Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolution #7

Coupon, Coupon, Coupon

I have been actively couponing for about 3 years now. And honestly, it is kind of addicting. To be able to walk out of the store saving more money than you spent is such an awesome feeling. I remember the first time I saved over 40% on my grocery bill (Actually it was 63% that trip) I wanted to dance out of the store. I immediately called my hubby but he wasn't nearly as excited as I was.

I watched this show the other night on TLC called "Extreme Couponing" and now I am on a major mission. The show followed 4 people on an extreme shopping trip. Two of the people went in and purchased A LOT of groceries, MrCoupon (as he is referred to on his website weusecoupons.com) walked out with 1100 boxes of cereal that he donated to his curch's food bank and only spent around $150. I later found out that they don't normally shop that big but WOW! it was pretty awesome. Now I do not want to go in shopping like that, donating or not, because 1) I simply do not have the room and 2) my hubby would kill me. LOL. Anyway, I am rambling now. My point is that one of the women on the show had 21 bottles of soda and paid very little for them. I want to do THAT! They were still buying meat and veggies and were still able to walk out paying less than 30% of the total bill. So my l♥ve of coupons has grown.

I have been printing coupons for the last 2 days and even found this really awesome grocery tracker app for my phone. Grocery Tracker allows you to have an inventory of your groceries (WHAT!) and you can make grocery lists as well. The really cool part is that you can have different lists for different stores, also you can put in the prices for each item. There is even a spot to enter in your coupons and it calculates the amount you will pay AFTER tax and coupons. I can't wait to try this out. So far I am in LOVE with it. I will let you know how it works when I can fully use it. However, all day today I have been scanning in my whole pantry. Oh yeah, did I mention you scan the barcodes of the items to enter them into the database (WHAT WHAT!) Yeah, hubby was really loving that. haha

So here's to lot's of savings in the New Year!

2011 Here I come.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Budgets Spudgets

Alrighty! So number 5 on my Resolution list is to create and stick to a budget and I finally sat down and have a workable budget. Woot Woot. Bad news is that I now need to find an extra $800 a month without getting a job. Haha, like that will happen right! Ok maybe I don't really need a job but we at least need to make it to tax time and bonus. The only reason it is that bad is that I have included into the budget a few extra categories. Here is a category view of the budget minus the amounts...

Car Loan
Gas for said car
Insurance
Stamps*
Blow Money (both DH and I)*
Tithing
Clothing*
Dining out*
School lunches and fundraisers for 3 kids*
Entertainment
Gifts (Christmas/Birthdays - including birthdays the kids may get invited to)*
Groceries
Household
Medical (Doctors/Medicines)*
House
Hair Cuts*
Pet Care*
Sports Recreation for 3 kids *
Subscritions*
Utilities

Items with an * are new categories that were not actually budgeted before but just kind of paid as we went if we could. Like haircuts, it has been at least a year if not longer since I have had my hair cut. :( New clothes? What are those? 

I swear I am slightly OCD. Why? Because for one thing, I use Quicken for my banking and have to have it exactly right. When DH and I first merged bank accounts he used to round his transactions up to the nearest $$ and that absolutely drove me nuts. I have been handling the accounts ever since :D Because I have to have it exactly right I spent the majority of the day yesterday trying to get the accounts for the house, our car, and my student loan accounts to match the statements online. OMGoodness, I do not understand Wells Fargo's system for applying payments but I will try to tackle that another time. I am pleased that I now can tell you in a split second how much we owe without having to log on to each account. What what!

Next up was to analyze my grocery spending. Last year at this time a friend of mine showed me an Excel spreadsheet to calculate spending vs savings. I was wanting an accurate calulation of the amount of money I save  using coupons each month and this spreadsheet is perfect. So today I sat down and entered in the month of receipts I have been meaning to input into the spreadsheet.

Resolution #6: Enter receipts immediately after grocery shopping so I do not have a pile to do at once. :)

The end result...Overall we saved 30% for the year. $975.58 saved in coupons alone. On top of that we saved $1,570.27 by purchasing during store sales. I seriously need to step up my couponing because if I would have been on my game the whole year (a few months we kind of slacked off using coupons) I would have totally made it under my budgeted amount.

Resolution #7: Coupon, Coupon, Coupon. ;)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It Is That Time Again...

You know the time. The time where we make resolutions to ourselves that we may intend to keep but know all too well may not actually happen. I know I am quilty of that.

And even though I know the odds are against me to complete a resolution I always do so anyway. Probably more out of habit than anything.

My Resolutions
1. To lose 35 pounds (preferably by May)
2. To scrapbook 5-7 pages a week (Goes with #3)
3. Catch up on scrapbooking.
4. Keep up with Blog
5. Create and stick to budget

End of Year Report Card

So here it is, almost the end of the year. My first year trying out the whole blogging thing. What would my grade be if I were graded on this past year?

F

Saturday, January 2, 2010 Going to try this out

I feel that I am fairly competent with the Internet and computers. I am, after all, taking online classes through the local college to get my associates degree in Administrative Office Technology. Expected date of graduation, May 2011. Woo Hoo. I have Yahoo'd, MySpace'd, and Facebook'd (I am slightly addicted to that one, I love all my "friends"). But I have never really tried the whole blogging thing. So we will see how this works out.
 I see lots of other people out there with really cool sites and lots of interesting information and it seems simple enough. It can't really be all that hard...Can it?

 So, apparently it is harder than I anticipated. LOL I did pretty good at first but the last 3 months did me in. I am finally done with school. D.O.N.E. I graduate in May. So happy for that. Got caught up on sewing projects that needed to be done, through with the holidays which went well, and I even got my coupon binder organized again. YAY!!! I am caught up on all the TV shows I watch and found a few favorites too. I even went back and watched the whole series of LOST...awesome show.

So here is to the end of 2010 and hopefully a blog-filled 2011. :)