Thursday, April 16, 2009

My New Passion

I can't remember how it all started but a couple months ago I decided to see how much we could cut down on spending. Mainly with eating out and groceries/household items. It's funny to me how now that I stay at home (and don't teach preschool) it's so easy to meet a friend at Chick fil A or the mall to play (and eat) frequently...or go out with friends after church on Sunday. Oh...and for those of you who know me well know that I LOVE to get large caffeine free diet coke at least once a week! When I really thought about how much money we have wasted on this stuff over the years it literally made my stomach feel sick. Well ALL has changed in the Barbour house! We are striving at only eating out ONCE a month (and even then using coupons). We talked to the kids about it too and just how blessed we are that we get to have the privilege to eat at restaurants at all! They were totally on board and haven't complained once! They even want to pick the place we go out each month. We still meet friends at fast food places but now we bring our food, save money, and save our health!
Along with saving on eating out, I've become a 'couponer'. I always thought that even with a coupon on name brand items it would be more expensive than buying store brand. Sometimes that can be true but when you can double up on coupons and things are on sale...OH MY WORD!! This honestly gets my heart racing! I have gotten SO many things for free lately and really cheap that I can no longer keep quiet about it:)! The only thing I did buy was a Sunday paper subscription in order to get more coupons, but the internet is FULL of printable coupons!! Brian was skeptical at first and didn't want to spend the money on the paper...until my third shopping trip:). He is now a believer and has seen in one month of our budget that we are saving. Everytime I come home from a shopping trip I'm SO excited to tell Brian how much I spent (and saved)! I have already paid for the paper and a ton over with my coupon savings. Before coupons we spent $300 a month on groceries. My goal is to get to $100-$150:)!! I realize this sounds crazy and it will take a while to get there but that's why it's a GOAL. We spend the most money on produce and milk...things that we can't get around. We always buy produce on sale but my kids eat a salad every night (that they ask for) and at least 3 fruits each a day! It's going to be the hardest thing for me to get around but I won't sacrifice produce or the amount of milk they drink.
The biggest thing I've learned so far is just because something is really cheap doesn't mean you have or need to get it. I bought a TON of fruit snacks (20 cents each box) and the kids don't eat them that much. The great thing is that I will either donate them or use them in the many activities the kids are involved in when it's our turn to bring snack. Oh..and this takes time and dedication. It's becoming easier each day but it really is like a job because I am constantly looking for coupons or printing them off each day. I love this job of saving money though and everytime I check out at the grocery store I am SO excited!!

shopping trip to Target today:$15.00

This is the first time I've taken a picture of the savings and probably won't do it again but I wanted to show how much you can save!


The Hilemans said...

I am a hearty believer in coupon shopping - so GO HEATHER! :) I used to send grocery receipts to our parents when we first got married to show them how much I would save in a week with coupons. When I was little I used to complain and think it was so lame that when a friend would come over to play my mom would often make us cut out coupons for her. I guess it was good training!

Nan said...

Way to go!

Laura said...

you know, as I think about it, it seems strange that you've never done this before:) And I know how you throw yourself into something with your WHOLE heart so I know you are doing great at this! You may just make a believer out of me....maybe!