Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Saving Money is My Middle Name!

Alright, not so much, but look up BARGAIN HUNTRESS in the dictionary and my face (along with my Mom & Sister's) will be right there!

Bargain Huntress Pack

I LOVE TO SAVE MONEY!

I had mentioned before that I had recently cut our grocery bill in half. In half means I SAVED right at $300 dollars. 

I PROMISE it is possible.  I mentioned THIS sweet lady I found  HERE . I had found THIS amazing link on Pinterest from her blog. It has changed my life. :) I thought she had super powers, but that post seriously has changed the way I shop and plan our meals. 

TBoff & I love Pinterest. We would make a menu from all the noms we find there about every 10 days or so. Every 10 days (or so) I would go to the grocery and spend right at $200. So 28-31 days in a month. That's $600 A MONTH in groceries. 

That is Cray Cray with a capital C! 

So I took Mrs. Danielle's post to heart and I attempted to do the impossible.

"Fancy" Pinterest breakfast I made from ingredients we had on hand.
To be honest we weren't really giving it much thought. We were eating what we wanted to eat and making delicious meals out of it. Here I am being frugal in all these other aspects of my life, but I was not being near as resourceful in the grocery area. I can still make delicious meals, but those meals depend on the sales.

So HOW do we do it?!?!

Well it aint easy! :) 

First off, I use a LOT  of coupons. I have about 200 coupons right now. My coupon book is busting at the seams (I'm currently working on a more efficient system). I get online coupons, store's coupons, and the Sunday paper always has great ones. 

Then I study study study the sales papers. I write down all the things I may be interested in a store and more often then not I have a coupon for that sale item. Often different stores have the same item on sale. I obviously pick the store with the better deal.  I go to 4- 5 different stores during my grocery week. That's kind of a pain, but when you save $300 its worth it. I go down almost EVERY aisle because the sales paper doesn't list EVERY  SINGLE sale or clearance item. It does take TIME. So you have to plan accordingly.

Meat! UGH! MEAT IS EXPENSIVE! We actually have about 1 to 2 meatless meals a week. Beans and such are a great replacement for meat. Also, when meat is on sale....I buy A LOT of it! A LOT. To be honest, if anything is a GOOD sale  I buy more than two of  each item. Ive  tried convincing TBoff to go Vegan. :) He's a meat and potatoes boy. The fact that I got him to try and LIKE THIS salad was pretty amazing.  So no vegan lifestyle in our future. BOO. 

A freezer full of meat. I make sure to wrap it up and date it so I know how long it has been in there.
Produce is another pricey figure. I used to go to the grocery and buy just whatever sounded good to us. A lot of it wasn't in season. I was totally ignoring the huge SALE signs on our other favorite fruits just because I didn't feel like getting that this week. Well that has changed. If those juicy clementines aren't on sale, those juicy clementines are staying put. Things like celery, broccoli, cilantro are all great additives to a meal and are all super cheap. I often substitute ingredients in a meal for whatever I have on hand if it makes sense. 

Also,\\I don't  buy much of anything if it doesn't have a big sale or clearance tag on it. It may not be the name brand I used to buy, but I'll guarantee you it tastes just fine. Just because you really WANT those cookies or chips doesn't mean you NEED them. Chances are if you are reading this to find out how to save money, then you are willing to pass on those cookies. :) That doesn't meant don't buy treats!! Just don't get them unless they are on for a really good deal!! A lot of your money will go to produce!! It's better for you any way!!  Eat healthier AND save money! We DO occasionally get treats like ice cream or nutty bars (AHHHH I LOVE NUTTY BARS!!) but ONLY if they are on some crazy sale or I have a super bad ass coupon for them. We also only drink water and use milk for our cereal. We don't drink sodas or juice. Sass obviously drinks whole milk, but she has never had juice in her life. Most people I know, don't drink enough water. DRINK MORE WATER PEOPLE!:) I will say, we like to have the beers and vino in our home. I buy whatever is cheaper and or on sale. I must have an emergency bottle of wine around to keep me sane on those crazy Mommy days.  Occasionally I'll treat us to a specialty beer, but it's very rare. 

Saint Arnold's Beer is made here in Austin and is by far our favorite !! Every single one is yummy! 
One of my favorites.

If I was willing to forego the alcohol expense, I could save about $25 more, but I'm just not there yet! :) Being a single parent 4-5 days a week, deserves a night or two of vino.

