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November 1st, 2011
This post may contain affiliate links, see my disclosure

First of the month means time to check your budget Plus a Giveaway!!


How did you do on your budget for October? I was just under $300 for the month. OUCH! That is the highest I have been in a LONG time. However, I did have 3 birthdays this month (yep 3 of my 4 children were born in October) and I included all those bills in the total. Parties ad up! All in all, I think we still did really well. Considering we would have spent probably close to that on the birthday parties alone, I think we are doing great! 🙂


It is a new month, which means, it is time to set goals. My goal is to get under $250 this month -including Thanksgiving dinner! What is your goal this month?

To help you stay on budget, make sure you check out our FREE Coupon Savings Calculator. If you have excel, you can keep track of all your spending and your savings for each month! It is a great little tool that is completely free to Coupon Closet readers!

Now for the giveaway! Today I am giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner! All you have to do is leave a comment (on this post, not on facebook) telling us 2 things:

1. How did you do on your budget for October? Be honest! 🙂

2. What is your grocery goal for November?

Posting your goals for the month will help keep you accountable for staying on budget. With the holidays quickly approaching we need to stay on budget. Plus, you also get a change to win a gift card, just for sharing your goals. (remember, each family will have their own grocery numbers, but it will help the new couponsers get ideas on what to set for their own family’s goals)- You will only get one entry per family.

This Giveaway closes on Friday at 8PM. The winner will be announced over the weekend. Good luck!
Disclosure: Amazon is not affiliated with this giveaway. Carrie, owner of Coupon Closet, is purchasing this gift card for one lucky reader of Coupon Closet.


  • Shelly Thompson -

    I just did my first experience at Homeland. I save 51% and came away with a shopping cart for $49.85. I am so pumped right now. This was my first month. I spent $350. I would like to stay under $300. I have my daughter to thank for showing me this web-site and how she is using it to save money.

  • amy -

    we spent a little over $325 this month which is high for our family of 3 (with 1 more on the way) However,this month I have been on bed rest due to already being in labor at 29 weeks! So I have been sending the hubby with our 2 yr old grocery shopping…. and well men always seem to buy double whats on the the list, several items not listed. I am NOT complining, i am so thankful for a hubby that will do the coupon grocery shopping while i’m down.

    Goal for November: $200 or under!!!

  • D'Lacey -

    I think I spent around $400 for October. November will be my first month of really couponing. I’m pretty excited since my Walgreens trip went so well…lots of laundry supplies & my girls favorite cereal. 🙂 My goal for November will be $300.

  • Kristi Robertson -

    We usually try to keep a budget of $400 each month, which feeds four adults and one toddler. We went a little over budget in October due to the death of my father. We had a lot of nights that we just didn’t feel like eating at all, and nights that we just wanted something easy so we picked up fast food. That, and we paid for some of the food at my dad’s memorial, as well as food for my grandmother. It was a difficult month, but I’m ready to start over this month and make everything better, which includes my budget! We have rarely gone under budget, but I’d love to make this month special by being as frugal as possible! I know the holidays are coming up, and it’s necessary to save money wherever I can. So I’m hoping for this month we can get the majority of our shopping done with $300!

  • Susan -

    I was bad this month and spent more than I normally do. We ate out alot which we shouldnt have! I’m going to get back on track for November. I’m going to attempt to keep it under $250 for everything. Wish me luck!

  • renee madden -

    YAY!!! Thank you for reminding me to do this! I thought I was waaayyyy over, because I picked up a lot of Christmas presents this month, but I’m under!!!! My goal was $250-300 because my daughter’s first birthday party was this month, and I knew she and my youngest boy would have to have winter coats because they aren’t in hand-me-down range yet from the others. I spent 247.02 of our money. I spent $50 my mom gave me to get my daughter’s Birthday gift, because she said I shop better than she does lol, and I got about $80.00 in clothes and accessories for her (had a killer kohl’s coupon that did the savings!) Come on it was grandma’s money, momma gets to have a little fun (hairbows and her first tutu skirts! :D) I am so proud I managed to stay under when I have my highest saving total ever!!!! My goal for November is $300- this is everything we purchase from a store (household, groceries, coupon supplies, and papers, and Christmas presents.) I am upping it due to Christmas and Black Friday/Cyber Monday- from my computer of course! Thanks for all your help Carrie. This is awesome! I also have a no shopping in December plan. I know I may have to go a couple times for milk, my husband says we do not EVER freeze milk even if its free. We will see how it works out, but the main goal is not to have to go to the store once bad weather hits!

  • Elizabeth Harmony -

    I’m in my second time around doing a Dave Ramsey class so I actually have my monthly budget down pretty well. I had to shift things around just a little because we spent more at Sam’s club than I originally planned which didn’t leave quite enough money for the rest of the essentials. I’ve just started getting into couponing but I’m already seeing lots of savings and I’m excited to see how November goes since it’ll be my first full month really working with weekly ads and trying to save every penny I can.

