Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Shopping Break

Do you ever need a break? I've decided that I will take a few weeks off from coupon shopping - unless I see some great deal on yogurt! (We use a lot of that!)

That is one of the great things about "Stockpile Shopping" - you have a stockpile! So I plan to use it for the next few weeks and just make an occasional trip to Aldi's for the bare essentials. I LOVE October - is that weird? It's one of my favorite months, with the crisp morning air and warm afternoons, (I even like the rainy days) and I plan to enjoy it as much as possible.

You know, it's OK to give yourself a break! The deals will be there when you are refreshed and ready to cut the coupons and look at the sales papers. And if you miss a deal - well it's not the end of the shopping world!

So, I challenge you - if your pantry looks like mine - (nicely supplied), take the month off! Maybe, use the time to make some Christmas gifts and you'll be saving money both by not shopping and by making gifts that you might otherwise buy.

I plan to do a yard sale this Saturday. I've been wanting to do it all summer. This Saturday is to be 80 and sunny so this is it! Hopefully I'll make some money to use for Christmas gifts etc.

So, what would you do with the time off from shopping and with the extra money you could save if you took a week off - how about a month off? I figure I can cut my normally $50 food bill to around $10 - $15 for a few weeks by just getting the necessities. ( Milk, salad, veggies, chicken), and I will have enough extra time in the week for a trip to the zoo with the kiddies!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Becoming a Thrifty Shopper- Part 1.

This was originally posted on 5/5/08. I thought with all the talk about money in the news this would be a good time to revisit this series.

I am starting a series today on "Becoming a Thrifty Shopper". I plan to talk about the motivation behind this goal, how to start, couponing, Internet resources and some of my favorite stores.
Motivation - Getting in touch with my Frugal Side.

It seems to me like every time I turn on the news, the radio or read the paper, the main topic of conversation is this economy! Just the rising price of gas has forced us to cut spending in other areas of our budget. 4 or 5 years ago we were only spending about $40 every 2 weeks for gas for our 2 cars. We are now spending $100 every 2 weeks and we only keep it to $100 by careful planning and cutting our as many unnecessary trips as possible. (My husband drives around 30 -45 min. to work)

Currently our income is around 15k less than it was a year ago. (My husband's job in the mortgage banking industry was a casualty of the housing slump.) I know I'm not alone in this situation. There were 900 other co-workers that lost their jobs, along with my husband, when HSBC shut down their mortgage operation last year in Carmel, IN. But thankfully, our situation was different than many of them because after we got married, my husband and I set as a goal, to live as debt free as possible. And because of that, he was able to take a position earning much less, with an excellent company, in a field he is much more interested in - 401K investments.

I have to admit, during the housing boom, when mortgages were selling well, and our income was increasing, I wasn't as in-touch with my frugal side. But the economics of this time have given me a great incentive to save all I can. Really, I've always been a good shopper. I do like to get the most for my money and I LOVE to get a good deal! My family actually jokes that I can smell a sale a mile away (and I sometimes wonder if they take me shopping for my company or for my sale sniffing nose!)

Seriously, however, I personally have several motivations for being a "Thrifty Shopper". And if you want to successfully join the ranks of the coupon cutting, super saver moms, it would be good to think about why you're going to spend some of your precious time engaged in this endeavor. You need a motivation a goal or maybe several, to encourage you that your effort and desire to cut your family's spending is worthwhile. Because it really is!

I will pick up next time with some of my motivations for frugality and a bit about how being frugal has helped us accomplish some of our financial goals. What are your motivations? Why do you feel the need to cut this are of spending. Feel free to comment below.