Friday, November 8, 2013

The Art Of Couponing

And I am serious when I say "art." Wow, hats off to all the people that save their households hundreds of bucks every month. It is so foreign to me but in an effort for me to be serious about a budget, I am trying. All I know is that on Sunday I need to purchase 1 copy of the Oregonian and steal 3 more. I am the type of couponer that will sit down, cut out about 2 coupons that apply to me and then either forget them at home or lose them in my purse when I go to make my purchase. Then, I buy the items anyway because I am out and so it goes...you get the picture. I have been trying to be very respectful of our budget and if you can believe it, actually seeing results and it is exciting. I wish I had done better in the past and I have certainly learned my lesson. I have tailored my spending dramatically in an effort again, to be conscientious of how much I spend on junk and stuff we really don't need. In the past it wasn't uncommon for me to drop 600 bucks a month at Target with money I didn't have. Can you imagine how many people 600.00 would feed?? Now I have it to about 50.00. For me, that is huge progress. Movies all come from the library as do all our books, magazines and an extra Kindle for the kids to use. Clothes all come from Goodwill as do home furnishings and if you have never been to a Portland Goodwill you are so missing out. Awesome! Plus, it creates a style all your own because it isn't all the same trendy crap out on the market. True Religion jeans? Like 15 bucks. They go for 150.00 on EBay. For 3 kids we spent 20.00 on pretty amazing Halloween costumes. We made it back in the amount of candy the kids got :) I changed auto insurance companies and now pay half of what I used to. Boo Farmers Insurance, by the way. With the savings, I paid off an old bill that was becoming an albatross around the neck. I dye my own hair and that is a joke all on it's own and probably looks like crap but hey, it is an all natural product from Italy, sold at Whole Foods for 14.00 and lasts 2 months. Ok, I admit my hair has probably seen better days but it feels good to save the 80 plus spent at my hair stylist. I go to Grocery Outlet for all my face creams, etc.. because they carry organic products for half the cost. Oh and you can get wine there for like 3 bucks. The one vice I am still working on (actually there are probably more that have yet to be revealed) is my Starbucks habit. Slow, slow progress there. I did better today though because I went to Peet's and saved 20 cents but practically threw up from the nasty taste of their coffee. Some things are just worth the extra expense, I guess. Anyway...back to the coupons....All told I have saved about 100.00 in couponing from the past 2 months. So much of what we have is made from scratch so a lot of coupons don't apply to me but it sure is nice to see the savings when I can. For major couponers 100 bucks is pretty much a joke but I know they would all agree you have to start somewhere. My approach to saving money in ways I can have been liberating as I work to release myself from things I thought I had to have (minus the coffee.) Limiting the excess if you will. In the past I would buy new things to replace the ones I still hadn't finished so I really have to discipline myself to finish a product first before trying a new fun one - unless there is some crazy sale or whatever. Well, just my musings for today and just sharing a lesson I am slowly learning but grateful for the grace that is coming from working on it. Lots more to learn but that is all part of the journey!

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