Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Money Saving Tips - What You Will Need

To get you all started off on the right foot, here is a list of things that will help you get starting on your money saving journey.  Remember, this is a life style change.  Once you get in the swing of things it will be hard not to shop with these powerful tools.

1) Computer
2) Internet
3) Printer
4) Sunday Newspaper
5) Folder/Binder/Envelopes (I will get into this in more detail later)
6) Scissors
7) About 1 Hour each week
8) Awesome recipes
9) Budget
10) A positive and can do attitude!!!

Once you have rounded up all these things you will be ready to go.  The first three are not required but they sure do help when you want to print out a few coupons that you know you will use when going grocery shopping.  There are thousands of FREE coupons on the Internet for anyone to use.

The Sunday newspaper also has great coupons, but you have to purchase the newspaper.  You can set up a weekly home delivery, purchase it at a gas station, Wal-Mart, grocery store, or any where else you can find it.

Having something to put your coupons in is KEY!  If you don't have your coupons organized, you won't use them.  I know this from experience.  If you want to get a bill paying folder with all the different slots, that works well.  Then you can divide the coupons up into the different sections.  Freezer, fridge, baking, cereals, juice, caned goods, and so on.

Or, you can purchase the clear baseball card protectors and put them in a binder.  This is my preferred way of doing things.  Then you can put each coupon in its own slot and know what it is and it's expiration date.

The final way I have read about doing this is with envelopes.  You write the section of the store on the envelope and then the coupons get divided up that way.  So you should have about 10 envelopes.  Each envelope can then be put away when you are done with that area of the store.  Whatever way you choose to start out will be fine, just make sure you have your coupons with you when you are shopping, if you don't, you could miss out on some great deals you didn't see while doing your research.

Scissors are for cutting our your coupons.  I figure you all are smart enough to know this, but I would say it anyways.

I say you need about an hour each week, because you will need to look at your coupons, cut them out, organize them, menu plan, and look at the different store circulars before heading to the store.  Yes, I have a baby and I still find the time to do this.  It's very important to get these things done in order to save money at the store.

Awesome recipes!!!  I'm sure you all have some favorite recipes that you love to cook.  But everyone needs a few new ones, or just a change in what they are cooking.  Things can get boring in the kitchen and this can lead to expensive eating out.  I challenge myself to always try one new recipe a week.  Sometimes we love it, hate it, or just think it was okay.  The LOVE IT ones, get put into rotation and the others get tossed.  This way we don't get bored and we aren't always eating the same things.

Budgeting can be stressful, hard, and sometimes impossible for people.  Our budget is constantly changing.  If you don't have a budget yet, now is the time to make one.  I will post more on this later, but to start you off, look at how much you spend on groceries last month.  Then decide how much you would like to save.  If you spent $500 and would like to save $75, then you know your budget for this month will be $425.  Want to know something crazy?!  When both my husband and I were working full time jobs, we were spending almost $800 on groceries and eating out.  That is INSANE!!!  I now have a budget of $260 for groceries and household items, and $100 for eating out.

A positive attitude is key.  If you think you can't you won't!  Set reasonable goals for yourself, tell others about your goal, and then start saving.

Have fun saving!!!


  1. I'm enjoying your blog =D Certainly this is a life style thing, I would equate it to getting exercise and eating healthy. It takes persistence until it becomes second nature (I >want< to do this, not I >have< to do this). On the budget side of things, I strongly recommend - their service is superb (a free service and they have handy smart-phone applications).

  2. So do you plan your meals around your coupons and what is on sale? Or do you have your meals planned long before you even clip coupons? I am having trouble getting started. But like you guys were, we are spending way too much $$ on groceries, $700 a month or so for just the two of us, and going out more than we should. I need to cut it in 1/2 but I don't know where to start. Plus I am buying stuff, not using it, then tossing it out.

  3. Lyndsay - I normally plan my meals and look at what is on sale. But because I buy most of my meat from Sam's that part doesn't really matter. There are some things I always make like spaghetti, so I am always on the look out for pasta and sauce. We like Hamburger Helper so I look for that on sale all the time too. I will post a meal plan hopefully today for you to see. I would try setting your budget for only spending $500. By buying store brands, and planning ahead that should be easy. This will also motivate you to save more the next month if you can shave off $200 bucks. Then from there start trying to save an extra $50 a month with all the tips and things you learn. It's a learning curve so don't try to change all at once.