Monday, May 23, 2011

Living For Less

Two years ago, one of my closest friends Amy introduced me to a life of frugality and couponing.  Don't get me wrong-- I've always been cheap.  My family has teased me for years about my penny pinching tendencies.  And, no matter how much money I have saved our family, my husband still rolls his eyes and laughs when I become giddy over finding lost change in a store parking lot.  The way I see it money is money-- even if it's just a lucky penny.  I have good ol' Ben Franklin to thank for that. 

While I still consider myself somewhat of an amateur compared to some couponers-- I smile a little bit when I remember days that my husband and I have walked out of our local grocery store with cart loads full of free (name brand) groceries.  Can anyone really argue the coolness of that?  It takes some work, and some education but in my experience even as a very busy, working mom-- saving the money has been worth it when you are working to put your husband through grad school while also saving for your first home.  Absolutely worth it.

Recently Amy posted a blog with a list of items that you should NEVER ever have to buy once you become a couponer.  I can attest to the truth of this list.  So here it is.  If you want to save a ton of money on staple household necessities here are some freebies you can stock up and eliminate out of your budget.  
What We Don't Spend $ On
1. Shampoo, Body wash, Conditioner, toothpaste, floss, and deodorant (thank you CVS!)
2. Bottled Water or drinks at a restaurant  (thank you tap water and reusable water bottles)
3. Car Payments (all of our cars have been given to us and we plan to buy all future cars in cash)
4. Cable or Netflix (thank you hulu and redbox)
5. Texting Joel's employer pays for his texting & I use the texting app (it saves us $240/year!)
6. Starbucks (Joel packs his own coffee when he has work meetings there)
7. Green Beans and Tomatoes (my grandparents and my mom graciously cans these for us every year from their garden)
8. Gym memberships (we both like running which is practically free)
9. Interest we have zero debt
10. Magazine Subscriptions who needs to pay for them when companies offer them for free!
11. Lunch Out We are brown baggers...or reusable lunch container packers--we try to be green.

For now, here are some blogs that have helped me out tremendously since becoming a bargain shopper.

Money Saving Mom

So here's to living frugal, to saving money and to putting those extra pennies somewhere worthwhile.  I hope that the tips and ideas from me (and my blogger friends) in the coming days can be as helpful to you as they have been for me. 


  1. I would recommend giving another thought to Netflix. For $10 a month, you can stream all the instant videos you want and have one DVD out at a time. As an added bonus, you don't have to waste time and money returning the DVD and if you run out of time to return it the next day, you don't have to pay extra per day you keep it. Plus, the library is much more extensive than what your local Redbox carries and you don't have to wait in line (which is a huge problem at ours!). We dumped cable a while ago and Netflix and Hulu make us feel like we've not given anything up in exchange for the HUGE savings.

    Another great blog is