Sunday, November 4, 2012

frugal. or something.

When I was unemployed I ROCKED at coupons. Seriously – I had a mad stockpile of tampons, razors and toothpaste. I would save more than $50 each grocery trip and generally felt awesome because I could get diapers for so cheap sometimes I felt like I was ripping the store off.  I was also awesome at meal planning when I was home to actually make a meal.

But using coupons and checking sales, it’s all kind of a lot of work. and I basically just ran out of time/energy/ambition to keep doing it when I started working full time again.  Meal planning has also pretty much gone out the window.  We were doing pretty good at first, but with the insanity that is our lives and schedules these days, it was the first thing to get forgotten.

Also, we discovered the magic of Aldi’s. So I was still saving on food but my razor supply quickly diminished. And we didn’t need diapers anymore, so that wasn’t a big deal.

But now we are out of razors, the tampon supply will need to be up and running again before I care to admit and we really should start stockpiling diapers & wipes again because we will be changing a little itty bitty baby bootie again in less than 90 days!

I love a good sale. And a coupon. But I don’t love the work that goes with preparing to use the coupons with the good sales.

Do you have a good method to this madness? A particularly quick and dirty way to match up what you need with what’s on sale and what you have a coupon for? I am mainly interested in toiletries, paper products, and baby stuff – food sales are always good, but you know, Aldi’s rocks so I rarely head anywhere else.  CVS is my usual go-to with RiteAide in second place. And Target on occasion (for this stuff, Target is not a rare occasion generally speaking).

And with Christmas coming up faster than I choose to admit, I will be looking for some awesome frugal gift ideas. And you know, any awesome frugal-ness that has developed since the last time I had a little itty bitty baby living in my house is also appreciated!  I also need to know how people keep up with the whole meal planning thing – we aren’t big meat eaters and frozen meals are not really our friends – which I suppose could be part of the problem with that whole process!


Deborah said...

I have a friend who is absolutely amazing at finding deals. It's like a hobby for her, and she always has the coolest stuff for little money. Me, I clip coupons when I happen to see them, and do price-comparisons when I'm actually in the store. But as for shopping around or anything too time-consuming, I never seem to get around to it. I have taught J, though, so when we're in the supermarket and he sees something he wants for a treat, he asks me "is this on sale?" ;)

My deal-finding friend told me about a flea market that sells brand-new toys for cheap, so I may try that for the upcoming holidays.

alison said...

I've completely fallen off my savings wagon. I could have written this post. :) I want to get in the habit of Sunday night... something. Like coupon clipping and organizing for the week. That's when I'm feeling most productive at home. But then there's the actual running to all of the stores to GET the things on sale. I can do CVS/Walgreens but then I'm out of energy before we even have groceries. I need to get back on the wagon!

JJ said...

Im in the same boat - Ive fallen way off the savings wagon - and its been all about whats convenient - and with the holidays coming up and constant medical bills, Ive got to do SOMETHING! You reminded me that Aldis is a good option - and I guess going back to looking at Sunday clippers and waiting for the right deal to hit!

seussgirl said...

This won't help if you mostly get your food from Aldi, but our grocery store has an online ad that let's you build a shopping list. I try to do that and my coupon clipping in the same sitting so I have a quick sense of what's on sale with the bonus of a coupon. I also have a pretty good sense of what a "normal" price is on something so I know when it is worth stocking up. If I find a good sale on chicken or beef, I cook large quantities of it at once and freeze just the meat in small quantities to make meals out of later. Just having 1-lbto containers of pre-cooked hamburger can make for super easy meal nights - tacos, spaghetti, baked spaghetti, sloppy joes, or any beef casserole you normally make from scratch.

Chlesey said...

I can totally identify, so not much help in that department. If you've ever watched "Extreme Couponers" on TLC it's legit, like a full time job. Obviously the average shopper is best off targeting specific items like you've mentioned and focusing their energy. Mostly because i'm lazy, I like shopping at Costco for such items that I need to stockpile. But beware! Make a list before you go and stick to it. They really do have great procucts a reasonable cost when you comparison shop, but they really get you on that impulse buy. My rule of thumb is if it's not on my list and/or in the Costo coupon book it DOES NOT go in my cart.

Photogrl said...

I'm not good with coupons, not enough time to figure it all out.

But Aldi's...I *puffy heart* Aldi's!

As for meal planning, I try to sit down at the end of the month and write out a monthly dinner calendar. At least one day a week is a crockpot meal, and I leave one day a week (usually Sat) blank so that if I need to move a meal around, or I have a lot of leftovers from the week. It just seems to help to have an idea for the day in the morning, you know?