Saving money…let me share

Time to make a public update on my money situation. In the end, Oct was an okay month with my money, but I think I shared that recently. What I want to share is how I have started saving cash at the store, now for some of ya’ll this is kid’s play but you gotta understand for me this is huge. Like many folks I have always poo-pooed the idea of using coupons after all, most of what I see for coupons is stuff I would never buy since we don’t use a great deal of convenience or processed items. Yet recently I have been reading more and more about folks who shop the sales and combined with some coupons end up saving a great deal.

Well times are tough, money is tight and I have a lot of plans in the coming months chiefly some trips to visit family and friends and since I haven’t seen my raise yet and still don’t know exactly what it is going to be, I know I need to reduce my spending.

So last Sunday, I actually took an hour with the sales papers from my local grocery store along with a few coupons and decided rather than making my usual grocery list that I was going to only buy what was on sale, stock up on those items and plan my meals based off what I bought rather than my usual way. Normally I make the meal plan and shop based off what I think we re going to eat.

Well in changing things up I have saved over $120 this past week and stocked up on quite a few items. Now I mentioned this to a few folks and there seemed to be an assumption that I must have a crate load of junk food. No, darling not at all. Examples of things I bought in volume only using the sales would include 5 lbs bags of King Arthur flour that I got for $2.50 a bag. King Arthur is a decent brand and generally pricier than the cheaper stuff, I now have 15 lbs in the cabinet. I also stocked up on sugar, shredded coconut and other baking goodies. I rarely buy chicken breast but the store had a buy one get one free deal on Purdue Split Chicken Breast, so I stocked up on those too.

The only processed items that I stocked up on were Annie’s Mac and Cheese, the girl child will not eat my homemade mac and cheese no matter how much I try to make it look like Annie’s and frankly there are times I don’t feel like cooking. Also the boy will be home soon, and he likes to snack on these as well, so I took advantage of the 3 boxes for $4 sale.

In the end, I spent maybe an hour and a half poring over the sales and creating my list and clipping coupons for toilet paper and paper towels. (I tried to give these up but it created more laundry and sadly juggling family and my outside job, creating more laundry is not an efficient use of my time)

I even took advantage of the new chain drug store opening up and saved a bit there on items I would normally purchase with their $10 off a $20 purchase coupon. At that store I stocked up on laundry soap (el cheapo brand I use for linens since due to skin sensitivity, I can only use 1-2 brands for my clothes) toothpaste, and other related items. The Spousal Unit has been teasing me that I have become one of those women, but I admit I kinda like getting deals especially when its stuff I would buy anyway. Yes, it took time to actually read the flyers and plan but if saving money and switching up things means I can head home for a visit soon its all good.

I admit, I doubt I will ever be the lady getting $200 worth of food for $5, since unless coupons start coming out for fruits, veggies and meat, there are still only limited items that I can use coupons for. However by shopping the sales it seems I may be able to reduce our grocery bill by at least $100 which is a plus since currently it stands at close to $600 which is a tad insane for 3-4 folks.

So I share this with you to say if this not the way you shop, it might be worth looking into, after all what might you do with an extra $100 a month?

Speaking of cash

Since my last post touched on career frustrations, I figured it’s time to give an update on how that not spending thing is working out. Well it’s been better than previous attempts but my son getting his own car has put a slight cramp in my planned budget. No, I did not buy him a car, that honor goes to his Grandma. In fact he has a nicer car in some respect than the Spousal Unit and I. It seems when one procures a vehicle they need gas  money, and since elder boy has been busy with his studies and the lead role in yet another play, he has no job.

So, that means he has had to hit Mama up for some gas money which as I explained needs to last until he gets a job. Now that his show wrapped up he has decided that working a pt job would be a great use of his time. I admit I have mixed feelings because he recently received his second offer for  free ride to a lovely Midwestern school with a decent drama program. This is the second drama offer he has received, problem is he doesn’t want to study drama in college; I have already told him we need to consider these offers. Any how he is taking a break from drama to get a job and then can pay for his own gas.

If it had not been for the unexpected car and gas money, well I would have more or less stayed within my projected budget and savings and that is factoring in the unexpected work we are doing in the Spousal Unit’s office.

This month I have been a lot more intentional with money, no drop by visits to Goodwill, thinking before I decide to grab a meal out. It would seem there is hope for me after all. Now I just have to survive the holidays, already I am working on a holiday budget and the emphasis this year is not on gifts. No, we will focus on the spirit of the holidays which I think will be more meaningful and surely keep more cash in my pocket.

That’s the latest update on the spend less front and no I have not entirely given up outside coffee but it does happen a lot less. I admit I do enjoy the times even more when I grab that latte or mocha because it no longer is a  daily given.