Here is another great site for coupons and deals:
Here is another great site for coupons and deals:
Most all of us do not have an unlimited budget to buy groceries with. But how do you feed a family, entertain, provide for the food pantry and take meals to other families on a budget? It is absolutely possible and not as hard or time-consuming as you may think. Here's what I do and some of my favorite resources...
- Do a little comparison shopping before leaving the house...use those grocery store sale inserts from the newspaper. Here they are in the Wednesday papers (a lot of times you can view them on the stores website too). See what's on sale...is there anything in the meat dept. that's on sale that you use frequently that you could buy a lot of and stick in your freezer? For me that would be boneless skinless chicken breasts and whole chickens (we buy a quarter of a cow each year from my dad). Just make sure to have the meat dept. wrap it well and stick it in a freezer bag before you throw it in the freezer. What about great sales on "pantry items" that you use frequently, like noodles, sauces, etc?
- Start keeping track of prices in a price book-just a little notebook is fine-this way you'll know if a sale price is truly a sale. For example, I've learned to stock up when the toilet paper we like is less than .50 per roll.
- Start couponing...this is huge and was a big shock to me how cheap or free you can often get things. Here is a great post about acquiring coupons. If you live where there are Kum and Go Gas Stations, they give a free paper if you buy at least $15.00 worth of gas...do it on Sunday and get your coupons free!
- Coupons are all over the internet. Here is a list to get you started:
Coupons.com (click on "see all" on the link on the left side of the page)
The Coupon Loop (a very comprehensive list)
This list could go on and on, but I need to stop somewhere! A few tips: most coupons can only be printed a set number of times from one computer (it gets reset every so often). Print in grey scale if you can, so you don't use up your color printer ink!
- Organize your coupons! I use a zipper "traper keeper" type binder. I use baseball card plastic sleeves to organize so I can see them quickly! Money Saving Mom uses a plastic shoebox and envelopes. I've used a small accordian file system too...it fit easily into my purse. Whatever works for you!
- Take those store flyers again and match up coupons. It's amazing to me how often you can get things for pennies or even for free.
- Only buy things that you will use yourself. It is not true that there are only coupons for junk food- many organic and health food companies have coupons out there. If you can't find coupons from a specific company-send them an email telling them how much you like there product and that you were wondering if they offer any coupons. It doesn't hurt to ask!
- Only buy things that you will give to the food pantry (or the animal shelter). You will come across coupons every month that you personally won't use, but someone would. Matched with a great sale and/or store coupon you can provide for your local food pantry for very little out of your pocketbook each month.
- Only buy when you will make money. There are instances when combining store sales, manufacturers coupons and store coupons you will actually make money. If you won't use it, give it to someone who will!
- There are so many WONDERFUL bloggers out there who have used their precious time to match up coupons and deals for you. Here are some of my favorites:
- The Centsible Sawyer (I linked you to her Wal-Mart deals page, but make sure to check her other pages)
- The Grocery Gathering at Be Centsable
- Make a menu and a grocery list. Base your menu off of what's on sale. Make a shopping list and stick to it! (And eat something before you go!)
My advice is to start slow...it definetely is learn by trial and some error...it's ok, you will get it. I started at Money Saving Mom and went from there. Good luck!
Technically I made these last year....but I'm just posting them now. (it's called a 2 week long headache) We gave these little heroes plus a few other super accesories to one "super" sweet 3 year old for his birthday! (Super Z on the far right is the birthday boy)
The above heroes were made from wooden peg people shapes, some paint and felt. I finished them off with 2 coats of modge podge. Here's my inspiration:
Her Cup Overfloweth
I found the wooden pegs at a garage sale this summer, but they can be found at your local craft store. Or online here:
Caseys Wood Products
Along with above "Pocket Heroes" I made capes, a crown and a reversible mask.
I used this tutorial over at Juicy Bits for "guidance" for the crown and then I just used the same techniques to make the 2-sided mask(one side black for Batman and the other side red for Super Z). Felt is the secret to my success here!
A boy needs a cape...or four! I made 2 capes, but they were each double sided, resulting in 4 capes. I used the tutorial at Puking Pastilles for my capes. She has the Superman and Batman logos all ready for you (she also has a cape for a girl, plus other logos). My other cape I made had a "Super Z" side which was a blue cape and a yellow and red logo. The other side was a king cape with a crown appliqued on it.
On a side note: I assumed this was a "boy" gift, but my girls LOVED them and asked for their own!