Tag Archives: groceries

Saving money, hating coupons and an important tip!

Couponing is the worst. Yup, I said it. More on this later!

Instead of trying and failing to document every cent I spend, I decided to work on reducing our grocery and food expenses for the month of September. This decision came after several days of not blogging and thinking about chucking the whole “No Spend September” challenge. But then I remembered that being on #teambroke is not fun and that I really need to get the spending under control. The challenge is now going to focus on a few key areas including reducing our monthly spending on food and groceries.

First, I decided to change my grocery buying habits. I normally pick up the majority of my groceries at a small grocery franchise called Fresh and Easy. It’s the cutest, most convenient store by my house! However, they seem to be a little more expensive than others and do not take coupons at all. Then I’d head over to Whole Foods for my son food since he is on a ridiculous vegan, gluten-free and soy-free diet due to allergies. Afterwards, I finish off at either Sprouts or/and Trader Joe’s for mostly the meat products we like. This month, I am trying to get most of my groceries from Target. As a red card member, I get an automatic 5% discount on all purchases. Target takes manufacture’s coupons, offers its own coupons, has a savings app called Cartwheel and can be used with several online saving apps. I also love shopping at Target. Channeling my overwhelming desire to shop at Target to food purchases makes perfect sense!

Second, I am going to try to earn cash through apps including Ibotta, Saving Start, Checkout 51 and Snap by Groupon. Bloggers seem to rave about these apps and review them highly (with affiliated links of course!). If I can make $20 or so this month from these apps, I’ll proclaim success in this area.

Third, I am going to eat leftovers and random items that have been sitting in my pantry/freezer for months. Although I wish to take my family along with me into the kingdom of leftovers, I fear I will be on this journey alone. I promise not to eat anything that has gone bad or expired.

Lastly, I am trying my hand again at couponing. I hate it. Honestly using coupons stresses me out. I always feel like I am spending more money just to get a few cents off. I am terrible at matching store coupons and manufacture’s coupons. I get personally insulted when the cashiers scrutinize my printed coupons. But, I am going to do it for September and see what happens. My first attempt was yesterday. Trying to organize all my coupons and saving apps and managing my 5 year’s son mini-melt down apparently was more than I could handle. When I returned home and started scanning my receipts, I noticed that gum was not an item on my list. I had a strong recollection of picking up gum to buy, but figured that I had left it in the shopping cart. This morning as I prepared to tackle Whole Foods, I noticed a pack of gum in my purse. I reviewed my receipts again. No gum on my receipt. Great! In my attempts to use all of the correct coupons, manage my son and check out, I must have inadvertently put the gum in my purse! Because my mom raised me right, I went back to Target this morning and paid for the gum. I think the cashier thought I was a bit crazy as she said, “You owe a whole $.93!” Whatever, I can enjoy my gum with a clear conscious!

Tip for the day: Don’t accidentally steal!

For real, what are your money saving tips for groceries because I clearly need it?

Advertisements

Another reason why credit cards are the worst!

My normal obsessive behavior in money management is to check my online banking account twice a day. Each morning, one of the first things I do is check my balance to see how much money I actually have. Then I check it against my monthly budget to determine how much money I have left in each category. Before I go to bed, I do the same thing documenting what actual spending took place.

When I checked it this morning, my credit card balance was at $0. When I just check it, it was at -$191. Clearly someone didn’t make a magical payment of that amount without my knowledge. I am not sure what happened, but I am a little uneasy going to bed not knowing exactly where my finances stand. If I was using cash or debt, this problem wouldn’t exist. Another downside of credit cards and the tricks they play.

Overall, I spent only $27 today on household items like laundry detergent. My mother-in-law paid for our mini-spa outing which was a pleasant surprise! My husband did decide to go to the grocery store and buy $71 worth of more groceries. i was annoyed somewhat, but its all items we will eat at some point. I was saving $75 for food for next week. Maybe the food we have now will last until April 1st and we will only have to pick up a few perishable items. 

I’m starting to think I can do this!

Carefully Watching

I’m back from the mini-vacation and getting ready for 12 straight days of work. Now that I am back, I plan on watching our finances pretty closely. I have gotten our credit back down to zero and hoping it will stay like that for the rest of this month. We don’t have much money on hand, but I am determined to end this month better than it started. We had plans on going to dinner on Monday to celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday. She must have sense our money woes and suggested we eat at home instead. I was hesitant to change our plans, but my husband convinced me that we would really save a lot of money if we just cooked. I am still taking her to a mini-spa day, but I am happy that we don’t have to add a dinner for 8 on top of it. She’s also still talking about giving us money, so well see about that. She wants me to make a list of all the expense we want her to pay for. That seems so awkward, but I guess I’ll do it. Now is not the time to be proud.

Today was some what successful. I knew I needed to buy food for the week and spend the least amount of money. My husband says I always stress out when I have company and overbuy things we don’t need. He might be right. Since our company is on the way out, I decided to look around to see if any recent purchases I could return. Turns out I had $51.32 worth from Target, $38.36 from Justice clothing store and $9.08 from Gap. Much of this was clothing and accessories for our family photo. I didn’t know what we were doing, but got clarity once the family started arriving. Anyways, groceries ended up to be $149.34. I used a $43 Visa gift card that my husband got from work for $41.93 of it. It was exciting to only pay about $8 for groceries. Obviously, I have to wait to see the money back on my card as credit. But still, its great after a weekend of spending money to not spend that much on groceries.

We have quite a few expenses to get through before April 1st. Can I do it? I hope so!