Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Living on a Budget by Syndi Powell
About two and a half years ago, I told my husband we needed to make some changes. We had been laid off the year before and found jobs that paid half of what we used to make. Despite the change in income, we were still spending as if we made the bigger paycheck. We were being crushed under a heavy load of debt, and I didn't know what to do to get out from under it.
Jim was a man with a mission. When I showed him our budget and how our grocery bills were high and among the easiest to reduce, he sprang into action. He googled saving money on groceries and found a couple of websites and blogs that taught how to coupon and cut the grocery bill in half. He watched videos, read articles and created a plan.
While we are not extreme couponers like you see on television, we do call ourselves coupon queens. My husband spends about fifteen hours on the internet looking for printable coupons and reading several blogs that lists available deals. We spend about three hours on Saturday afternoons going through our coupon binder and the sale ads to make our lists for shopping on Sundays. In all, we visit about four or five stores to find the best deals.
We no longer pay for toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, shampoo, conditioner or candy bars. With coupons and sales, we cut our grocery budget by 57% the first year (I tracked our efforts to see if it was worth our time... It was!). We've built up a stockpile and give away extras to families and friends who need it.
That's what we've found to help save us money, but I'd love to hear what you all have done to save money. Share your best moneysaving tip here, and I'll enter your name to win a copy of my new book "The Reluctant Bachelor".