Monday, February 28, 2011

Money Monday

I've been changing the way my family I shop. I could say it is because of the economy, college, teen driver, rising gas prices any of these reasons would be a good one. The real reason is that after looking at our spending last year, I was shocked. I do most of the shopping so I can't blame anyone else for my habits. I was motivated to make changes, the first was The Project. Then we looked at what we actually spent and up dated our budget. The only reason I wouldn't be able to stay with the guidelines of this budget is mindlessness. That's what I'm working on changing now. It started with fewer trips to Stuff Mart, making lists, grocery shopping once a week and couponing. My goal is to keep us with in our budget, not get 300 toothbrushes for $1.00; I want to work up to coming in under budget.

I just started coupon 3 weeks ago, in the 3 shopping trips this month I got an extra $60 worth of groceries from my coupons. I'm not calling it saving because I'm not to the point where I'm under budget, yet. This is coupon central; I got 2 Sunday news papers, I was given some more coupon inserts, and printed some from the internet. I spent about 3 hours over the month printing, clipping, sorting, and organizing.

I'm using a 3 ring binder with currency protectors to store the coupons. I ordered these from Amazon; they were cheaper than "coupon" organizing pages. I use coupons for items that we use, not buy something just because I have a coupon. I make the grocery list and then find coupons for things I'm going to buy. I also make a list of things that I would like to get if the budget allows. These are the things I can stock up, but until I'm under budget, stocking up only goes as far as the money allows. Yes, I do take the binder with me to the store.

I discovered some bonuses to shopping weekly rather than bi-monthly like I had been doing. We aren't wasting as much food especially fresh food or being completely out of items as often. I also don't seem to be forgetting as many things due in part to a shorter shopping list. This is a work in progress and I'm sure it will evolve as I learn more.

What are your tips and techniques for saving money?

1 comment:

Laurie said...

I am making my own laundry detergent and fabric softener. Thinking about moving onto making my own cleaning products next!! Great job w/ the couponing!!