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Monday, October 24, 2011

Save - Mother Earth & Grocery Bill

Well with all the saving going on in the world with Extreme Couponing on TLC, I decided that with so many kids that I had to give it a try. After all who am I not to try something new especially if it involves saving money. I have $250 per week budgeted to feed our family. That may sound like quite a bit but it does not buy much except the basics. This means cookies only once a week, and ice cream maybe once a month and only if on sale. So I did some research and found out that to be an effective couponer you should be getting one set of inserts, the coupons found in the paper, for each member of your family. This number rises if you have teens. Well since I have 6 teens I should be getting many more than the 11 recommended copies. Since I didn't want to waste any money in the beginning I only started with 10 copies of the paper for the first two weeks. I went home and cut and cut and cut. I enlisted the help of my husband and older kids and we all cut. I discovered quickly that stacking them very carefully would get the coupons cut out much quicker. By the 3rd week I was getting 15 copies of the coupons.

So I joined the most popular blogs I could find, my favorite being Krazy Coupon Lady and right from the first week started getting free stuff. By the 2nd week I discovered Couponmom.com which actually tells you how much you are saving by percentage. I learned that the grocery stores work on a 12 week cycle and if something is 65 or 70% or higher off the regular price that you should buy how much your family needs for a 3 month period because that is how long it will take for the item to be that price again.

So we are at the end of 4 weeks and I have a small stockpile built. We have 20 boxes of cereal, 15 boxes of toothpaste (all free), 9 shampoo, 4 conditioner, 30 hamburger helper .........

This week we are going on a trip for wrestling so we need all the money we have for the trip. So I decided to shop from my stockpile for meals and you wouldn't believe how much our food is for this week - $65. That's right and we are only having hamburger helper twice.

So I decided to carry this money saving venture over to our utilities. Everyone including my children want to save the planet but never want to save us money, so they could not see through my motives. So I found some information on saving the planet online. So we had a family meeting two weeks ago and told everyone that we wanted to do our part in saving water for the planet and saving electricity too. So we asked the girls to turn off the water in the shower while waiting for their conditioner, and asked the boys to shorten their shower by 2 minutes. Everyone started off by timing their normal shower. Well it is already paying off. We got our first monthly gas bill and it is $25 less, yeah!!! Let's hope the electric and water bill has dropped too.

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