Some call me cheap.
MBB calls me smart.
I call myself frugal.
I have always tried to live my adult life cutting where I can so that I can spend where I want.
When Egypt and I went to England/Scotland/Ireland way back when, we stayed in Hostels every other night and bought lunch fixings in Ireland at a grocery store.
It allowed us to enjoy supper out without breaking our vacation budget.
I also have some nice things in my curio cabinet from those two weeks that I wouldn't have been able to afford if we didn't do that things.
We have some great photos that we took while having "picnics". Places that we may not have gone had we ate lunch in a restaurant.
When I first got my condo, it was furnished with garage sale and freebie furniture.
That allowed for a big down-payment at closing and paying off my student loans in ~3-4 years.
I'm not real sure the dollar value that can be put on "reduced stress" from having my debt reduced quickly, but it is one that I would sign up for every time.
Lately, I have been on a huge frugal kick in the grocery area.
For the first year and a half that I was buying for four, our budget was $500 / month for groceries (which never seemed to include cleaning / hygiene supplies). I couponed (when I got them) and looked for sales, but I bought what we needed. I even attempted the one trip every other week with menus planned out - only buying what we would use those two weeks. Yep, still at $500 / month.
Then. . .
I started buying the Sunday newspaper again (for some reason, they won't seem to let me subscribe).
I discovered the art of stacking coupons and now have two containers of coupons that usually are always with me.
I started shopping the sales.
I made a price book (though I am still not good about using it).
MBB created a stock pile pantry for me and I am attempting to use only once a week (I could easily see my family surviving on Chex Mix every night because it is there and well, they like it).
Grocery store visits now seem to be a normal part of my evening routine (I'm working on consolidating those to only a few nights each week), luckily everything is on my way home from work so this is not a big impact.
The number of blogs that I follow has exploded - I'll work on updating my blog roll once I determine the keepers.
I set a goal to reduce our budget by $200 for January for groceries AND supplies.
As of the 15th, I had spent $115. . .
Not sure if I'll make the $300, but I am giving it a go.
Once the stock pile pantry is completely stocked, I may try to reduce it by another $100.
There is a blogger out there that spends $45 / month for a family of 5 (maybe 4?).
I can only dream. :)
There are a few things that I still have to **GULP** pay full price for, but they are few and far between (If anyone happens to stumble upon coupons for Hormel Chili, no beans - LET ME KNOW!!!). I have coupons for milk and produce that are like gold! Those will be disappearing here shortly.
So, why am I focusing on saving so much with coupons?
OB likes karate.
MaBell likes club volleyball.
MBB would like to have his garage soon and I have a season ticket bill due in the next few months.
MBB and I have a wedding that we need to start planning that we will not go in debt to have.
And to be honest - I am a fan of date nights and would like to start having them again.
So, we are cutting one place in order to enjoy others. :)
Works for me.