Thursday, March 1, 2012

Money Saving March

Happy March!
My husband & I have decided to challenge ourselves and see how little we can actually spend this month.  If you're looking to save money, you may be pleasantly surprised with how much pennies saved can add up!  Here's some things we're trying out:
  • Set a goal.  When my husband decided he wanted a MacBook Pro, we decided to work for it.  Since we don't have spare money lying around, I challenged him to help in the budgeting process.  Any irregular income (selling items on E-bay, mileage reimbursement for work, birthday money, etc.) will go toward the MacBook fund, and until we can gather all of that money (tax included!) we will wait.  
  • Coupons, coupons, coupons!  There are so many coupons we get in the mail, and living in a big city gives us many options where we choose to buy our products or get our service.  Other websites I frequent for coupons include:
  • Smart shopping. 
    • One of the tricks to smart shopping is time management.  Leaving enough time in your schedule to save money will be worth it.  We have chosen 3 grocery stores based on pure savings, fuel perks, and convenience.  I shop at Aldi for all things canned, bagged, and available.  On the way home, I swing by Meijer which is practically in our backyard and pick up all other items (using Meijer perks).  Lastly, I go to Giant Eagle for gift cards to restaurants, clothing retailers, and much more earning fuel perks along the way!
    • Every week, I write a shopping list & stick to it.  By only buying those items you need, you will really impress yourself with the $ total at the checkout.
    •  Plan your recipes wisely by finding multiple meals using the same ingredients.
  • Set a budget.  We looked to Dave Ramsey's site for a few budget worksheets and ideas but ultimately, it's up to you and what your family's expenses are.  For example, we're trying to save for a house so we have decided to spend much less on housing now and increase our savings for a down-payment.
I'll be sure to keep you updated throughout the month to let you know how the savings add up!

I challenge you to find new ways to save, and share them with me!

March Grocery Trip #1 -- Saved $8.38 shopping at Aldi
As you can see, I bought all my canned and packaged items from Aldi and saved!  Because Aldi only offers one brand for each item, I was in and out of the store within 25 minutes and finished my grocery shopping for the week in just over an hour (including price comparison hunting)... definitely worth the savings!  If I can save this much each week, in just 6 weeks I'll have saved over $50 in grocery store selection alone.

Believe it or not, I don't just eat canned tomatoes for lunch every meal - my 13 canned tomato purchases will serve to make spaghetti sauce and lasagna soup this week... yum!

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