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First Time Shopping with Envelope System

June 10th, 2008 at 08:20 pm


I had my list of errands today which included several stops: grocery store, post office, gas station, etc.

I have a plain old envelope system which has prepuchased gift cards (as gifts and from a program at church where a certain percentage benefits the school), plus cash from DH's side jobs where 50% goes to groceries, 30% to gas, and 20% to misc.

I spent $62 at the grocery store and used 3-$20 gift cards. This was grocery staples and produce for four/five days.
Balance: $95 gift cards, $47 cash

I used a $25 gift card at the gas station. Balance: $25 gift card, $30 cash

I spent $4.80 at the post office, $3.50 to cover tax on kids purchase at Toys R Us (they pooled allowances to buy PS 2 Kareoke 80s Pop - I had $10 off $50 purchase and they offered to reimburse the $3.50 tax), $16.50 for DH's Fathers Day gift.
Balance in Misc Envelope $3.00

This certain makes it easy to budget - I plan on assessing the cash situation on Saturday's and add money accordingly.

I am needing to wean myself from plunkering down the credit/debit cards for the point program. I just redeemed a ton of points. I do think though that this puts money management in a different perspective when you're seeing the actual dollars coming in or coming out.

Upon my return home I jotted down amounts spent, stuck the receipts in and put the envelopes back.

3 Responses to “First Time Shopping with Envelope System”

  1. HouseHopeful Says:

    I use a sort of 'virtual' version of the envelope system. But I've been thinking of trying cash and physical envelopes. I think I might start in July.

    Anyway, I just wanted you to know that I put up the BBQ Meatloaf muffins recipe. Very tasty, but I still like the original best!

  2. klbb90 Says:

    A study was done several years ago and it showed that people spent at least 15% more using debit/credit cards than planned because it didn't feel like cash does. Guess they won't be getting your extra money any more.

  3. mom-sense Says:


    Klbb90, yes, very true! And I have found it realistic to shop every 4 to 5 days for only the 4 to 5 days ahead (I do cook things in large quantities and need to restock my depleted frozen food stock) so it easier to keep quantities down.

    House - thanks for the muffin recipe variation. I will say it again, my fam loves them! I'm making them at least once a week with DH taking some for lunch. My picky 5 year old puts mashed potatoe frosting on for fun!

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