in my old world, i went to the store when i had time (which was never) and bought as much as i could at whatever price just so we didn’t run out. even with that, i have always considered myself to be thrifty. i used coupons and tried to find the cheapest prices on the brands we liked — but i knew our household/grocery budget was too high, even before i stopped working. i just never had time to be more planful with coupons or watching for when items went on sale.
once i was laid off, i was focused on finding a way to save that money – we had to cut our budget somewhere. as fate would have it, a former co-worker referred me to the following two sites a few weeks after i was laid off, which by far trumped anything i had found up until that time (thanks Renae!) i recommend to check out the full site and if you think you like the look, subscribe via email and you will receive a daily email with all updates. with the way they match up coupons and promotions, these first two blogs really do most of the work for me. there is a certain amount of organization that goes into this, but it’s manageable.
also, all of these blogs are relevant for areas outside of columbus. they provide deals by store (target included), however they also provide links to free products, rebate forms, shopping tips and general thrify ideas. as for the store deals, it depends on what stores you have in your area… just check them out for yourself.
http://www.thriftyandchicmom.com/ – check out her coupon binder – this alone has saved me $$$! here is the direct link for it: http://www.thriftyandchicmom.com/search/label/Coupon%20Binder
the last blog i follow is 5 dollar dinners. i have found that a scheduled meal plan (we are trying out a monthly one right now) can significantly reduce spending. surprisingly, it is flexible because you plan meals knowing what you have in your house and you can flip meals around as needed within the month. this blog gives great recipes, helps with meal plans and has some overall great ideas for cutting food costs creatively.
i can personally share that using these resources has trimmed over 55% from our household budget. once our daughter is off of formula (2 months!), i think i can get it down another 15%. wish me luck!
one last thing i should note – we eat pretty healthy in our house. sure, chocolate covered pretzels go fast around here, but we try to have a few servings of fruit and veggies every day, drink lots of water and milk and most of our snacks are of the baked and reduced fat variety. with this new approach to shopping and spending, we have been able to actually do a better job of eating well — but we still have room in the budget for diet cherry coke and chocolate covered pretzels. Hmmm.. yum.
hopefully these help you as much as they have helped me.