Money Saver

4 Mar

There has to be a way to save more.

Yesterday was my shopping day. I go to three stores: Walmart, “The Herb Shoppe” (A natural food store) and Shoprite. I bought what SHOULD amount to almost three weeks worth of groceries (in about two weeks I’ll go buy more “fresh” stuff and odds and ends, but all the meat, pasta and frozen food is covered) and spent about $200. This is a big improvement over $150/ week. Sure, we don’t eat as “fancy” but it’s all tasty and wholesome for the most part.

But, I’ve been trying to save more money. We are a one income household except for the little money I make working from home. I’m been searching online for tips but nothing “new” is coming up. Well, except for ditching a car, and we just don’t think that will work for our little family, though we did discuss it. People are “sacrificing” their daily $4 latte… Jeeze, I think the last time I had a latte was 2 years ago. I don’t mean to undermine anyone else’s efforts, but for those of us who are REALLY trying to be frugal that sort of advice doesn’t help. The price of gas doesn’t help either (even buying it in New Jersey…) but there is little outside of politics I can do about that.

I bought a book (used on Amazon), Family Feasts for $75 a Week by Mary Ostyn. It has some really great tips that I won’t disclose (buy the book :P) But I will tell you I am starting a price book to keep track of how much various items cost and where. That way… I know where I can get the best prices.

Now… The thing I’m realizing is, I need to make trades. There are things I won’t give up or go “cheap” on. One of them is milk. We drink organic whole milk, and we drink about a gallon per week. at $5/ gallon, this is a little rough, but we make do. It’s good for us, and important. Another, Gluten free food. I try to buy “normal” food that is naturally gluten free as much as I can, but I love pasta and bread. I just try to stretch this as much as I can by controlling portions and buying on sale (the gluten free bread I usually eat was $2 off per loaf in the freezer section of Shoprite this week!) The last thing is vitamins. We are trying to have a baby, and given my past health issues, I don’t skimp on these, I buy an expensive one from the health-food store that is gluten free, vegan and actually DOES have more of the good stuff packed in. Yeah, I know the cheap ones are supposed to really be the same, but I didn’t feel as good when I was on the cheapies from walmart, I didn’t have as much energy and they made me nauseous. So… I buy the expensive ones… but they do last three months.

I’ve been concentrating on groceries because that is one of our biggest flexible expenses. We can do nothing about our mortgage just yet, we are in all the tax programs we can get, and I’ve limited leaving the house to once per week or so to save gas (this is to go shopping and I consolidate all my errands into one day).

What else can I do?????? More on this later…


2 Responses to “Money Saver”

  1. lizztruck March 10, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    In my own home I was using cloth diapers to save money. Also I never throw away plastic grocery bags. I use the bags for our small trash cans, cleaning out the litter box and any other random thing i can find a use for them. I buy my son's clothing at second-hand stores. I just don't spend money. I haven't bought anything for myself in so long i can't remember. My hubby did just buy me some scented candles I love 🙂 But my suggestion would be to try to get extra uses out of anything! I clean a plastic juice jug out after using it for my hubby to have a gallon of filtered water next to him instead of getting up six times for a drink. I keep my sewing clippings of fabric for future rag dolls and toys for my son. I make sandwhiches and snacks to take along with us when we go out as a family to keep from wasting money at fast food places. And we only have one car, so i often walk to the store with my son. Luckily we live on base so everything is close.

  2. Ash March 17, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    Yes! I agree, one of the best money savers is to reuse anything you can! I'm not into disposable things at all. We use reusable shopping bags, but occasionally do get the plastic for the litterbox changes, garbage, etc… I used to save all my fabric scraps, but it got to be so much that I started freecycling them. I keep the bigger scraps for quilts and toys too. I try to buy clothing second hand, make it, or get it from TJ Maxx (so you get the quality without the price). I just picked up a skirt for $2 at salvation army, and a wool sweater for $1. Love that! I wish we could be a one car family, but hubby commutes to the base 45 minutes away, and we sort of live in the middle of nowhere. But I only do errands once a week to save on gas.

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