Friday, October 18, 2013

Saving Money

I'm not exactly sure how this whole "budgeting" thing is going.  I definitely see improvement, but then I see crazy things that get in the way.

For example:  We are tracking (pretty much) every purchase we make for the month of October... kind of for a baseline.  But then we purchased a hunting tent (it *is* hunting season after all), and two combo hunting licenses (we NEEEEEEEEED some venison in the freezer!), and a toddler bed and mattress (because we NEEEEEEED to transition Axel before the new baby comes), and an outfit for the wedding on Saturday, and... and... and...

Doesn't seem like I'm getting ahead at all, does it?

But then awesome things happen with the budget, like: I went to the grocery store today (after looking at some online deals, consulting my meal plan (sorta), and looking at my available coupons, and spent about $15 while saving about $20!  Woooooo!  I was so proud of myself I could hardly stand it!

Also saved money today by choosing not to spend. This morning I wanted a Biggby coffee and donut holes in the worst way.  The WORST.  But no, I drove to work and told myself that I have oatmeal in my cabinet, plus some k-Cups in yummy flavors.  Saved:  $6-7  When I was at the grocery store today I decided that I would pick up some sushi, but I went too early for a good selection to be out.  So, I told myself that I could eat an Easy Mac that I brought in for such non-lunch emergencies, and that I could eat a couple apples from previous brought lunches.  Saved:  approx $10.  On my way back from the grocery store I thought to myself, "Man, I could really go for a McD's fountain coke!"  Then I remembered that I had just brewed myself a k-Cup of ice tea and it was waiting for me at my desk.  Saved:  $1.06

My good choices saved me close to $20 of frivolous spending - TODAY ALONE! 

Guess it's a give and take type thing.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Learning something new...

71 days left until I official begin My Radical Sabbatical!

<insert dramatic music and a stressed look here>

While trying to wrap my head around becoming a one-income family, Hubster and I have decided to take the month of October to really examine our spending habits and see where we can pare down. We can both be accused of shopping stupidly.  You know the type:  You go to the big box/all-purpose store for some milk and bread.  Ooooh, but then you need to pick up a birthday card.  OH! Look at that cute little onesie for the baby!  AH - I need cat food!  Ohhhhhh... my flip-flops just broke last weekend, I should probably pick up some more of those...  AND WHAT ABOUT THE CLEARANCE RACK, eh?

Yeah, and before you know it your "grocery bill" has quadrupled and you just don't understand what happened.  Because it's NOT EVEN GROCERIES!

And that's not even the half of it.  A package of M&M's here, a pop there, a forgotten lunch at home and pretty soon we've spent 30 bucks on crap. Just crap.

So, after some fancy Googling and Facebook group browsing I've found some couponing sites that I'm hoping will change the way I spend my money.  I've never used coupons in my adult life.  I mean, I've used some online things when buying my Keurig k-cups, and I've found some offers when shopping at Old Navy online.  But, I've never clipped a coupon for Stouffer's stuffing, and then physically taken it to the store to purchase said stuffing.  Nope, I just shop for, and buy, what I want.

This has gotta change.  But let me tell you... this is HARD!

Right now I'm using for the basics of learning HOW to clip, and then I've found some great local savings on the Facebook group site A Mitten Full of Savings.  If I can swing a face-to-face couponing class I'll be looking into that as well.  This is requiring a whole new mindset, and it's taking some time and effort.  And meal-planning. Ugh.  Planning in general.

So, the plan for October:

  1. Be honest with money being spent. Track, track, track! Save receipts.
  2. Meal Plan
  3. Grocery shop according to the Meal Plan
  4. No frivolous spending (but if it happens, see #1)
  5. Clip coupons! (My first newspaper will be delivered on Sunday)
  6. Use coupons, price compare, research
I'll report back at the end of the month!