Thursday, February 3, 2011

Saving Money II

In November 2010 I began my post "Saving Money" and told you about some of the things we do to save money. Since then I have continued my couponing. A comment on the last post asked me to tell my secrets.

1. I get the Sunday paper (from the quarter machine that way I am not causing anyone to work on Sunday!)
2. I cut out all of the coupons and keep the ones I will use. Then I share my left overs with Sandy, a friend from church and the moms at gymnastics.
3. I keep a binder with card protectors where I organize the coupons I plan to use.
4. This is probably the most important: I use a website called Southern Savers. Jenny (the author) posts weekly adds for several stores and pharmacies. What she does is match sales with coupons. She also references printable coupons for the sale items as well. I have also heard another good website to use is this one you have to pay for (that is why I don't use it - the whole point is to save money not spend it. Though the users claim they save way more by using it).5. If an item seems to never be on sale and there aren't coupons for them I usually buy them from Wal-Mart once per month (otherwise I never go in the store).

Sure it is work but it is rewarding and I have fun doing it.

Another money saver is using less laundry detergent than "suggested." Ryan came home and referenced an article he read in the New York Times. We read the article together and it said we should use 1/4 the recommended amount of laundry detergent between loads. It suggests that the detergent builds up and that also contributes to the fading issue. Shortly after reading the article we put the suggestion to a test and sure enough our clothes are clean and smell good.

I have actually been making my own baby food. This is something I never thought I would do because of the amount of time required and since I didn't know anything about it I had to do a lot of reading too. I read that I was going to need a steamer and a food processor - this started to discourage me a bit because I didn't want to have to purchase those items just to make baby food for 6-9 months. So, I decided to steam the old fashioned way - in a pot, on the stove. I then used my handy little chopper (a gift from years ago cost $10). Taaadaaaa homemade baby food. Guess what, Elysse prefers mine to Gerber! (I do buy peas, beans and prunes those are hard to do without a food processor.)

I can hardly believe I am about to say this last part.... I am considering buying and using cloth diapers. I have a stock of diapers for the time being so I don't have to make a decision too quickly. Before Nathan was born I decided cloth was the way to go. I bought a bunch and was ready to go. He was born and the darn things were so big there was NO way they would work for him. Well, cloth diapers have come a long way in the past 6 years. I have friends that use and prefer cloth diapers (for cost and environmental reasons) and they make it look simple. There are a few reasons I am on the fence #1 should I really make the switch for the last child? #2 isn't it going to be inconvenient? #3 is it going to make the house stink...yes, I know there are special wet bags for this kind of thing but it just seems like it is going to stink #4 how much money am I really going to save? Right now I am thinking that I will do it but when the diaper stock begins to dwindle I may chicken out.


Carrie said...

Coupons are the best! I love to shop and don't have the money to do it, so grocery shopping is one of my favorite things to do now.
I have 10% off at Bi-Lo tomorrow (since I work there) so my big Friday night plans are making my game plan for tomorrows big stock up. I will let you know how I do. Only another coupon person can really appreciate the savings. :)
I made Jake's baby food too. I used my blender since I didn't have a food processor. I remember when he got bigger I would take leftover spaghetti (pasta and meat sauce) and put it in the blender. He LOVED it!

Ruth said...

Let me know how the cloth diaper thing goes if you decide. I have a friend that uses them, but I'm not convinced yet. I would like to look into it though.

Ruth said...

Oh, and I love my food procesor! We have a cuisinart and I think it's one of the best things we have in the kitchen. We make sauces, hummus, cashew cream, and chop stuff with it. It's another appliance, but we decided it was worth it. You could probaby find some used ones if you ever get to a point of feeling like you really need one.

Alex said...

I am still not convinced about coupons. I have always used them, but never find ones I need and only end up saving like $2 out of $200. Am I not doing it right or what?

Alex said...

BTW, this is Christi, not Alex, if you didn't already figure that one out!

tempppo said...

Always a fun read here. Just a word on food processor -- I was given a really great raw food recipe book and I am surprised at how good the recipes taste. So if you get that food processor, look into some raw recipes. You might get a pleasant surprise.

Kathy said...

I love your blog and almost feel like a stalker as I have faithfully read it for over a year. I'm not much for comments because I prefer talking BUT since you are in primary now....thanks for the coupons!! I save lots!!! xoxoxo

Bryan and Emily said...

Wow Tonya, I am impressed. I was very into coupling before Ivy and Maya were born, but haven't found time to keep it up. I need to get back to it though because I just realized we are down to our last tube of free toothpaste. Vie done my own baby food this round though and found it very gratifying, healthy and fun. I once considered cloth diapers. But I drew my line there. You will have to let us all know what you decide. I'm not sure I'd do it for my last child, especially this far into the game. Maybe it would make me more motivated to potty train early though :