Our September Budget, Including Rosh Hashana & Sukkot = $800

Somehow the first of the month creeped up on me – and then zoomed right past. I owe you all a menu plan post and a budget post. I’m starting with the latter, since I at least done that done already! (Which means, yes, we are flying by the seat of our menu planning pants right now… I’ll do it tonight.)

As you know, we normally budget $500 for food and household expenses (including personal care items, household cleaners, OTC meds, etc.).

The past few months, I’ve been challenging myself to bring it down to $400 – $450 and have done pretty well at that level. In fact, I even had about $60 left-over from August.

Of course, we were away the first week of August, so all the “eating money” that week came out of our vacation budget, and not our food budget, which definitely helped to stretch our allotted funds.

I have applied that $60 from August to the September budget and then allocated an additional $740, for a total of $800. That’s nearly double our monthly budget, so I expect to have a good bit of overage to apply to Sukkot. In fact, my goal is to be able to have a normal ($500 or under) budget for October, despite the fact that we like to entertain a lot of Sukkot. I’m hoping that I can squeeze all my meat and some of the other extras out of the September budget.

We’ll see how it goes…

Since my birthday was last week, we have already spent blown through indulged in a rather expensive steak dinner – plus a bunch of alcohol (we had not a drop in the house) and nosh for a l’chaim on Friday night. I haven’t totaled it all up, but I think that’s about $100, so we’re down to $700 already for the rest of the month.

Since many of you asked in the Reader Survey, I will try to be better about sharing pictures and details of my various shopping trips. Keep in mind, though, that I have a fully stocked freezer and pantry, so I’m not starting from scratch. For example, I may not even have to buy any meat for Rosh Hashana – as I’ve got at least two briskets and some other meat in our deep freeze.

What about you? Have you made your September food & household expenses budget yet? Or are you budgeting one amount for all of the chagim? Any plans for keeping your costs low this year? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section!




  1. How do you keep your freezer stocked up with meat and chicken? Even on sale, beef is always beyond our budget and chicken is regularly priced (I’m in NY) so I just buy what I need when I need it. If we want to have something like brisket for Rosh Hashanah, then I just have to spend what we don’t have. Tips?

    • I started buying by the case from the butcher. for instance I got 20 4.5 lb whole chickens for $1.88/lb. We live outside of dc, and that’s the cheapest deal. also buying it whole rather than cut up saves a lot.

  2. I am panicking about the holidays – We don’t have money for them, to be frank. We are still trying to pay off our vacation from this summer (as you can see we aren’t fully on the Dave Ramsey track yet!) We are trying to do a $600 food budget this month, which is low even when there are no holidays (we are a family of 4, but we have one person who is gluten-free and we are foodies of a sort). I have no idea what to do. I was also dumb and forgot to budget a penny for a sukkah. We don’t ahve one because this is our first sukkos in a house instead of an apartment and we intend to build our own but it will still cost money for lumber and hardware and tarps, etc. I guess we’ll have to “borrow” against the October budget or wait until 10/1 to start buying/building. AAAGH!

    • My husband built an inexpensive copy of the beautiful SukkahSoul sukkah last year. It was the least expensive sukkah we’ve ever had, and it packed away easily. The wood was less heavy and less expensive than 2×4’s. The netting for the walls was tulle, less than $25 at the fabric shop. Even if it’s ripped and needs replacing, it’s very affordable. We invested in bamboo mats from The Sukkah Project for the schach, which are reusable. A one-time expense.

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