Sunday, January 18, 2009

My New Hobby

I have a new hobby. It's not that I NEED another thing to do, this just kinda happened. And it's good for our family, well, at least good for our budget.

Remember this story? The true one that The Colonel wrote about me almost 10 years ago now?? Well, I just thought I was frugal back then. I bought things on sale, I clipped a few coupons, I complained and got free stuff when service wasn't up to snuff.

But it was nothing like what I'm doing now. Back then, I never would have gotten all this...


Yes, I got 28 items (5 packages of TP, 3 pizzas, 10 2-liters of Coke products, bread, bananas, 2 packages of butterscotch chips, hummus, bacon, tomoatoes, croutons, pot roast seasoning, and mascara) all for TWELVE DOLLARS.

How did I do it? By watching the ads, clipping coupons (paper and online), taking advantage of store deals and brands...and by shopping smarter! All of these things are things I had to buy anyway - brands I always buy, but I just paid less, WAY less.

I don't know how it first happened. I was on a blog, and clicked on a link and clicked on another, and all of a sudden I found this whole other world. The world of coupons and freebies and discounts and spending LESS money! I've added at least 10 new blogs to my reader, all that have to do with being frugal.

Some of the things I've learned?

* Never pay for toothpaste, shampoo or toilet paper again - those 5 packages of Cottenelle I bought above? FREE - I didn't pay ONE penny for them. I had 5 $0.50 off one coupons, and my store (owned by Kroger) doubles coupons, so they were FREE! Now, I don't like using the drug store shampoo (makes my uber-expensive color fade too fast), so I'll have to suck it up and keep buying salon shampoo.

* Don't clip coupons out of the Sunday paper - save the whole insert! I used to clip coupons I thought I might use in the next few weeks, and then they'd expire before I used them. Now, I save the whole insert, watch the ads, and can buy things I might not have thought of before - but they're super cheap w/ the sale and a coupon.

*Take advantage of online coupons - you can either print out coupons online or there are a few websites where you can load coupons right to your grocery store card and the discounts come off automatically. Check out these websites for that:,, P&G eSaver

There are tons more tips and deals and info on these blogs...which have become some of my favorites to check daily, if not more frequently.

Deal Seeking Mom
Mommy Snacks
Money Saving Mom
The Grocery Cart Challenge
It's Hip 2 Save
Stretching a Buck
The New Frugal Mom

Some of these women share ideas and post together or post very similar things (i.e. weekly store deals), but that doesn't bother me. Seeing it more than once helps it sink in or reminds me to check out a good deal.

In this economy, these ideas are really helping us save money without giving up things we're used to. And it's helping me learn how to stock up my pantry for those weeks when I don't want to spend very much at all at the store. This has made a big difference to us lately, so I thought I'd share w/ all of you. Happy Saving!!


Eliza said...

Okay, you are amazing! I'm very impressed.

Meshellyn said...

It is SOOOOO addicting! I can't wait until I get to go shopping again tomorrow, lol! Good for you and good luck in the hunt!

Love Bears All Things said...

Thanks, Sally
I can use all the help I can get. I have put some of these in my favorites and will be checking them out.
Mama Baer

Agnes said...

I am impressed. I would like to save money, but I'm not sure I have the patience for this. Maybe I'll check it out...

Holly said...

that's really great! i'll definately check out those other blogs, i need all the help i can get.

abbagirl74 said...

Good for you! I have my way of saving money. I know what comes out in our ads almost a month before we run them. I plan my monthly/weekly shopping around that. I haven't really clipped coupons, but the ones I receive in the mail from my company, I take advantage of.

BTW... thanks for the business!

Marianne Thomas said...

Thanks for the link! I'm so glad that discovering the world of frugal/money saving blogs is helping you lower your bottom line!

All of the bloggers listed (myself included) really do love sharing how to save money with you and our readers. If you come by to visit and you have any questions, leave us a comment! We'll do our best to answer asap (or another reader may answer in the comments, too).

Happy savings!

Marianne @ The New Frugal Mom

Laura said...

Malachi asked to come see "thome pictures of his couthin"...then he saw the picture of your mascara and asked if it was a gun. Oh, boys. :)

Terri said...

very cool you frugal shopper you! Smart shopping will get you more time at home and not working! Keep it up.

Band of Brothers said...

You go girl! I am soooo proud of you! You put me to shame, and I thought I was turning over a new leaf!

HouseMama said...

You are doing an amazing job! I'm going to check out those websites-thank you!

Olive Oyl said...

I am so impressed. We are doing Dave Ramsey hardcore, so I need to really look into this coupon stuff and get myself organized. You inspire me!

Rach said...

Where do you shop that toilet paper is only a dollar?

Sally said...

My Kroger (which is Dillon's here) has the 4-pack regularly priced at $0.99, and they double coupons. So my $0.50 coupons (that I print off at or or double, and it's FREE!