Jun 17, 2008

All this Frugal shopping and Coupons are paying off

I went online this morning to check my bank balance and my oh my, what do I see? About $200 more in my checking account than I would normally have this time of the month! And I still have about $250 on a Kroger gift card that I bought at the first of the month! By the 20th of the month, I normally have less than $100 in my household account. By George, all this coupon clipping and blog reading and CVS shopping is actually WORKING! Yippy Skippy!

In looking at where my money went this month, it is startling how little went to CVS and Walgreens, and yet I've made at least six trips there to pick up personal items (toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, deoderant), cleaning products (dishwashing soap, dishwasher soap, windex), and paper goods (toilet paper, paper towels). From my initial "investment" of $35 at CVS and $30 at Walgreens two months ago, I am now at the point where my out-of-pocket expense is usually under $2 for an average of $30 a month spending on items we use and need. And we are WELL stocked on personal items and paper goods at this point.

I currently have $9 in CVS money (ECB's) and $31 on a Walgreens gift card (rebates) and $6 in Walgreens Register Rewards. I'm making a trip to both places today to purchase Advil and Adavert (allergy med.) --enough to stock us up for the YEAR -- and I will pay no out-of-pocket money for either. Yeah baby.

On top of all this good frugal news, I checked my UPromise account today and now have over $100 in my grandson's college fund! I have NO idea what products or services contributes to that account -- I just registered my Kroger, CVS and debit card there, and the money is building by itself. For anyone not doing this, if you have kids or grandkids, do check it out. No affiliation. No membership fees, no bank information. It's all good.

My frugal mailbox adventure continues. Here's a photo of SOME of what I received this week in my mailbox. One 3.5 lb bag of cat food (this was a coupon rec'd), two bottles of mutli-vitamins, one sample of pull-up training diapers (yes, he's ALMOST ready -- we're in the "talking about it stage"), my first copy of Elle Decor magazine, 4 coupons for free cans of BumbleBee tuna plus 4 .50 cent off coupons for same, a sample of Jennifer Lopez perfume, a sample of Viva papertowels (I plan on keeping this packet in the car) and a sample of Excedrin (also for the car).

Not shown is my Good Housekeeping magazine (a free one year's subscription), a bottle of Gillette Body Wash, a Dove deoderant, and two paperback books -- one on 365 days of crafts for 2 yr to 5 yr olds, and one a book I want for leisurely summer reading -- and two DVD's.

Admittedly, it takes a lot of work to keep coupons and rebates and sale flyers and menu planning and reading blog postings organized to get this done. I would say I spend between 8 and 10 hours a week. And I did spend some money for this to help me out:

It is the Mother of all Coupon Organizers, purchased on Ebay. It makes matching up sale items to coupons SO much easier and quicker. I do NOT carry it to the grocery store with me, but pull out coupons for items on sale that I need, then take only those coupons to the store. For me, this prevents me from doing a lot of impulse buying, which is easy to do when you do coupons this extensively.

I've yet to tally up my spending, but I believe I have cut my grocery bill from my previous $140 a week to my target of $60 per week, with the benefit of having a well stocked linen closet with personal items and paper goods. That's $240 a month (ahhh - which accounts for the $200 extra in my household checking account -- so that makes sense!).

It's all good :)

1 comment:

Austin Chu said...

I'm totally inspired to start using coupons. I work for a company that manages online offers and savings, and I've recently been blogging about coupons and other ways to save money on savvywallet.com. I'm not sure if you've been using online coupons, but there are tons of websites out there. By the way, that shoe box organizer is awesome!