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Monday, February 25, 2013

Money Saving Tips #2

I've had a few questions about how I stay within my $200 a month budget and I'm sad to say I don't have an exact plan to this madness.  Here a few pointers,though, that might can help you out.

1.  Use the envelope system.  I don't use this for everything, just groceries.  I'm sure I could maintain my budget a little better for everything else but I want to get one area under control at a time.  I start out by putting $200 in an envelope at the start of the month and only use what's in the envelope.  If it runs out, I'm done for that month.  

2. Use the Coupon Savings Tracker.  This has helped SO much.

3. Stockpile.  This is key!  If you see a sale on whole chickens one week for $.79/lb, BUY 10!  Okay 10 may be a little much for a small family...just use your best judgement and buy a number you think you're going to use until the next sale rolls around.

4.  Use a menu plan. I'm not saying you need to have an extravagant menu plan or have everything completely lined up but if you see chicken, rotel, pasta, etc on sale in the same week for a great price, stock up and see what you can easily make with those ingredients.  Basically you want to base your menu plan on the items you pick up for free or cheap at the grocery store.

5.  Buy in bulk.  I shop at Costco for anything like spices, potatoes, milk, garlic, shredded cheese, butter, etc. These prices are considerably cheaper than buying at the grocery stores.  Ex:  I can get a 15 lb bag of red potatoes at Costco for $4.49 which is a much better price than buying a 5 lb sack at the grocery store on sale for 2/$5.  I think it's worth a trip to a wholesale store (Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's) even if it is just once a month. 

There are some things that aren't good to buy at wholesale stores, though.  Just because it's a "Value" pack doesn't mean it's a good deal.  Take cereal for example.  I'm not sure how much wholesale stores charge for a big box of cereal but I'm sure it's in the $7-$8 range.  My price point for a box of cereal is under $1.50. (And yes, I get it at this point quite frequently, so it's not impossible.)

6.  Shop the Drug Stores.  The only drug store I shop at is CVS but this is where I buy all of my toiletries.  I don't count this as part of my grocery budget but I spend pennies on the dollar for all of my toiletries.  I haven't paid full price for makeup, shampoo, face was, oral care, etc. in over 2 years.  (Others are Rite Aid & Walgreens)

7.  Shop Amazon.  Now this one is new to me as well but this is my favorite place to buy toilet paper.  The HB and I are quite the TP snobs and we'll only use certain kinds.  Amazon has (2) 30 pack Double Rolls of Quilted Northern TP every now and then on sale for $21.74 shipped.  This is a deal that I don't have to leave my couch for and it comes straight to my door.  It comes out to .36/double roll if you take into account that you are buying 60 rolls (or .18/single roll ). This is my stockpile price!

8.  Pay attention to the weekly circulars.  I do use coupons but the majority of my savings come from just paying attention to the weekly ads.  

9.  Buy multiple papers.  Once you get into shopping the deals, you'll notice products you use that go on sale that you'll have coupons for.  In this case, you'll want to have more than one paper with coupons in order to "stock up".  I usually buy 3-4 papers a week.

10.  I get a ton of coupons from this website.  It's super easy to use and they usually have really great value coupons.  

If there's anything I missed or anything you have questions on, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to help you out.


  1. Ok I'm in love with blogs. And I did not know you had one! Great tips!!