Saturday, October 9, 2010

the frugal, bargain hunting, coupon loving mom

i love a good deal. 

"buy one get one free"
"half off"
"free"
"bargain bin"
"$1"
"10 for $10"
"clearance"
"temporary price reduction"
"sale price"

these are signs that rule my shopping experience!  plus, i am a coupon fiend.
i love when you register for baby stuff at target, they continuously send you great coupon deals.  i love free samples that send you coupons in the mail.  i love when the local grocery store sends out a monthly coupon booklet full of great stock up items and savings.

i figured i would share a bit of my newfound knowledge on having a family and having fun on a budget.
grocery shopping is a total pain in the butt.  everything is so expensive.  meat is not cheap (and we are a family of meat eaters), cereal isnt cheap, fruits and veggies aren't cheap... but i found some great ways to save without needing a costco membership (which is also handy by the way for some other things).

MEAT- occasionally they have family packs, discounted prices, and massive sales.  this is when i stock up - even if i dont need it right away.  we got a deep freezer just for this reason.  holidays are also a great time to stock up on meat. tons of things are on sale around the holidays.
FROZEN STUFF- i really don't eat a lot of frozen things just because i like fresh fruits and veggies BUT.... again we have a deep freezer for things like pizza (who doesn't just want a frozen pizza sometimes because it's quick and easy and cheaper than getting papa johns?), tator tots and juice.
a lot of times those cans of juice will be $1 each and while we aren't big juice drinkers, occasionally the craving hits and it's cheaper than a $3 bottle.
PANTRY ITEMS- my favorite time to stock up on these items is around holidays.  thanksgiving, christmas, and easter especially.  very BASIC BASIC things suddenly are CHEAP like butter, flour, sugar, stuffing mix, soups, stocks, chips, crackers.... i think i still have 2 boxes of stuffing that haven't expired yet because they were a dollar a box around christmas. 
baby food when it's on sale and i have coupons is a double savings for me!  my dear sweet audrey just eats and eats and eats... so, target occasionally will have jarred food and cereal on sale and gerber sends me coupons and i get target coupons, so when these items go on sale, i use the coupons and sale prices to save big!

a lot of savings come from having a watchful eye.  i don't buy halloween candy until right near halloween because it's cheaper then.  i get a lot of cleaning supplies and pens and stuff around the end of august when parents are out getting school supplies.  i pay attention to where i get the best deals and where i get USEFUL store coupons.  i learned the hard way that just because i have a coupon for it, doesnt mean i have to buy it....when i see things i know i will use eventually on sale, i have to remember a few key points:
- does it have a long shelf life?
- do i really need it right now?
-if i wait, will it get marked down any more or will it go back to normal price?

so, hope that helps.  i'm still learning how to budget with a josh, a baby, and a cat.  we all have our likes and dislikes and all need to eat and be clothed.  clothes are a whole other story... i'm still not that great with clothes shopping and staying on budget.... but at least with food and cleaning supplies, i'm getting there.

being a new mom is a total learning process....

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