Ok, so here it is payday. I love payday. For about twenty minutes I get to feel what its like to have money. But hey, like I tell Mike... If our only problem in life is money, we got it GOOD! Don't get me wrong, we aren't rationing the TP. When Mike and I first got together, we can joke about it now- not then, we went to Sam's and bought a 10lb bag of potato flakes and a case of Ramen noodles because that was all we could afford. I think we celebrated our third anniversary before those potatoes were gone and still can't eat instant potatoes without choking. Now things aren't THAT tight. Sometimes there is even some left over! Sometimes.
Anyway, I digress. I was thinking that maybe I should share some of my frugal secrets.
The first would be... always break a dollar. Everytime I buy something I never search for change. Not just because I don't have a change purse and it is burred at the bottom of my purse but because it forces me to save. Every week (or when my purse weighs more than my son) I empty all the change and stick it in an old coffee can that we use as a doorstop. Then every couple of months I walk the change down to our bank and deposit it in the 'Rainy Day' account. Believe it or not, the deposits usually average $50. More when I steal the change Mike leaves on the desk and dresser!
The second would be... a checkbook size plastic divider. I just picked up a new one for a buck at Target. Its blue and now matches my purse- I'm a trendsetter! I labeled each pocket:
CARDS- for debit, credit, insurance, license, etc.
FUN- this is our allotted entertainment money, eating out, movies, etc.
SPEND- this is the money that I get to spend on whatever I want, a new shirt or a book, even a latte now and then.
HOUSE- this money is used for upkeep and various (read: many) repairs to the house
JEEP- this is used for stashing away a little bit of money at a time for oil changes, washes and I hate to think repairs
RECEIPTS- this collects all the receipts acquired for the pay period in case I need to return something.
I used to have a larger one with pockets for grocery, Sam's and PetCo money but I found that it was easier to keep the money in the checking account and use my debit card. Now when the pocket is empty- that's it! It really helps me to realize that maybe I don't need the tall non-fat latte with cinnamon or the really cool 'Bush is a poopyhead' T-shirt.
The next would be EBay. Oh no, not for buying, although you can find some 'Smokin' Deals' but for selling! You would not believe how easy it is. I don't buy things to sell. I only sell the accumulated stuff that we no longer use. Such as, Gryffin's old clothes and toys, bedding sets, books, clothes. Heck, a couple weeks ago I made almost as much selling a bed-in-a-bag as it cost me. AND that was after I used it for a few years!
One more and you will be spared... skip the clip! Coupon clipping is a waste. Usually coupons are only for brand-name, pre-made stuff that saves 15 minutes in the kitchen and tastes like the box it came in. And when you think about it, it probably took you longer than that to dig through the paper, find the coupon, cut it out, file it away and HOPEFULLY remember to use it! Stick with store brands and stick to a shopping list made from a weekly menu. This way only the things that are needed for the week are on the list. I am able to feed a family of 2 and a half for about $60 a week! That is less than $3 a meal, not including the monthly Sam's run but still pretty darn cheap.