DONT GET CAUGHT WITH YOUR PANTS DOWN TRYING TO SAVE MONEY!
If you are buying items that you don't use and you don't gift or donate then all of those coupon savings are a waste. In Addition some people actually end up spending MORE money than they used to because they not only are buying EXACTLY WHAT THEY USED TO but they are also purchasing couponed items IN ADDITION. If you do the math, the only way this saves you is if all of your "extra items" are absolutely FREE. It is very disenchanting and confusing when you are not savvy in the coupon world and you attempt to "do like the pros" and copycat buy what they buy.................just because they are "saving money" and your bank account shows that you are "spending more." YES THIS IS A COMMON NEWBIE MISTAKE and often discourages you from continuing your process because ................is this really saving money?
A great example of what I do that really works.AND SAVES YOU MONEY..................I have been pantry shopping since December, when I made my last huge grocery shopping trip because I was having my people over. Even though it was "bring a dish" I still spent $250 on supplies, food and drinks. This is over my "monthly" budget for an entire month. In addition , we emptied our chest freezer when we built our carport and donated 8 bags of grocery items to the Food Bank since December. Soooooooooooooo I normally spend $30- $50 a week and have been spending much less on misc. items to "fill in the gaps" which actually frees up $30-$50 a week (depending on what I Have to buy) for other things. THIS IS SAVING MONEY when you save in one area and use that money to pay off other things (credit card balances, bills, birthday gifts or even stashing it in the bank) BECAUSE I have had other things to pay I wasn't able to "stash" this money but yes I was "robbing Peter (my grocery money) to pay Paul (other things).
I am not making my weekly pilgramages out to the DRUG STORES to pick up the "free and almost free items" either. Saving money on gasoline and also the item cost (if any) I am depleting some of my resources as I truly am bursting out of the seams of my closets and storage places. I am not willing to use even more space, I have shared with non-couponing friends and have made up a few baskets as gifts as well. This is in addition to making a large bag of donations and oh yea gifting a person I freecycled from. I love what I do but I have enough...........more than enough when I run down on supplies then I will replenish............. A few times I have participated in the community yardsale and sold many of these items at a fraction of the cost of what they could be bought for (without the couponing skills) and done very well. I haven't done that in a while and my supplies runneth over! NOT that I would love the FREE BUTTERFINGERS From Rite Aid but until I "need" to drive that way it is not cost effective to go get them or time effective either.
Creative Cooking Skills come to play when you "pantry shop" and meals take a bit longer, this is TRUE but they are so worth it. I am making lasagna tonight, I had to buy the Ricotta as a "fill in" item but everything else was here ............ and I am making the sauce from Tomatoes I bought with paypal money from MUR GLEN that I had on my other blog. Yes it will take a bit longer and it cost about $2 out of pocket (ricotta) but will be eaten and the left overs will be frozen for Butch's lunches. If I were "buying" groceries instead of pantry shopping we would be having garlic bread and salad with this but because I am creative cooking
we will have biscuits or tortillias with parm . cheese on them and fruit salad (from cans).
This week our Grocery list has on it: Olive Oil, Canola Oil, Hormone free Milk, carrots and deli turkey for Faith's lunches. Oh yea and we may need some Paper Towels. Now, when Butch goes to the store he may pick up something else he sees/wants but that is because he has no will power LOL not because we NEED anything! :) The total for what we need should cost around $10 - $12 which is at least a $20 savings. If I were to write a blog and say that
"I saved $20 this week at the grocery store" and you saw another blog that said "I saved $180 at the grocery store" you would assume the 2nd scenario was the best scenario wouldn't you? ITS NOT! unless the person that saved the $180 also spent $12 after the savings. THEN that would be a comparison of apples to apples.
THIS IS HOW TO CALCULATE
Ask yourself "what do I normally spend at the STORES (all of them , divide them up to "GAS" "clothing" "food" "health & beauty" etc) "
TAKE THAT AMOUNT AND REDUCE IT.................... if you are INCREASING YOUR SPENDING
you are NOT SAVING MONEY its that simple.............I don't care what your receipt says , what matters is what your BANK ACCOUNT SAYS! :)
You want to do little things that MAKE MONEY (maken baken) to apply to the items you want to SAVE MONEY ON !
NEVER FAILS: fabulous freebies and items that you WIN on the computer without leaving your seat
are NEVER FAIL items, you cannot lose! you got them free doing something you like to do and didn't spend any more time (if you follow along with me I save the time finding the REAL items for you) and the money / gas . You get items for FREE and you can use, donate, gift or sell them for a profit.
NEVER FAILS: surveys, search to win, paypal interest, referral dollars pennies on the dollar, mystery shops etc ............. MAKING MONEY you wouldn't otherwise have AGAIN saving the time (I do this for you) and I don't WASTE YOUR TIME by posting things that will get you no return or just because I will get paid to share.