My thinking of what is cheap or even better freap has slowly been changing since May when I started back at couponing. My problem or pit fall I fell into was that if it was cheap I would buy it. Now dont get me wrong I was up to saving 70% but I was spending over my budget. Now this has allowed me to get a nice stash but this cant keep continuing.
I have set a goal to live out of our stash for this semester. Which was originally middle of December 2011. But I had to switch schools so my semester now doesnt start until Oct 24 2011 so the end will be Feb 2012. So it will be at least until Feb. 2012. The upside here is that because I built up a nice stash I can have our family live off of it. I am happy to report that in the last 2 weeks by only buying what is cheap or free I have amped up my savings to 80-93% off!!! Here are somethings I have started doing or deals I found.......
We needed milk. We were completely out! I rant o Fry's to do a run while Kyle was in school. They had the Shamrock Calcium Plus on Managers special for .99 (this milk is $3-4) it was on sale cause the date was close. But hey for .99 milk!!! It had 4 days until the date. And they had peelies for .25 off (Frys brings all coupons to $1) I scored FREE milk!!! Even better yet is that they also had Chocolate Milk. Now we only got that about half gone before it went bad, but it was ok cause it was free!!! We are still drinking on that milk. That is 4-5 days worth of milk for FREE!!!! I also scored free raspberries! A .49 birthday present for my mom (ocean Spray Sparkling Drink). I also got 2 free Sunny D, 4 free body wash, 2 free powerades, 4 free marinades. I even got an $8 Christmas present for Kyle for 50% off.......the best part was that I had $12 in Register Reward from Walgreens. Now when you use these at Fry's be prepared to nicely "educate" your cashier and even manager. The cashier saw the big ol "Walgreens" printed and immediately dismissed them. I dont think so......that was $12!!!!! So even after I pointed out that it say MANUFACTURER and had a remit to and the companies name on it he still wouldnt take it.......So I was BOLD and BRAVE and SCARED......I said please call a manager cause I have used them here and it is right that I can. (even says so in their coupon policy). So he called over a manager that I had already had to "educate" and the manager started to say no, hey hold on buddy I thought.......However, I nicely said, "Well they work and You yourself has checked me out and taken them before. He then tells the cashier to go ahead and scan it because it will work.....hello! Couldnt we have just done this in the first place. The store gets reimbursed for them. So what I am saying is dont be faint of heart. Fight for your money!!!! My out of pocket on this shopping trip (picture below) was only $6.18!!!! I saved $83!
Another thing I have done all started with a coupon for free tortillas.....my eyes lit up, they glistened with the happiness this brought me!!! We eat tortillas and my freezer stash was gone, out, depleted......I called my mom but she didnt get the same mailer.....so I did the unthinkable. There was laughing and name calling, ok well that came from the husband. I went and looked through the garbage can by the mailboxes!! Well I scored THREE more coupons. I didnt dumpster dive, this one wasnt big enough to get in....I simply looked in and "caught" some papers......ha ha ha But hey it got me 4 completely free packages of tortillas that are normally over $2 each. But it got me thinking and yes I get the laughs and name calling 2-3 times a week. This week it scored me 2-3 extra coupon inserts......things I would normally pay for.
I reuse cereal and cracker bags. Why not? Not only is it good for my budget but for the environment. Something crazy like over a million plastic bags are thrown out every DAY. I use this bags for Shake N Bake (which I know make myself), marinating, storing cookies when I bake, left over biscuits, etc. They are food safe and some of the a very sturdy!!!
I was committed to this idea when I had it. But I have since found out that in switching schools my fees for this semester increased about $600. So this is NOT on option at least until February this must be a way of life. I really dont want any more student loans. But my dream and goal is to finish school and go on to a University. If this means I must become a thrifty gal, reuse things and gasp even "small garbage" container dive then I will. Because I know in the long run it will be worth it and that we will benefit from all this sacrifice!
So that is about all for now.......