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?