Thursday, May 17, 2012

Where to Start Saving

It is amazing to me how intimidating starting to save can be.  So many people think that saving with coupons is too much of a chore so they don’t begin. 

I have told you before that I am a REAL MOM and I have to save in REAL MOM time.  So I can assure you that I am NOT the Coupon Queen or the Crazy Coupon Lady.  I just don’t have time.  Just because I post a list of deals does not mean I run to the store every time to get them.  I do get deals just not every single one.  My time is spent mostly at work, asleep or with my family.  Sadly the work usually gets the majority of the time or so it seems. 

So how do I save?   Every little bit, here and there and everywhere!   Once you put on the frugal rose colored glasses you see a sweet frugal rose everywhere you look! Homemade Laundry soap, Homemade fast food or frozen dinners, on your light bill, on your toothpaste and toilet paper....the savings are everywhere.  You only have to do a little at a time to see a BIG difference!

So how do you start? 

First find a frugal blog for the places you shop.  I hope you pick mine of course but there are many out there.  You can simply Google “Deals for So-and So Store, “and Google will help you find one. also has a deal seeker site that you can find blogs that post deals by state.  

Check your found blog for your local deals.  Usually the blog will say you can get free toothpaste if you use the coupon from 4-1-12 PG insert or something really similar to that language. 

Save your Sunday paper inserts and write the date on the top of the insert.  So if you got the insert out of the 4-1-12 Sunday paper that is what you write on the top.   Get you a file or just stack them in some organization that works for you by date.  Ask your friends or family if you can have their inserts if you pick them up, or check your local recycle center.  It is nice to have at least two sets of inserts for each week, especially when the sale at the store is BOGO on an item because you can use TWO coupons!

Print the coupons you see you will use and have them on hand or in the car in case you run into a deal on the fly.You don't have to buy a fancy shmancy coupon organizer, use old bill envelopes, or an old file folder you already have.

Now when you check your local blog each week you know that you can get free Pop Tarts and toothpaste and a really good deal on Shaving Cream and Rice Cereal.   You can get four of each along with your milk, eggs, and bread or whatever you normally buy.  

Learn the prices, you might already know when something is a good deal and a great low price.  When you see that low price stock up.  This is great for items that don't usually get coupons like Milk, eggs, or meat.  

Keep doing that every week and pretty soon you have a stock pile!  When you have a stock pile you can use from it instead of going to the store and then you can wait out the high price times, and replenish your stock when the items go on sale again in about 3 months or so.    You don’t have to be a hoarder, or an extreme coupon shelf clearer but getting four things of shaving cream for free adds up over time.  This also saves on gas because you won’t have to run to the store every time you are out of something. 

Upside Down Cupcakes
The next way to save is to get out of the pre-packaged rut.   If you make one homemade item a week you will eventually have your own home made stock pile.  When we lived in Maine the field across the street had wild blueberries that I could pick and pick and pick in the summer.  So the family went out picking blueberries, and it was fun as a family event.  We came home washed them and froze them or made jam out of the rest.  Each year I had enough to last until the next picking season.   Now I don’t have to buy blueberries all year!   You can do this with most fruits and vegetables.  

But this works with anything like your own bread, casseroles, and seasoning mixes like Ranch Dressing Mix.

It is my plan to do this at least once every two weeks.  The gradation season is upon us as we speak and our family has FOUR graduations alone!   Then if you count extended family the list gets longer. So I might not start this quest right away but I have been trying.  I cannot wait to share these things with you.

I will want to share with you so many ways that I save and in time I surely will.  I hope this helps you to just get going and save where you can.  Really a stock pile is not hoarding, unless you go all EXTREME.  Learn to buy what you can when it is cheap and you will save money in more ways than one.  

For instance if there is a budget emergency and you cannot spend as much as you normally do for groceries in one month then you won’t have to panic.  You will have your own supply to get you through a rough patch.  Also if you have purchased your items for free or cheap in advance you can wait until the next sale cycle arrives to replenish what you use.  How great will you feel when you can donate what your church food pantry needs to help the needy?   When my older children come over from their college dorms or apartments they grab a grocery bag and go shopping, it is a great feeling knowing I can still care for my children when they need it. 
You see saving money really all works out well in the end. 

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