We have also stopped buying paper goods. No more paper plates, no more paper towels, no more napkins. It's a waste of money!!!!!  If  I have an awesome coupon and the paper towels are on sale I MAY buy a roll or two but I generally don't like to. I promise you, if you don't have them  you won't use them. :)


 I've attempted to talk Tom into using reusable "toilet paper" similar to what we use for Sass. BHAHAHAAHA  He put his foot down on that one.  I pick and choose my crunchy granola battles with him.  Not only are we saving money but we are cutting down on waste!! 

Clearance isles at stores are also my favorite. Target has them located all over the place, you just have to know where to find them. I always find detergent, can goods, soup, toothpaste, etc for WAY cheap.  Throw in a coupon, and BAM....super saving. 

Menu Planning is probably where we save the MOST money. I used to plan my meals THEN make my list. As I mentioned above, we were spending  $200 every 10-12 days! That obviously wasn't working. Now I shop and buy things on sale and I know I  will use in a lot of recipes. In my house we eat a lot pasta, chicken, ground turkey, tomatoes, onions, strawberries, watermelon etc. I buy those things in bulk, especially when they're on sale. If they're not on sale, but still a great price (the more you study the more you will be able to recognize what a good price is) I'll buy it, but only if I KNOW I'll use it. THEN I get home look at what I have and make a menu. Sometimes I don't have EVERYTHING in the recipe, but more often than not, it doesn't make much of a difference.  It is still way yummy!

Now you may be asking, "YOU so Crazy Willis! How do you eat all of it for a month without it going bad?!?!?!" FREEZE IT! When Ziploc goes on sale and I have a ba-zillion coupons for them (I always have a Ziploc coupon!) then I buy them in bulk. I get home and I put whatever (meat, fruit, veggies, bread etc.) in some baggies or wrapped up in foil, write the date on them,  and Ta-DA! 

It's not easy, like I said. If you have someone to watch the kiddos for you, I suggest it. I do not have that luxury. Sass is a trooper, but it can be a challenge entertaining her for a 2 hour trip to ANOTHER store. You  just have to learn and know your tricks I always pack a different book and snacks to keep us happy. My iPhone and iPad are also heaven sent. Plan on it to take several days with kids, because as I mentioned you go to more than one place. When you have little ones that need to eat and nap then you have to work around that schedule.
I'm considering posting this to The People of Wal-Mart. :) I  gave her a  cup without the lid  screwed on correctly. Within seconds her shirt was soaked and she was NOT happy. We had been at Wal-Mart maybe 10 minutes! LOL WHOOPS!

The trick of it all is actually getting it all and not having to GO BACK to the store. If you go back you  are more likely to spend money that you don't need. How often do you go to the store for ONE thing and come out with way more??? EVERY SINGLE TIME! Don't make the extra trips! IF you have to, try your best to go to that one aisle and get that ONE item. Otherwise your $3 purchase turns into $20 easily. 3 or 4 added trips through out the month easily get up to $100. Don't do it! I strongly believe making it a MONTHLY trip is where you save A LOT of money!!

Now with all these trips, I'm STILL learning and working out the kinks. My only places I struggle are buying enough produce and milk. Sass eats her weight in fruit, I haven't really determined how much milk we go through in a week. So once I do I think I'll be able to buy it in bulk (some on sale!) and freeze it. Space is another problem. I need a deep freeze!!! :) I've got my eye out for one on Craigslist. We have a fridge in the garage, but in the Texas summer it's hard to keep that sucker as cold as it should be. 

So there you have it! 
GO!! SAVE SOME MONEY!!! 
YOUR HONEY WILL THANK ME! :) 


We hope you are having a great week!
Lots of Love,
The Boffs

2 comments:

  1. Hey! Just found your blog. I am into couponing big time too. Just wanted to point you to some great websites that do all the work for you, matching coupons with sales and letting you know exactly what you will pay.
    Forthemommas.com
    Totallytarget.com
    wildforwags.com

    They all have Facebook pages that you can "like" and get news feed updates throughout the day. I especially love For the Mommas!

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  2. Whit, do you shop at Target? If so... They have printable coupons on their site and weekly mobile coupons. Target coupons can be combined with manufacterer's coupons!!! And! If you don't have a Red Card debit card, GET ONE. It works just like a check, except it's a debit card exclusively for Target. Everytime you use it, you save 5%!!! And if you use Target for your prescriptions, after five or ten (I can't remember), Target will send you an extra 5% coupon!!! Used in conjunction with your manufacterer's coupons, Target coupons, and Red Card... You're saving some bucks. :)

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