    Since I just have a family of 3 and I’m a stay at home mom that cooks a lot, our monthly groceries/household items budget is $300. I’d like to work on cooking ahead (that way we’re not tempted with eating out!) and doing more cost effective meals with the stuff on sale and so I could get our weekly budget to average about $50 per week and $200 a month. November is a kind of crazy month, so we’ll see! It never hurts to shoot for the stars.

  • Tammy N. -

    I didn’t do as well this month. Seems that we needed everything that DIDN’T have a coupon or sale. 🙁 I’ve been planning ahead for Thanksgiving, though, since we’re hosting. We already have several items in stock, and are closely watching sales for those holiday ingredients. I hope to keep November budget to no more than $300. Fingers crossed!

  • Shannon -

    My husband and I (with one toddler) spent about $600 this month for groceries, personal hygiene, and household items. I saved a lot of money on sales and coupons, but I am still trying to cut the bill down. My goal is to spend $400 this month.

  • Denise -

    My goal is $400 a month – -I spent $400.07 this month !!! In Nov. we have several birthday’s as well as Thanksgiving so my goal will be $500.

  • shanwarn -

    I started couponing at the beginning of October. Before then I was spending $720 per month on groceries and eating out (which we did very little). I was more frugal than anyone I knew, but I was still managing to spend so much money per month. The first 2 weeks of couponing, I did not save any money. However, because I am trying to stock up on most things right now, I did get way more for my money. This past pay period (2 wks), we saved $80. I was very excited about that considering how much we have already stocked up on. I would like to far exceed that amount, but I’ll take it gradually, so my Nov budget will be $520. That’s $200 less than what I was spending before. Hopefully I’ll save even more than that. Thanks for all of your help!

  • Marsie -

    My monthly budget is set at $250.00. I was under my $250 so I bought a few extra can goods to put in my sack to give to my church’s food pantry so that took me over by just .25. Since I have started couponing I have been able to give more and more to our food pantry. If I have coupons and can get items free that I might not want or need in the sack it goes.

  • Jessica M -

    I did my best this month! I give myself $350 every month for groceries and extra spending. This month I came in at $275:) I am very proud of myself but couldn’t have done it without this site!!! This next month I am setting a goal for $300! The rest will be put away in my savings stash for Christmas! I still can’t believe how much I have saved. I have been couponing for a year. My whole outlook on spending has changed so much. I am always trying to find the best deal instead of just spending. Granted there are time I drift but I have been strict with my budget:) I used to spend 120-150 a week in groceries and I have dropped it to 40-60 a week!!! I can’t thank you enough Carrie!!

  • Misty -

    October was my first month to coupon. I think I spent more money in some areas than normal, but I am just beginning my stockpile. So in the long run I will spend less. I KNOW we saved money this month by eating out less often. I did not calculate my total spent, however my goal was to save at LEAST 50% each time I went to the grocery store this month and that I did successfully. This month my goal is to spend less than $500 on groceries, personal necessities, and household items. I have NEVER set a budget before so this is going to be interesting for me to see where I stand at the end of the month. Crossing my fingers that its a realistic budget and I can set it much lower next month. Gotta start somewhere,right?

  • We spent a little under $400 in October for a family of five. I have been couponing for about 5 months now and I am finally to the point of spending quit a bit less on food! Yay

  • Tamala -

    I started the “coupon challenge” late September. The first two weeks I saved 80%. The two weeks following I went over board because I wanted to buy everything in the store which was on sale and I had coupons for!!

    I’ve learned my lesson and scaling back again. My goal is $20. a week so $80. per month for two adults. I did it before; I can do it again!

  • katherine -

    i try to spend $300 on food, toilitries, clothes, anything but gas basically. I am terrible about keeping track though.

  • Amanda -

    I came in under my pre-couponing budget of $650 a month, but went over my post-couponing budget of $400 a month due to an unexpected trip to Tennessee. I was still pleased about the total given our trip and a birthday party and several parties to attend. I thought I was going to be way, way over.

    My goal for November is $350. Let’s see if I can do it!

  • Meghan -

    I am a senior in college and I just started couponing. I spent a lot of money this last month and went way over my budget (like $200). I am looking at keeping my grocery bill under $100 in November. Any pointers are welcomed!

  • amber -

    When I started couponing, my grocery budget went from $600 down to $300. And I did well at staying easily under the $300 mark. But then we started the 17 day diet. Fresh produce is just more expensive, even when the bulk of it comes from Aldi :). So, I’ve had to really evaluate every purchase (even more than I already was!!!). We increased our monthly grocery budget to $400. I stayed under that for October. And our grocery allotment will remain the same for November…$400.

  • Tristand -

    Went over budget with 2 birthdays, out of town visitors, and a camping trip. There is always something going on though so I hope to do better in November!

  • Tonda Kelly -

    My goal for October was 350.00 for the long month. We did not do as good as I wanted we had 3 birthdays this month plus I had some coupons for the birthday girls if you buy 1 get one free on birthday cafe.
    I am trying to spend 280.00 per month or less. I do know thanksgiving is coming with me trying to buy Christmas presents and we still have 3 more birthdays. It is also time to buy 3 air filters which will be the most expensive thing on my list this week . My husband has already told be I will be working with less money next year due to our health insurance going up. So getting the budget down is a reality. I also have been saving to fix some of our wall and ceiling texturing in our old house. Trying to stay focused on the things we need and the things we can do with out.

