Thursday, February 26, 2009

save some money

There's three things I love: earth friendly hippie stuff, saving money, and Jack Bauer.

The first and last are pretty individual, but I don't know anyone who doesn't love saving money.  So after talking with some friends about it, I decided to share some of my secrets with you.  I use two websites to help me save (they're free) couponmom.com and theobsessiveshopper.net (she's affiliated with the Fun With Food Storage ladies I'll talk about another time.  They have national chains like Walmart listed too so just because you aren't in Utah doesn't mean you can't use them.  Check them out.  Do it.  Now.

What did you think?  Pretty cool huh?  I like how obsessive shopper lets you know if something is a good deal or not.  Sale doesn't always mean good buy.  I also like comparing stores to see who has it cheapest.

I especially like the free stuff at Rite Aid and Walgreens.  Sometimes when I combine a rebate with a coupon, I make money.  That's coupon mom's whole premise.  Every time she helps you make $1, she asks you to donate it to charity.  I can live with that!  Sometimes when I have enough shampoo and they're giving it away, I'll donate that to the food bank (they take more than food).  And if you hate clipping coupons and storing them or whatever, then just save the entire thing because they tell you the date and coupon magazine they came in.  However, there's been so many times I've come across an unadvertised deal and get a better deal because I bring my organized coupons with me.

So this week I bought $51.20 in drug store stuff.  Those items were on sale so the new total was $31.96.  Pretty good right, anyone can save $20!  But then I added coupons and rebates.  Guess my total?  $5.75.  I'm totally serious.  $5.75 for excedrin, triaminic, theraflu, mouth numbing stuff, girly products, shampoo, mousse, and chex mix.  You can't save that much buying generic either.

I haven't calculated my food totals yet, but I usually save 50%-60%.  Not bad.  I cut our monthly groceries from $400-$500 to about $250 for a family of four.  I know I can make it smaller too, which is why I'm starting to track everything.

I have a new hobby :)  I hope some of you can use it to save a little money too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Focusing my life

If I could pick one word to describe my hobbies, it would be dilettante. A jack of all trades, a master of none. A dabbler. I don't really have a focus for my life except raising my kids. I have so many hobbies and interests that I often find myself spread out too thinly and I don't seem to enjoy much of anything any more. So it's time for more focus. Time to make some goals and pave some roads for my life to follow. This will also be extremely helpful in decluttering my home :) I have a little depression era mentality where it's hard for me to chuck things I know I could use later. Like towels. I still haven't made anything with those towels.

I'm not a scrapbooker. I gave it an honest effort, but I do it like once every two years and I pretty much just use the internet to track my family's goings on. So I think it's time to ditch the scrapbooking crap.

I love gardening. I'll keep that one.

I like sewing, but I don't love it. I think I just need to use up all my fabric and then go one project at a time. Same with knitting. And it's time to give the craft stuff to the kids since I never use it.

The thing I keep thinking is, how much is it costing me to keep this stuff? Is it worth the money? Most of the time, it's not. The more stuff we have, the more mental energy we expend keeping track of that stuff and thinking about it. Then we have to buy totes or boxes to store the stuff in. And if it keeps accumulating, we find ourselves buying a bigger home to store that stuff in. Is it really worth $30,000 more in interest to store those comic books or that fabric?

I think I just made a ton more space in my little 900sqft home. Go ahead, tell me I'm awesome!

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Everything is amazing right now, and nobody's happy"

I saw this on Jim and Lex's blog and wanted to share it too because IT'S SO TRUE!

"We live in an amazing, amazing world, and it's wasted on the crappiest generation of just spoiled idiots that don't care."

I coudn't find a video to embed on my blog so you'll have to click the link. Life is so hard.