This summer has brought some new adventures in my house... And I'm not talking about all the "firsts" that come with having a six month old boy around the house! Over the last six months I have had a lot of "free time" while sitting and feeding my son. But limited as to what I could do because I only had one hand free. So I got drawn into the fun aspects of internet games... Coinciding with having a new addition in the house, we started seeing a change in our finances. We have our monthly expenses budgeted out, and we started hitting our max in multiple categories. We re-arranged things several times, but still saw a need for something to give somewhere.
So we started praying for these two things: something more constructive for me to do furing some of the feedings, and as well as some way to start saving more money. God answered both things at once... online blogs, coupons, and deals to keep me busy and save us money! So here's some of what I have been learning...
1. Set up an email address to use only for couponing, blog updates, newsletters, etc... I use http://www.gmail.com/ for mine.
2. Find a few online deal/coupon blogs and primarily follow those (I'll share my fav's in the next post). Choose your absolute fav's and follow them... if you try to follow too many you'll get overwhelmed and spend more time online than you should. And a lot of the top blogs will be covering the same deals.
3. Think outside the box. I totally clip coupons for things I already use. But I figure if I already paid for the newspaper, or I'm already printing some coupons, clipping a few extra high-dollar ones to match with a great sale might pay off... and it definitely has already! I still buy primarily my favorite stuff, but I've bought some new brands because I got them at such a steal (like buying a different brand of razor blades when you can get them for a $5 pack for $.47, or even one for FREE)
4. My time is money. When I can take an hour to clip coupons that take $32 off my next grocery shopping trip, that's worth way more than what I could make at work. It's helping me to see ways I can contribute to our finances since we live on one salary! It's like working at home without having a boss! :-)
5. Learn the system. Find out the stores coupon policies and which stores do coupon doubling or price matching. Those things really pay off, too! Especially price matching... all you have to do is stuff the ads in your purse with you! No clipping required!
Ok, time to get the kiddo in bed. But I will write more again about my favorite blogs, and what places locally I find deals!