  • Katie S -

    We were right on budget of $325. I’m hoping my sweet in-laws might help with Thanksgiving expenses/extras. But my goal is to keep it between $300-325/month for family of 4. 🙂

  • Jennifer -

    I did ok I have a family of 6 and spent $350 I know I can do better, this is the most Ive spent in a long time. Started couponing in March of this year and I had been spending around $800 so Im still in shock about how much couponing has saved our family. Cant wait for this months savings, my goal is $200.

  • Nagisa Sumida -

    I went over our budget of $400 by little bit but did my best in October!
    I have 2 birthday parties this month so It’ll be tight.

  • Nicki -

    I have not officially started the monthly budget yet but I really need to. I spent more than I should have this month due to Halloween parties and we were out of meat. Probably about $400! (OUCH!!) Im going to do better this month and my goal will be to keep a written record and try to keep it under $300. Thanks so much for all the time you take to find us great deals and help us save money!! Love this site!!

  • Kristie -

    We were over in October due to many factors. Budgeted $300 spent $378…getting back on track for November!! 🙂

  • Lisa w -

    I budget $600/month which I know is high BUT I only spent $400!! I have been doing this for a few months and putting back my overages to spend at christmas! In January I will re-evaluate my budget

  • Kristen -

    I have a current budget of $200.00 a week ($600 for the month). I’m still new to the couponing and trying to keep it real. I keep reminding myself of your motto “Extreme Savings without Extreme couponing.” I’ve been tackling the deals starting with HBA and trying just to get things for free or unbelievably cheap. I’ve been really sticking to it for about three months now and last month I spent $200 for the whole month! I’m excited that the little I’ve been doing along the way has added up to so much. I haven’t had to go super crazy or anything to get to this point. I’ve even purchased Christmas presents this month and some ingredients for holiday dinners. It’s amazing that I can do it on such a small scale and see such incredible savings. All I have to do is follow the coupon closet.

  • Candice -

    We budget $200/month for food and $60/month for miscellaneous (hygiene, cleaning, stamps, & whatever else that doesn’t fall into other categories) for the two of us. In October we were $101 under budget! This was mainly because one or both of us were out of town for 2 weeks. Our November budget is the usual $200 for food and $60 for miscellaneous. We will be buying & preparing Thanksgiving dinner for our extended family. If I need to dip into my food stockpile to cover this, that’s okay. 🙂

  • Laura H -

    I think I did pretty good this month… not to pat myself on the back… My budget was 3$300 for everything. I came in spending roughly $275. My new budget is to not spend more than $250 for groceries and not more than $200 for Christmas gifts (my daughter decided she wants to make goodies for Christmas gifts…) YAY!!!!! Thanks for the knowledge, Carrie!!!!

  • Amber -

    Before couponing our budget for a family of 3 was $40o a month. Since coming to your class & using the coupon box (genius!!!) I’ve gotten the budget down to $200 per month. My goal is for a minimum of a 50% savings on each trip to the store. I’ve been stockpiling and won’t need to buy many extras for Thanksgiving. So the Nov. budget will remain $200!

  • Kerri -

    Our monthly budget for groceries for our family of five is $300 and I usually stay at that amount. I went a little over in October because I stocked up on a few things that were at my rock bottom prices. I love your site and make sure I check out the store listings that you do for Buy 4 Less and Homeland because I miss some of the sales unless I read it here. For November, I’m still aiming for the $300 even with holiday cooking.

  • October… did alright but not awesome. For November, I’d like to be under $200 for my hubby and I. Our biggest challenge is spending money on eating out so I’d like to cook as much as we can! Thanks Carrie for the give away!

  • Annette -

    I was pretty much right on budget for October. I normally allow $400 for the month ($200 per pay period) for groceries, diapers, laundry, toiletries & dog food. I came in at $380 ( I lowered the budget on the 2nd pay period & stuck to it.)

    I will be keeping with the $400 budget for November. So far, so good. !st pay period spent $183 (saved $82 between bonus card & coupons)

  • Shanda -

    October was the first time I sat down with reciepts and figured up my budget….$360 for food and diapers and buying diapers for the one on the way. I would like to be around $200, but know it may be a lil higher as we host Thanksgiving. I fell off the coupon wagon all summer as did my coupon buddy, but we are on it and holding on tight now.

  • Tamara Willis -

    My budget for October – it wasn’t pretty! I spent more on certain things because I didn’t plan well. But my coupon binder is ready & I have already saved a bunch just in the first 2 days of November. My goal is to spend $300 or less for groceries, including Thanksgiving & having company. I am also working on an inventory list to help w/ my budget & savings.

    • shanda -

      Tamara, I think the inventory list is a great idea. I must clean out pantry and organize before holidays, so I now want to do an inventory list as well.!!!

  • Christa -

    My family’s monthly budget is set for $200. I’ve been couponing for a year now and doing very well. Carrie is right… setting a budget is the key. If not, saving so much makes me want to spend more and next thing I know I have spent more than I wanted to.

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