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 thegrocerygame.com 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.