Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Get Everything You Need and Not Pay For It: Part 2 - Allowance

The biggest thing you can do to save money is give yourself an allowance. I don't like the word "budget." It sounds too much like "butt." So I call it an allowance. My grocery allowance is $50 a week.

Doesn't sound like much does it? But do I look like I'm starving? Does Brian?
**Sidenote: Jasper has a separate allowance for his formula and food, but I shop around for the best prices on that also.

Then I make my grocery list. I almost always need eggs, bread, diet Coke, lunch meat, hot dogs, etc. And usually I go all at once.

My total is usually about $35-40. And it's because I watch my circulars. Someone always has eggs for 88-99 cents. Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, or Food Town. And they only do it one week out of the month. Hmm...4 stores, 4 weeks in a month....I always get eggs for 88-99 cents. I buy Family Style whole wheat bread at FoodTown for 89 cents (white is 99 cents) and diet Coke is usually on sale somewhere. I buy Bar-S lunch meat and its 99 cents each.

Then I take what's left over from my allowance and figure out how to get stock-up items with many as possible.

For example, Kroger had SPAM on sale for $1 a can a few weeks ago, I bought four cans.
Food Town has the Wall of Values, that has Jiffy corn bread mix 3 for a dollar, Fabuloso floor cleaner for 88 cents, Hunt's ketchup for 88 cents.

And then I look at my coupons and capitalize. When Hunt's ketchup was on the Wall of Values for 88 cents, I had a ConAgra coupon for buy 3 get the 4th free. So I bought 4 ketchups for $2.64.
Today I had a coupon for $1 off Bar-S hot dogs and bologna when you buy two. They are 99 cents each, so that was 98 cents for a pack of hot dogs and a pack of bologna. That sets Brian up for lunch for two weeks, as long as we have enough mayo. We're set for ketchup!

Another thing I stock up on is soap, deodorant, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. At Walgreens there is a deal where you buy 1 tube of Colgate toothpaste you get another one free. If I have a buy on get one free coupon for a Colgate toothpaste to start with, then they are both free. (And yes, the store will give it to you. Colgate reimburses them for coupons used. They lose nothing.) Then when you have those things stocked, you don't have to buy more next week and your $50 can go further.

He's still sleeping, maybe a part 3? Or am I pushing it?

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