What I've Been Reading Instead of Cleaning My House

Monday, November 23, 2009

Rocking Around the Christmas Tree...

One of our favorite holiday traditions is turning off all the lights (except for the Christmas tree lights), putting on some danceable Christmas music and rock out.

Here's some of our favorites.

We especially enjoy doing the robot to "Silent Night."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Thopping

Actually, I did some grocery shopping on Monday, but I couldn't call this "Monday Mopping" because then people might think that I was actually cleaning my house (and we all know that's not going to happen). Here's a good coupon deal that I have to brag about:

Boxed cookie mix on sale for 98 cents a box.
Coupon for $1.00 off one box of boxed cookie mix.

So I was actually PAID* 2 cents to buy the cookie mix!

Super Score!

(They couldn't actually give me money back, so I had to buy something else and then the 2 cents was taken off of that)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Thopping

OK, I actually went grocery shopping on Wednesday, so maybe I should rename this "Wednesday Whopping" (especially since I'm trying to find some "whopping" good deals).

Alas, there wasn't that many things I could combine store sales and manufacturer's coupons on this week, but I still did pretty good.

I bought 25 items: 8 boxes of cereal, 2 pounds of cheese, 2 pounds of butter, 16 ounces of sour cream, 1 dozen eggs, 1 bunch of bananas, 7 bags of frozen veggies, 1 green bell pepper and 2 loaves of bread (and a pound of pistachio nuts -- they weren't on sale, they're just delicious).

Total = $60.21
After Store Savings = $39.24
After coupons = $34.14

So from $60.21 to $34.14 (a savings of 44%)

What's amazing is that I've cut my weekly food budget in half, and yet my pantry, fridge and freezer are more full than ever! It's great!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grocery Shopping Class

So I went to the grocery shopping class on Thursday night and got some really good information.

For the most part, it's the same program I was doing before (combining store sales and manufacturer's coupons), but with some new insight.

Before, it was taking me hours to cut out all the coupons, study all the supermarket ads, and run from store to store to get the best deals. Needless to say, I got tired of that really quickly.

The way this program is different is that you buy in bulk (their theory is that everything goes on sale four times a year, so stock up four months worth of non-perishable items at a time). The way to do this is to get multiple Sunday newspapers (for multiple coupons).

The nice part is that they've done all the labor for you. Just go to their Web site*, click on the supermarket you want to go to (just visit one) and they have a list of what's on sale that week and which coupons to match up with. They even rate the sales so you know if you're getting a good deal or not. You click on the items you want, it shrinks the list down, you print it out and there's your shopping list. Then cut out your coupons (why do it before hand?) and you're ready to go.

I decided to try it out the next day. I went on their site and what used to take me hours only took 15 minutes! I had coupons from two Sunday papers and set out to the supermarket (just one!).

Total (47 items): $123.25 (gasp!)
After Supermarket Savings: $75.93
After coupons: $51.63 (including tax)

I went from $123.25 to $51.63 (total savings of 59 percent)

(Let's just say that I won't have to buy Kleenex tissues for a VERY long time)

*Please note that this service is only available in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Washington right now


Jeffrey and Alice-Grace had play dates, so I wanted to do something special with Frances (but didn't want to spend any money). Here's what we did:

Two craft projects (a cute embossed Christmas card and an adorable snowflake ornament -- free make & take day) and five sheets of card stock (coupon) at a scrapbooking store at the local mall = $0.00

One really large (though they called it a small) ice-cream cone (coupon) at the food court = $0.00

Frances being able to spend time with her parents without any annoying younger siblings = priceless

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Quest Continues...

I'm still on my never-ending quest to not spend money. I'm usually pretty good at this (mostly because I loathe buying clothes), but my downfall is food (specifically grocery shopping and eating out). I've taken a few measures, but so far I'm getting mixed results. Such as...

I'm now having milk delivered to my house to keep me out of stores (I'm notorious for going in for just a gallon of milk and coming out with 20 pairs of socks, three books, and a porch swing -- hence, why I am no longer allowed in Costco).

I must admit that me and the kids did go to Burger King last night, but that's only because we found three coupons for free fries and three coupons for free burgers while cleaning up the house. Free dinner for the kids -- yay! But then I bought dinner for myself -- boo! (Nigel was gone, so he had to scrounge whatever he could find for dinner at home -- here, lick this postage stamp and see what's between the couch cushions!)

Tonight I'm going to a special class on grocery shopping. I'm curious as to what their system is. I've tried coupons and all of that before, but I ended up buying a bunch of stuff I normally wouldn't have and spending a lot of time running from store to store. Hopefully I'll get some good tips!

What are your favorite ways to save (or not spend) money?