After reworking our budget for the millionth time, I became frustrated with our grocery and household expenses. It felt like we were CONSTANTLY running out of things and waiting until the next week to stock up again. Or worse -- we would run out to the corner drugstore and spend more than anticipated for milk or catfood or whatever.
I had tried clipping coupons, but gave up in a few months. As with most things, I knew that SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE knew more than me and I determined to search the internet under the tags of frugal living, coupons, and strategic shopping.
Lo and behold, I was right! In fact, there were lots of people that knew more than me. They rarely ran out of stuff and almost never paid full price for anything. I had found my tribe!
After reading up on all the cool strategies, I determined to make small changes. Baby steps, right? For me, here's how it all transpired:
1. Wrote out our basic weekly menu. Listed ALL ingredients needed.
2. Determined how much of a stockpile I wanted to build.
3. Organized pantry to accommodate growing stockpile.
4. Began by shopping at Aldi (here's the link to my 4-week shopping plan)
5. Subscribed HERE for 70% off the Sunday paper.
6. Filed coupon inserts by date -- did not clip anything until needed.
7. Joined CVS Extra Care program.
8. Looked for SALE and COUPON match-ups on my favorite frugal blogs (see side bar for list)
9. Began to shop the sales and "cherry-pick" the deals. Budget started to loosen!! Aldi list became smaller as I started to get several items each week for pennies on the dollar by using the sale/coupon match-ups.
10. Checked frugal websites daily for online deals and printable coupons.
11. STOPPED BUYING shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, etc. because I knew that I could get it FREE with CVS weekly or monthly deals and with grocery sales/coupon match-ups. (Crazy, isn't it?)
12. Started giving stuff away weekly because we have more than we could ever use. (unless I find another use for toothpaste)
13. Friends started asking how I did it. When I tried to explain all the little steps, I became overwhelmed at the many details. Decided to blog about it instead, so friends could digest a little at a time.
14. And here I am!
Hope that helps any of you who are looking to get started with all this. Let me know if you have any other questions. I'm always glad to help!