Non-Grocery Quarterly Budget

By now, if you are following along, we have only begun to work on the budget, but you should have a basic budget with your income and expenses and you should know what you have left each month. That is where this journey begins. 

From our previous post, you should have everything included in your budget and those non- necessities highlighted.  What does that leave you?  In our budget this month, we have about $670 left over for gasoline, food, and entertainment. Keep in mind that is one income and doesn’t include savings, or extras.   Your number will be more or less depending on your situation. Whatever that number is let’s break down those numbers.

Mr. Maker uses 1 tank of gas per month and on average it is $40 to fill. Mrs. Maker will go through about 2.5 per month and it will cost about $80 to fill 2.5 times. We need to set out $120 in the budget for gasoline.

This leaves us with about $480 for food and household items.  As I mentioned before my grocery budget is $70/week, so this month it will be $280 and I add $20 cushion in there. Leaving $180 for household items and extras.

You might have noticed that my grocery list and menus do not include paper products, cleaners, shampoo and so on…..that is because we order those items quarterly on Subscribe and Save 

To maximize the savings you want to make sure you are ordering 5 items per order to get the 15% savings.  To do this, I stagger our order so that things like dish soap (which comes in a pack of three)  don’t ship every month.

We won’t use all three dish soaps in a month, we use about one per month, so we stagger this out to every three months.

Dog Food is a monthly delivery, same with K-cups. We have toilet paper, kitchen cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, and fabric softener all staggered so that there is always 5 items each month, but not so that we are stock piling things.

Including cat litter, cat food, and dog food ($20) we spend about $60/month with Subscribe and Save.

I am sure there is room to improve and if we were being super strict, we could make adjustments here.

I priced shopped, so that you didn’t have to. Using the dish soap from above. Subscribe and Save offered three bottles for $9.41.  Similar stores were $11.37 and $11.67.  The savings on this one product is $2.26. Every item we ordered offered this same type of savings. Assuming 5 items each month with a savings of around $2-$3.  That’s $10-$15 savings.

To sweeten the deal, Mr. Maker has an Amazon Store Card which offers 3% cash back on purchases.

Our Subscribe and Save monthly order of $60 gives us 3% cash back or  $1.80

We save on average $20/month for shopping non- food items this way rather than at the grocery store.  They also offer coupons you can clip on site for your first order. 

Once we get into the specific grocery budget you will see that I do not have any line items for dog food, toilet paper or the like. If you don’t have pets, or your pets aren’t divas like ours you will have room to save here as well.

On our tally of things we USED to waste money on: ADD $240.

I will say, I am not a brand name snob, I am a chemical gluten free product snob. I also won’t switch to generic or no name toilet paper regardless of the savings.

We would love to hear about your tips and tricks for this type of thing. Our household just started using Subscribe and Save, prior to this we bought everything at the grocery weekly or hoarded it if we found a sale that we couldn’t pass up. I can think of better ways to spend my time than shopping for toilet paper 🙂