I found an article on yahoo about Extreme Frugality hitting the masses. What do you think? Are you willing to go to extremes like the people profiled in this piece?
We are very conservative with our spending and shoestring budget would be an overstatement. Since I was just laid off at 7 1/2 months pregnant (and FYI- my unemployment claim is nearing the 8 week mark since they are so backlogged) right now we cut our grocery spending to $30/week. That includes dog food, diapers, 1 toddler and 2 adults. I regularly prepare 3 meals for dinner- one regular meal for my husband, one vegetarian version for myself and something nutritious and wholesome that is toddler friendly.
While I am not cutting my lotion bottles in half quite yet- we are cutting way back on how much we can stockpile. I had found that the hardest part for a new couponer is learning to say no to deals. I did two transactions last week at Walgreens to get diapers and wipes. I could have done several more but frankly I didn’t want the bother of all those register rewards. Did I miss a great deal? Yes! Did I stick to my weekly budget? Yes! The important thing to understand is that most deals will come back around. You can’t possibly chase every bargain and stay on a budget- especially when rebates can often take weeks to get back. In the meantime, you have seriously overspent in an effort to save.
We were already pretty frugal but what this cut in pay had really taught us is to prioritize. It is so tempting to chase every deal out there- especially since it seems the deals are getting a little harder to come by. But in the long run it is way more important that we do everything we can to avoid touching our savings than scoring the best possible price on diapers.
I am also having a lot of fun challenging myself to use my MBA to get really creative with our budget. Since I knew this was going to be the week of diapers (at Wags and Raley’s) I posted five packs of Walgreens brand diapers last week on Craigslist. I sold all 5 for $15 total. A good deal? Yes. But considering I got them all free several months ago I didn’t feel too badly. Those diapers leaked like crazy and gave my daughter diaper rash so using the $15 I earned and coupons- I was able to essentially trade those diapers for 2 packs of Pampers, 2 packs of Huggies and a big bag of wipes. Not a bad deal.
So I am back to square one with this promo and looking forward to stocking the freezer. Note– with these deals I never buy things that my family won’t use- especially perishables which are difficult to donate. We are expecting baby #2 in May and I am very happy to have lots of frozen meals/snacks on hand for the last weeks of my pregnancy and after the baby is born.
This week’s Chill at Home: Total oop $15.33 (paid on a gift card), Received $10 cat for next purchase.
Kraft Mac & Chz .49 (in ad q)
Whole Wheat Tortillas 2.79
Birdseye Veggie Free wyb Birdseye Entree
Birdseye Chicken Pasta $2.99 (used 2/1 q)
18 pack eggs .97 (in ad q)
Lucerne String Cheese (in ad q)
Milk 2 gallons 3.98
Safeway Select Texas Toast 2.79 (used 1/1 Safeway q found in store)
Morningstar Sausage and Hot Dogs 3.49 each
Pepperidge Farm Texas Toast 2.50 (.40/1 q)
Red Baron Pizza x 2 $5.00 (1/2 q)
Ester C Vitamin x 2 $4.69 each (used 2 $5/1 coupons)
Top Sirloin Steak $5.20 (used 2/1 q found in store)
Waterfront Tarter Sauce $2 (used 2/1 q found in store)
I also had a 10/50 coupon for the grand reopening of my store. I have several more of these coupons that don’t expire until 4/4 so I plan to work these weekly. I also used the $4 catalina from the Post cereal deal.
If you have 10% off on your Safeway card you can also really maximize your discounts- I have heard Safeway is even doubling that discount in some areas.
Also my store has had special Grand Reopening sales for the last two weeks. If you happen to pass by a store with this signage out front I highly recommend stopping in! I picked up tons of great coupons and tried (unsuccessfully) to win one of the 300 random gift cards they gave out last weekend. The ads are slightly different and have a few items that are part of the Grand reopening and exclusive to that store.
1. A free 12pk of soda courtesy of WalMart
2. A free hand car wash valued at $15.00- no purchase necessary
3. A $25 gift card to Chevron for contacting my local State Farm agent to see if they can beat our prices on insurance (they couldn’t- but I would have switched in a heartbeat if they could)
4. A $25 welcome voucher from a local feed store. It wouldn’t have occured to me to buy dog food except I drove past and saw a sign advertising Iams for $25. I went in with my coupon and got this 40lb bag of high quality dog food for $2.13.