Thursday, April 29, 2010

How I save money...

Time to add a little meat to this blog. All these fluffy giveaway posts are annoying, I know.

I operate on a very small budget. When I say small, I mean SMALL. We are pretty much broke, pretty much all the time. We are still a happy little family, but by no means financially well off. lol.

This means that I have to save every penny I can on whatever I can, as often as I can...so I am pretty cheap. I very rarely spend any money on myself, even when I grocery shop I buy the things that everyone else in the house wants to eat, and usually skip my favorite stuff because it just doesn't seem to make any sense to buy things for just myself.
At the Grocery store, I always have my coupons with me. I have a binder organized by types of products (Frozen, dry goods, dairy...etc) and I always check all of the grocery ads and make a list of all of the sale items, I match what coupons I have for what's on sale so I know what the cheapest items are going to be, then I make my grocery list based on whats on sale. I don't buy much brand name stuff, because the Store Brand is cheaper, and usually tastes just as good. I don't impulse buy. I hate taking other people shopping with me because I have a shopping system and any disruption to my system can cause me to miss something on my list, and usually means stuff that isn't on my lists ends up in the basket. I hate that.
Gf is the worst about that. I HATE taking her with me when I'm trying to stick to a budget because she will see something she wants, and figure "it's only a couple dollars.." and toss it in the cart. Then when we get in the car, she is irritated because I went twenty dollars over budget. Well DUH! When I have someone else grabbing five or six things that AREN'T ON MY LIST that messes with my budget!
If the stores that have things on sale aren't doubling or tripling coupons, then I go to Super Walmart and admatch. They will match the lowest advertised price of any regular grocery store. Sometimes they have the lowest price on things, but the few cents saved on all the things that aren't lowest really add up.
On average I save at least 35% but usually more by watching the ads and using my coupons. It takes time, but in the end my bottom line shows the effort is worth it.

Another way that I save...is by not buying things that I can get for free. I'm lucky to have friends with daughters a year or two older than mine, because the hand-me-downs are great! It saves SO MUCH MONEY to not have to buy new clothes every time the weather changes, or the girls change sizes. Not to mention that things get even more use since my younger daughter, all though five years younger than her sister, is tall for her age, so the clothes that my oldest outgrow fit my youngest fairly quickly. It means saving things and packing them away for a year in between uses...but it's worth it.

Some of my friends laugh at me because I don't buy things that I think aren't cheap enough. I haven't bought a new purse for myself in years. It's a good thing my Mother in Law bought me one for Christmas this year or I would be carrying around a diaper bag for a purse (my youngest is 4 so I can't really get away with it anymore...lol). I don't buy clothes unless they are on sale...and I have never spent more than $25 dollars on a pair of shoes IN MY LIFE. I don't buy new shoes often because I don't really go anywhere but the grocery store and the occasional outing to a Sports Bar with a friend...and I don't dress up for those things. My good ol' Converse work just fine.

So those are some (but not all) of the ways I save...how do you?

13 comments:

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I wish a were more organized and did Walmart price matching. I do coupon. Stopping from Mom Loop.

Lin said...

Ha, I totally know what you mean about having to save where you can. Every cent counts. I'm the only one working right now & even though I make 'good' money I still have to watch what I spend it on. I think it's really smart of you to do your research on sale items before going to the market, I think I'll try doing that :)

Ps. I wear my converse EVERYWHERE too, I <3 them!

Cozy knits for you said...

I save money buy shopping at supper walmart for our food and I only shop once a month. (I'm feeding me my hubby and 2 year old)and we get frozen veggies so they don't spoil before we can use them. And I freeze the months worth of meat in the serving sizes we need so we don't have to defrost more then we need for that meal.
So with all that I spend 150-200$ for the whole month. I haven't done coupons because I don't have that much free time right now but would like to start incorporating it into my monthly shopping.
(found you on blogfrog)

Nichol said...

Couponing is the best. Although brand name is usually cheaper unless you have a good doubler. I usually buy all my kids clothes and mine included online and go to retailmenot for coupon codes. Saves a lot of money although in store I head straight for the sale racks. I seasonal shop. I just did all my winter shopping before Spring for next year.

Laura said...

You sound a lot like me! I am a coupon fanatic and my husband is emberrased to go anywhere with me and my big coupon book (the sucker is huge). And I refuse to let him go grocery shopping with me anymore... what was a $30 budget turns into $60 or more because he goes through the aisles and gets some crazy creative meal together in his head and wants to buy all sorts of weird things for it.

I also don't buy myself much of anything, I buy hubby everything he needs but when it comes to me I typically just don't want to spend the money. The only reason I have a new pair of shoes is because I won a gift card in a giveaway! And he had to force me to go buy some new pants because I didn't want to let that money go.

We're broke too (literally.. paycheck to paycheck down to our last time the day of pay day) but it works out, we've saved tons & i've stocked up so much that this week when we had car problems and he has to buy some parts to fix my SUV I had to go without grocery shopping and we've been able to eat just fine by our stock up alone.

And btw I am now a follower of your blog :) Thanks for visiting mine!

Laura said...

You sound a lot like me! I am a coupon fanatic and my husband is emberrased to go anywhere with me and my big coupon book (the sucker is huge). And I refuse to let him go grocery shopping with me anymore... what was a $30 budget turns into $60 or more because he goes through the aisles and gets some crazy creative meal together in his head and wants to buy all sorts of weird things for it.

I also don't buy myself much of anything, I buy hubby everything he needs but when it comes to me I typically just don't want to spend the money. The only reason I have a new pair of shoes is because I won a gift card in a giveaway! And he had to force me to go buy some new pants because I didn't want to let that money go.

We're broke too (literally.. paycheck to paycheck down to our last time the day of pay day) but it works out, we've saved tons & i've stocked up so much that this week when we had car problems and he has to buy some parts to fix my SUV I had to go without grocery shopping and we've been able to eat just fine by our stock up alone.

And btw I am now a follower of your blog :) Thanks for visiting mine!

Julia said...

I'm VERY impressed by your thriftiness--I have a lot to learn from ladies like you (a few of my sisters are really great at coupon shopping too). I use to be good in college, before we had kids, but since then I haven't been as dedicated to it, or disciplined with my grocery budget.

The little, inexpensive stuff is always what gets me in the end, and it doesn't help that I usually have 4 kids in tow anytime I shop. It can get PRETTY CRAZY sometimes. I'm usually a total, frazeled, basket-case by the time I get to the checkout line, that I just let 'em ring it up (impulse buys included) and pay the extra with the credit card. It's a bad habit, I know, but it does wonders for my sanity. Since we're military, I do have the wonderful blessings of shopping at the Commisary (grocery) and the PX (Post Exchage--like a mini mall/department store) tax free. Plus they often have manufacturers coupons all over the store in little notepads next to the sale items--it's great!! I'm learning that there are some GREAT perks to Army life!

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