5.19.2008

Money Matters


This weekend we managed to pay off the car we bought (used!) last year. YAY!! It was a rather exciting step for us :)

We have started being much more careful and aware of our finances - looking for ways to reduce or eliminate expenses and also ways to increase income.

For reducing and eliminating we've come up with a few things that we've implemented.
  1. Asking. We don't buy coffee any more. Paul discovered that the local Starbucks grinds their coffee beans fresh every morning. Whatever they don't sell that day gets thrown out at closing. So he asked if he could take it off their hands and they said yes :) Free - good! - coffee.
  2. CVS! I don't think we will *ever* need to buy toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant or body washes again :) And we've managed to get Coke, diapers and paper products for free or nearly free too.
  3. Coupons. I just started this a couple of months ago using both online printable coupons and Sunday paper coupons and also writing to companies and asking for coupons. Some of our local grocery stores double coupons with a face value of up to .50 cents - if you line the coupons up with a great store sale you can get items for free or nearly free.
  4. Overage. This is with coupons too - and it depends on your local store if they'll allow this or not. But if you buy something valued at less than the value of your coupon then that creates overage - which if you are buying other items means it will cover part of the cost of the other items. If you aren't buying other items than the store could end up paying you to take the items out of the store. A great way to get overage is buying travel size items - just make sure the coupon doesn't say "travel size items not included" or "x oz or larger only."
  5. Cash. We have started working with cash a lot more than we have in the past. I get our monthly grocery money in cash at the beginning of each month - I find it SO much easier to work with an entire months budget rather than a weekly budget. If I find something super cheap I can stock up and buy lots of it. If nothing is a good price that I stick to the list. We also have our date money and our personal blow money pulled out in cash at the beginning of the month too. It's a lot harder (ok, impossible!) to spend more money than you have with you :)
  6. Planning. This goes hand in hand with the cash thing. Grocery lists are written out to the T - the only way I will deter from the list is if something is an amazing deal, and I do carry $20 extra on me "just in case." Likewise our dates are planned out, meals are planned out, CVS shopping trips are planned out. And at the beginning of each month we sit down to look over the previous months expenses and to plan the next months expenses.
I have started reading several blogs that focus on frugality. I've gotten some great ideas from them :) Three of my favorites are:

Money Saving Mom
The 'Cent'sible Sawyer
Tammy's Recipes

12 comments:

The Rock Chick said...

You really have a knack for this stuff! I'm not that organized, but I've really been trying to find ways to save--especially on groceries because with 4 teens and the rising cost of food, the grocery bills are astronomical. They had a thing on the news last night about a way people are saving on their groceries...it was nasty! I wont tell you because I'm writing about it LOL Your ideas are WAY better!

The Rock Chick said...

You really have a knack for this stuff! I'm not that organized, but I've really been trying to find ways to save--especially on groceries because with 4 teens and the rising cost of food, the grocery bills are astronomical. They had a thing on the news last night about a way people are saving on their groceries...it was nasty! I wont tell you because I'm writing about it LOL Your ideas are WAY better!

Mel's Mom said...

You are a good wife and mom- I'm sure Paul appreciates you being a good steward =)

Denise Sawyer said...

You are ROCKIN' IT Frugal style!! LOL!

You really are doing an awesome job - keep up the good work.

Thanks also for the linkage - I hope my blog continues to be a blessing! :)

Denise
The "Cent"sible Sawyer

Sarge Charlie said...

You guys have got it together. cool auto and free starbucks whoa......

Fire Hunt said...

I am going to do the CVS thing, thank to you:)

Bethany said...

I had $5 from CVS, but I blew it today and spent it on things I needed that did not make me more CVS bucks :( But I did get two AA batteries for FREE. That is a major step for me, because I have never bought anything for free. I had a coupon. Yea! And I have yet to find any place in NY that still doubles coupons. Poo-poo.

Crystal said...

Good stuff. Though I've never had luck finding coupons for items we actually buy. And the CVS stuff is mostly stuff we don't buy either. *sigh*

I also hate using cash for things. If I were to lose it, it's just gone. If I happen to lose my debit & credit card (which we don't use to acquire debt, btw) no big deal. I also personally find it waaaaay too easy to blow cash. It's so much easier to waste $5 cash on junk than it is when you're paying with a debit or credit, because then you have to look at the cashier all sheepishly like, "yeah, I'm a sorry bum who's buying $5 of stuff on a card". I know a lot of people are super uber crazy over the cash system though, and that's cool... it's just sooo not for us!

Sarge Charlie said...

On this Memorial Day remember my friends who died for your freedom.

Dear Lord, lest I continue in my complacent ways, help me to remember that someone died for me today. And if there be war, help me to remember to ask and to answer “am I worth dying for?”~

Eleanor Roosevelt

Nicole said...

Awesome! Praise God for you guys being able to pay off your vehicle! Now that is sweet!!!

~ Da Shiznit ~ said...

Great ideas! I stumbled on your blog some time ago, and just now found my way back, glad to hear you are expecting!! Congrats!!!

Becki said...

Great job! You're doing some awesome things. I've been trying to discipline myself to do a lot of this kind of thing lately, too.

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