Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cow Fund Finale


I can't believe it has been a year since I started the "Cow Fund".

I guess I will start with a little recap of the "Cow Fund" for all of you Cutting Back newbies.

In September 2009 we purchased a quarter of a cow. It was something we did on a whim, and we just wrote a check for it.

Last year I started to feel like we needed to save for more things and become better stewards of what the Lord had entrusted us with. It was a personal thing, I am in no way trying to say it is wrong to buy a cow or a pair of shoes that you haven't saved for...when you can afford it. I have just made a conscious effort to stop impulse/unnecessary spending in general.


I was convinced that "saving up" for things would help with:

1. Impulse Buys- If you have to save for it you have plenty of time to see if you really want/need it.

2. Discipline- Discipline is something I think that most of us need more of...in one area or another. I desire to be better disciplined in every area of life, but I really focused on discipline in the area of spending in 2010.




Ways we saved for the Cow Fund:

1. Our grocery budget is $40 a week for the two of us. I did a few "Eating from the Pantry" months. I made as many meals as possible from the stockpile and freezer in those months and just bought necessities and produce. The others months I would save what I could and at the end of the month drop the leftover money into the jar.

2. Empty our pockets. Whenever our pockets were full of change we would dump it into the jar. Little by little it accumulated. It was so rewarding to watch the big jar fill up. It just goes to show that even the pennies add up over time!


The jar has been totaled:

$747.29

Can you believe it? I couldn't! I took the jar to a Coin Star machine and let them do the work. I wasn't about the roll all of that change...it was worth the fee for me!

The crazy thing is that our cow man didn't come through for us this year...he had no cows to purchase. I think we found a supplier that can provide the meat in the spring. I am holding on to that money for now and by then I am sure there will be more money to cash in. After thinking about it I decided I should put that money in the bank...that is a lot of money to keep sitting by your kitchen window?!?

The lesson learned is that you can save quite a bit and not even miss it!



The End:

After documenting every grocery trip with pictures and totals this year in my Packing the Pantry posts...it is time to call it quits. I really don't enjoy doing the Packing the Pantry post and I hope you all understand! Instead I am going to spend my time on the things I do enjoy in efforts to make the blog better.

I will still be taking out $40 cash each week and sticking to that...don't you worry!

16 comments:

Becky said...

Congratulations on your savings Katie! And your decision not to post your grocery trips too. I posted my trips too on my other site. Since I made the choice to write solely for Savings Lifestyle ~ Cincinnati, getting to put my groceries away as soon as I get home - with no arranging and picture taking - is a big relief. Enjoy your little bit of extra time!

Katie said...

Thanks Becky! I enjoyed that this week...it really does take a lot of time to unload, arrange, take a pic, and put away. Grocery shopping on its own is a pain...

JRFrugalMom said...

Congrats on the big savings! I'm a vegetarian, but I sure wish we could have a cow in our freezer, because we spend way too much on low quality poorly raised meat. I grew up on a farm, so I guess I was spoiled...although it turned me into a vegetarian:)

I would like to invite you to link up at the Fantastic Frugal Fridays. It is a great place to meet fellow frugal folks, and you can win free ad space too…

Elise Gabrielle said...

Congratulations on your savings Katie! That is so wonderful! I was also very intrigued by your comment about 'buying on impulse' and how if you have to save for it, you have time to think about whether you truly want or need it. I can't wait to put that mindset into use! I can't tell you how many times I buy something on a whim, end up not liking it, and wasting precious money for college textbooks!

Also, I really like your idea of taking out cash for groceries so that you don't over spend. Maybe I can form some kind of system for that at college too, so that I don't spend frivolous money on things around town. Hmmmm!

Warmly, Elise

Family Balance Sheet said...

I am thinking about buying a cow portion. I have no idea how much they cost, but I guess I should start researching and saving.

Misty said...

Wow! You have managed to impress me once again! I love this post because it stirs up within me the desire to start the New Year off right... by being a better steward.

Now, if you need someone to go in on a cow with you come Spring, let me know. :)

Also, I do not blame you one bit for stopping the packing the pantry posts. I think all of us know what a huge task it is to 1. shop but then 2. to put it all away. Who would want to add the extra step of setting it all out and taking a picture? :)

I do appreciate your hard work in inspring me this past year though. :) Thank you!

I am looking forward to what you have in store now...

Katie said...

JRFrugal Mom,

Thanks for stopping by and letting me know about yor fantastic frugal friday's. I will check it out :)

Katie said...

Elise,

We practice a "cash" budget in which on payday we take out cash for groceries, car insurance, eating out, personal money, and a misc fund in which we use when we have to buy gifts for people and things like that. You wouldn't blieve how much that would save you.

You could definitely do that at your age...that is when I started it. I am planning to do a budget post sometime here in the winter about this very thing :)

Katie said...

Family Balance Sheet,

I guess the cost depends on where you purchase it. We spent about $400 and it averaged to about $3.50/lb. Not bad when we got 1/3 steaks, 1/3 roasts, and 1/3 ground beef...and the taste just doesn't compare to store bought!

Katie said...

Misty,

Isn't this the time of year we all try to save more. I know after looking at what I have to put out this year...I have to find some more unique ways to save :)

wandeful said...

Congratulations, Katie on saving that much!!

~Sara said...

Wow great job! We put all our change into a jar too. It's amazing how fast it adds up.

We also purchased a half cow and whole pig this year. It was wonderful and so worth it. Just have to work it into the budget.

Katie said...

Sara,

Since the cow was so wonderful I have thought of doing the pig. I need to look into that!!

Regina said...

Thanks for all your Packing the Pantry's...will be missed, but also look forward to the other posts!

Hope you find your cow soon! Keep up the great savings.

Lianne said...

Hello,
Just wanted to let you know that I have awarded you with an award because I love your blog. Please stop by and check it out.
http://familylife-lianne.blogspot.com/2011/01/blog-award.html

Thanks and God Bless
Lianne

Katie said...

@ Regina: Thanks for the encouragement!

@ Lianne: Thank you for the award! I appreciate it!!

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