Yet another weekend spent spiffying up the house to get it on the market. This weekend we did paint touchups, took garbage to the dump(cost $17), redeemed our bottles for deposit ($47 back)and cleaned carpets with our Hoover carpet cleaner at a total cost of $24 for one bottle of carpet cleaning solution (still 1/3 left). We purchased the unit six years ago when renovating our last house. Weighing out the cost of hiring someone to carpet clean (minimum $200 for the home we had at that time) or purchasing a Hoover Cleaner for $200 and doing it ourself we decided to go with the tougher but thriftier option. Same cost but over time this unit has saved us about $700 due to amount of times used-almost every six months and it has stood up well over time. We purchased ours at London Drugs where you can also buy the cleaning solution but almost any carpet cleaning solution will work. If you own a house with a lot of carpets I highly recommend making the investment. We did a little research ahead of time and decided Hoover was the model for us and six years later we have no regrets. There are many other types of carpet cleaners out there of which I am sure are equally good buys. Just remember, the cheapest option is not always the best option, read reviews before you buy.
Our model is very similar to this one in case you are thinking of buying one:
December was a month I figured that I would most likely blow the food budget due to making food gifts and entertaining family. Fortunately the way the food budget works is if I go over one month that is ok - I just take the overage off the next month. This method sets me up for continued success and it allows some room to purchase great deals - even if found at the end of a grocery month.
December Food Budget: $426.57 (see how I determined this budget and tips to save money on groceries here)
plus .38 left over from November = $426.95
Actual $501.49 - over budget by $74.54 which will come off January Budget
Meat purchases $87.58 of that $501.49 which included products with meat
Coupons used: $35.79 or total for 2011 $523.69.
I no longer have a goal for coupon use - other than to only use coupons to buy products I already use or where it will get me an item for free or almost free. Many coupons out there are for items I do not wish to bring home so have seen less useage this year than the last couple. Interesting when you consider my grocery expense is at its lowest on a month to month basis than it has ever been-back in 2008 I was spending $1100 per month. Fortunately we have changed our ways.