Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Penny Saved...Is a Pair of Trouser Jeans Earned

When Tobe and I were first married, he was in school full-time and I was searching for a job. I quickly found a position teaching special education and we began to start a cozy little life together.

In those early days our grocery budget (food, drink, toiletries, paper goods, etc) was about $40 a week. Because we were attempting to contribute to savings, pay off school loans, and keep the electricity on all at the same time, we were incredibly careful with our precious pennies. We had to stretch those dollars in some fairly creative ways in those early days.

Due to rapidly rising food costs, the increased size of our family, and the demand for fruit snacks to be in the pantry of casa de phillips at any given moment, our food budget has increased since those early days of marriage. However, I still attempt to stretch a dollar and get the most from our money. The children and I went shopping today and purchased $125.15 worth of needed items (as shown above) for $49.19.

Math isn't my strong subject, but that is $75.96 saved.

I had to refrain from running out of the store singing a song of joy (perhaps I should have enlisted E. to sing "LaLaLa") due to such savings.

I also had to refrain from driving straight to Banana Republic and spending that $75.96 on a new pair of trouser jeans (my newest addiction).

I saved such a large sum of money not through elaborate couponing nor through reading hours upon hours of blog posts or discussion boards on how to save money. Rather I did three simple things:

1. I read the weekly circular for my local CVS pharmacy and noted that they had several items on sale that we use frequently.

2. I looked through my reasonably sized coupon organizer and found coupons for items needed.

3. I used my CVS rewards card at the check-out counter, thus being about to redeem CVS reward bucks (earned because we fill our prescriptions at CVS) against my balance.

I saved seventy-five dollars by doing nothing fancy or complicated and stocked up on items needed at casa de phillips.

How do you save money in an easy, time-efficient manner?


Lainey-Paney said...

I do the same thing you do!

And, I read the book, "America's Cheapest Family" that talks about saving/couponing/grocery tips.

One of my favorites: I share coupons w/ my neighbors/friends. So, sometimes I have 2 coupons for a particular item. If I happen to see it at the grocer at B1G1Free, you can still use 2 coupons b/c you technically have 2 scanned & on your receipt!
........and I go to a particular grocery store that has double & triple coupons all the time. You don't have to wait for the 2nd or 3rd Tuesday of the month, yada, yada, yada!

My husband once got peeved b/c I bought 4 packs of diapers all at once. BUT, I was able to get a TON of diapers at the right price...
Rompers diapers, Size 5, 46 per pack. Regularly priced at $16.99. So, they were on sale for $10.99 a pack. Plus, I had 4 coupons for $2 off. So, I got 4 packs at $8.99 each, and these were NOT the little packs (that they sarcastically call "jumbo" or "mega"...)! Each diaper (not including tax) came out to be less than 20 cents. Woohooo!

I totally commend you on your savings...and I'm equally excited when I leave the grocery store these days.
I've been paying attention to sales & using coupons since about June...I clip the bottom of each receipt that totals the savings, and the other day we added it up. $1200 (approximately) since June. You can't beat that!

Amy said...

I bet that felt awesome! Wish we had a CVS :-( I do my best watching circulars and clipping coupons that come in the mail. I don't read the paper so I don't think we would "save" by subscribing just for coupons. Where do you get your coupons?

(And N is in the 75th percentile for height!)

Jennifer said...

Good for you!! I used to do the Grocery Game and I was amazed at how much I saved each week. I had my stockpile of items in a spare closet and our grocery bill went down enormously. The main issue I have the GG is that it really forces you to buy processed/boxed foods because there are rarely coupons for produce. Also, since I've switched cleaners and other product we use I can't really save on those anymore like I used to. But I will say I know what it feels like to save like that and it's an awesome feeling!

We do simple things like unplug appliances not being used, turn lights off during the day and open blinds instead, wash clothes on cold, switch to CFL bulbs, etc..

CreatedVisible said...

you have a great design for a blog

Robin said...

You go, girl!!

I'm not great at using coupons but I am getting better...I LOVE LOVE LOVE my local Kroger and usually use the ones they give at check-out (which many times correspond to items I typically cool is that???). And the coupons Kroger sends in the mail rock, too(recently they sent an entire coupon book for organic items!). I try very hard to ONLY use coupons on items we already buy...sometimes I find that even with a coupon, an off-brand item is still cheaper than the couponed counterpart.

One big thing we do around here to save money is NO TV/NO CABLE. It's easy and we don't miss it. I also think it cuts down on the "see it/want it" syndrome so rampant in our culture.

Here's to saving our pennies for better pursuits!