We all need a good chuckle now and again, right? Here’s yours for the day. You’re welcome:
Makes me laugh. Out loud. Pretty much the only time I can remember hearing that song and not cringing or rolling my eyes. Why? My full name is Barbara Ann. Think about it. Now, go sing, and find some joy in your day.
So on to saving. Being frugal has become a part of my nature. Going to the grocery store and seeing how much I can save, as opposed to spend, is fun for me. (I know, I know, I need to get out more, and not just to the grocery store) I’m not one to waste money. In fact, if I have to even spend money on myself, it disturbs me. Not necessarily b/c I think I don’t deserve it, but b/c I think about all the other places it could be used, or what we could pay off, etc. I look for deals everywhere, and rarely pay full price for everything. And yes, I am not ashamed to admit, I have been one of those crazy coupon people that will take an extra 5 min. in the checkout line, just to save $1.75. (more on that in a minute). So I thought I’d give you a few ways that I try and save for my family.
- Buy on sale. Duh. May seem like a pointless tip, but think of it – we live in a hurry-up society. When we want something, we want it now. Need a new pair of shoes? Go buy them. Need a new couch? Go buy one. However, if we would pay attention to how much those shoes or couch cost in the first place, and maybe wait a little while until the price goes down, we’ll save some $$$. Patience is a virtue.
- Groceries – I cannot tell you how much I’ve saved by implementing the following tips. Yes, I have done coupons, b/c like I’ve said, I am a sucker for a deal. But then, I found myself buying things I wouldn’t normally purchase because hey, I can get them for free, why not? And most coupons are for junk that I really don’t want my family eating. I do still use some, for things like healthy snack foods, toiletries, tea/coffee, etc. I pair my coupons with what’s on sale at the store. Yes, this requires a little bit of planning, but if I stock up on things when they are on sale that I know I will be using in the future, it saves me money. I plan my meals around what is on sale. Planning meals also saves money – if I already know what we’re going to be eating and plan accordingly, it greatly lessens last-minute trips to the grocery store, which we all know winds up costing more than we intended, b/c we come out w/more than what we went in for.
- Eating healthy, whole foods – Contrary to popular belief, this does not have to be more expensive. Two things here: #1. if I’m eating well and taking care of myself, I’m actually spending less in the long run on vitamins, medicines, doctors visits, etc. #2. whole, natural foods aren’t filled with junky fillers that fly through our body, sending us on a sugar rush and then crash, leaving us hungry again within an hour or two. Because of this, they actually fill you, and your body is able to slowly digest them, leaving you fuller, longer. Which means you’re actually eating/spending less on food. Think about it – a bowl of hearty oatmeal, or a bowl of sugary Trix. Which one leaves you hungry and wanting more? Before you know it, the box of Trix is gone and you have to go buy some more. And as an example, a 24oz box of popular cereal is on ‘sale’ at Walgreens right now for $2.50. I can buy a good five pounds of old fashioned oats for a dollar or two more. You do the math as to which is the better deal and will last longer. My monthly grocery bill is lower now then it ever has been, b/c we are eating this way, and also making things natural and homemade, which leads me to my next point…
- Make it yourself – the possibilities here are pretty endless, but here’s a sample of what I make at home…kefir ~ I realize this is not a common household item, but it’s something we use quite often. To buy a 16oz bottle at the grocery store, it costs about $3-4. For the same price, I can make a gallon of it at home. Same thing with kombucha, which is more expensive to buy, and even less expensive to make myself. Bread and crackers ~ I haven’t purchased store-bought bread in ages, with one exception: at Christmas time, I bought two loaves of potato bread for my family, as a “treat.” (yes, I realize that potato bread is a pretty lame “treat.” We’ve already established the fact that I need to get out more. Get off my back). At the beginning of this week, we pulled one of the loaves out of the freezer – we had gotten so used to wholesome, homemade bread, that the previously-adored potato bread tasty nasty and sickening, so we froze a loaf and are now eating it so that it doesn’t go to waste. I make my own crackers using either the sunflower seed recipe that I posted here:musings-and-makings, or a yummy sourdough recipe that I recently discovered.
Laundry soap, dishwasher detergent, shampoo/conditioner, body wash, face wash and deodorant ~ yes, I said “deodorant,” and it works great. I love it. Message me if you want the recipe…The added benefit here is that these things are not only cheap, but they don’t contain any harsh chemicals and aren’t harmful to my body. I told my husband “there isn’t anything that I put on my body that I couldn’t eat.” His response was “there isn’t anything I eat that I’d put on my body.” Have I said that convincing the rest of my family has been a process in some areas? Baby steps.
Brownie mix, pancake mix, condensed soup mix, cake mix, granola ~ again, all things that are normally fairly expensive are much cheaper to make at home, and lacking the nasty preservatives that store-bought contain.
I could go on and will probably think of more that I could have listed after I finish this post, but you get the idea.
- Buy in bulk ~ this one can be a little tricky, b/c we do the majority of our bulk shopping at Costco. Costco is a $$$ trap. They don’t offer you those cute little yummy samples of food just for kicks. They want you to buy more/spend more. You have to be disciplined. If you can manage that, the savings is well worth it. Toilet paper, paper towels, nuts, meats, batteries, chips, plastic wrap, eggs, etc.
That’s about it for now. I have more tips and ideas that I can share in another post, but for right now, the shower needs scrubbing (Tuesdays are bathroom-cleaning days, don’t you know?) and my children are needing a little schooling motivation. 🙂 Enjoy the day…
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