Once again, I am so glad that I started this challenge. My husband found a “reduction of force” card in his pay check yesterday. Basically it means that he was laid off. The production on the building he is working on is at a stand still because of some parts that are back ordered, so they have no work to do, sooooo they laid some people off.
Thankfully, he is a licensed teacher, which means he has been able to sub for a couple days. He also got an offer to work on another project. He contracted out for 40 hours of work there, and then him and the boss will decide if it’s a good fit or not.
It’s frustrating to me because here I thought we were finally done with the “poor college student” phase. I guess I just have to modify that to the “poor” phase since we can no longer claim to be college students. It’s okay though. We have been praying a lot lately to know where we are supposed to be and what my husband should be doing for his career, and I know that Heavenly Father has bigger plans for us. It just may take a little longer for me to get that car…
But, we have been doing really well with our cash only thing. I still want to call it a diet, but I don’t want you guys to think that I eat money… because that would be a huge waste. Although it would probably be a high fiber diet, right?
Anyway, I only slipped up once, when I bought P90X because it was a SUPER good deal from Tanga.com, but it doesn’t count. Why does it not count? Because they refunded me my money when the realized they couldn’t fill the orders for some reason… But, if you haven’t searched around their website, you should. It is seriously awesome. They even have free stuff, all you do is pay shipping. Right now they have free stainless steal rings and free ear buds. Okay, never mind, they changed it. They now say the shipping is free, and the item is five dollars. Same difference.
So because they refunded me the money, I figure that I’m 100% on this cash only challenge. I know that we have spent MUCH less money than we normally do. I wish I had sure numbers so I could prove it, but I don’t.
Because of this challenge, I have had LOADS of advice from other people about how to save money. It has been so AWESOME. I love when people give me advice. I love to learn from others who know so much more than I do. I thought that it would be nice for me to pass some of their advice on to you!
Start a price book
What is a price book? I thought you might ask that. A price book is a notebook, or document on your phone, or big piece of paper, or excel document, or whatever you want to keep it on, that keeps track of “good” prices for normal items you buy. I know you have had that experience where something is “on sale” but you don’t know if it’s really a good
price or not. This helps you to know
when you are getting a good deal. I am working on mine right now and plan on doing a post entirely on this subject at some point in the future. There are some that are already done for you online, like this on wral.com
, but prices are so dependent on your area that I really suggest you doing your own. It might take a few hours to get it completely set up, but you can do it a little at a time instead of all at once. And, that few hours will save you thousands
of dollars in the long run.
I used to hate coupon shoppers (sorry, Tanya and Jeanette, I still love you guys… just other coupon shoppers…:)). I hate that they take up so much time in the lines and the spend all this time going from store to store and I don’t know why that bugs me, but it does. I figured out a way, however, to make coupon shopping work for me without filling my shelves with boxes and boxes of fruit snacks (I don’t care if they were free.)
So, here is what I do. I make my list for the month of everything I need to buy, and THEN I look for coupons. I know a lot of people will say that’s dumb, you should make your list based on the coupons, but then I know I would end up paying way more for the food that is 50 cents off if I buy twenty six of them than I would without coupons at all. And, I don’t order 17 Sunday papers. I just use the internet. I go to places like Redplum.com
, and get the same coupons that would be in the paper. This saves me time and
money. I don’t end up getting $418.43 worth of groceries for $17.93, but I do save money off of what I normally would have spent. Sometimes its $10, sometimes it’s $2, but it’s something. And, I only use them at Walmart, for the most part. Walmart will price match and take other people’s coupons, so unless a different grocery store is have an AMAZING sale, I just stick to Walmart. Maybe one day when my kids don’t take up an entire shopping cart by themselves I change my strategy, but for now, this is my plan.
Plan out every purchase
Don’t buy things on an impulse. You don’t need that super awesome thing that is in the end cap of every isle. If it’s not on your list, don’t buy it. My husband and I don’t buy anything over $50 without talking to the other person and really thinking about if it’s worth it. In the past, we have done a “wish list.” The way that worked is if either of us wanted something over $50, we would write it on that list. In 30 days, if we still wanted that item, and we could afford it, we’d get it. Most of the time we decided in that 30 days that we really didn’t want that item as bad as we thought we did.
So, to recap, my three tips for today are
- start a price book
- use coupons
- plan out every purchase
Now, it’s your turn. What do you guys do to save money?
Any more advice for me? (I really do love to hear it)
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