milk (0.5 gal.), Gluten free hot dog buns (14.3 oz.), $12.50
  • Total: $34.18

Local Chain (2nd trip):

  • Mac & cheese (7.3 oz.), Mayo (30 oz.), Cereal (62.4 oz.), $7.98 after coupons
  • Grapes (1.76 lb.), Milk (1 gal.), Dairy free “cheese” (8 oz.), Gluten free bread (17 oz.), $13.47
  • Total: $21.45

Local Chain (3rd trip):

  • Lettuce (1), Cantaloupe (1), Strawberries (1 lb.), $5.49
  • Ice cream (1.5 qt.), Fels Naptha bar (1), Dairy free “ice cream” (1 pt.), $8.24 after tax
  • Total: $13.73

Dollar Tree:

  • AAA Batteries (16 ct.), Tortillas (3 lb.), $5.15 after tax
  • Total: $5.15

Grand Total: $124.19

June Total: $195.40

Especially considering that I included our full Sam’s Club membership in the totals this week, I am very pleased with our budget right now.  There is still $204.60 left for the month of June.  We have enough paper towels for a year and I stocked up on cereal and some personal care items at CVS.  Hopefully the budget continues to look this good for the rest of the month.


Homemade Granola, cereal, toast, fruit


Sandwiches, leftovers, Homemade Mac & Cheese, fruits & veggies


Homemade Mushroom & Cheese Pizza, veggies

Chicken & rice with veggies, grapes

Spaghetti, lettuce salad

Tuna melts, Homemade Oven Fries, lettuce salad

Hot dogs on Homemade Buns, mashed potatoes, melon

Leftovers (x2)

What is on the menu at your house this week?  Let me know in an email or comment below!