With all this talk about the economy being so terrible, grocery prices going up, gas prices going up, etc., etc., I thought we could discuss what we're doing to make our dollars stretch to meet the budget (or "spending plan," in case you don't like the word "budget.")
Here's a couple of things we're doing...
Potty-training Daniel and Sarah... never mind that Sarah is only 14 months old and isn't walking yet - I'm sure the girl can use the potty and save us all those $$ we spend on diapers! OK, I'm just kidding, but we are working on Daniel, and that will help!
Using E-mealz... Seriously, I should have thought of this before they did - I'm sure I could have made a fortune! Subscribe to E-mealz ($15 for 3 months - use the coupon code "Dave" for a discount) and get a week's worth of menus, complete with grocery lists, every week! Just log on and print them off. Take it to the store and you have a PLAN for your week's meals and you have all of the groceries on hand! The best part is, if you live near a Kroger or Publix (or a few others that I don't live near), they tailor the menus to whatever is on sale that week. Very cool. Unfortunately, I don't live near either of those, so I have tried the Wamart menus and the Aldi menus. Currently, I'm using the Aldi menus, and the meals have been great! I'm using Aldi because the grocery list for seven dinners runs between $50 and $65, which is pretty good. I can usually make the seven dinners last for two weeks, so that fits nicely into my budget.
This takes on various forms. I buy the Indy Star every Sunday (when it has coupons, that is). I used to cut all of the coupons out and use them when the products were on sale at stores like Meijer and Kroger who would triple coupons. Some of the stores have changed their policies and I've found a way that I like a little better because it takes less time. Now I check out the Grocery Gathering at BeCentsAble for stores like CVS and Walgreens. Contributors from various blogs list the deals for the week, complete with links to printable coupons and a list of coupons that match the sale items from the weekly paper. When I'm completely organized with my coupons, I put them in file folders for each week so that I can find what the blogs mention. That doesn't always happen, but it's my goal!
Here's an example for this week, since Sarah is refusing to be potty trained (hee, hee), I still have to buy diapers. CVS has Playskool diapers on sale this week - Mega pack for $10.99. An online site has a printable coupon for $2 off per pack. I got a coupon from the coupon printer at CVS today for $4 off any $20 Playskool purchase. I can use two of the $2 coupons along with the $4 coupon (that's called "stacking" in coupon-ese). That means I can get two Mega packs for about $14. I currently have about $22 in Extra Bucks from CVS - those are coupons you can use like cash for anything in the store. You can earn them every week on various products - the Grocery Gathering will tell you all about it! Anyway, I can use $12 in Extra Bucks for my diapers so I can get them for about $2! They would regularly be $29.98. The best deals are the ones where I can earn Extra Bucks back when I spend them, but that's not always the case.
Walgreens doesn't require you to have a store card like CVS does. We don't have one in town, so I don't go there as much as CVS. They offer register rewards instead of Extra Bucks - still worthwhile. They also offer products every month that are completely free after rebate.
What are you doing to save money?