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Don't use coupons? Think you can't save money using... I wrote this in response (as a comment) to a comment quoted in a post on the Five Cent Nickle blog. ========================================================= Coupons are the single best way to...

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Working with credit card companies - the good, bad... A few months ago we knew we were headed into "negative" territory on our bills.  A perfect storm of events were happening and we could see what was going to happen. In our efforts to work with our...

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I paid 25c for all of this food.... 4 boxes of crackers 4 packages of cookies 2 boxes of cinnabon bars 1 hotwheel Had to throw the hotwheel in just cause I had a $1 left to "spend" from my freebie stuff!  How did I do it??? Albertson's...

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Allowances, complications, compensating for chores...... It was with surprise and well, a bit of disgust that I was recently reading a plethora of comments on a financial forum I participate in about this very subject. Let's see if I can reiterate without...

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Don't waste your energy on credit, you never need it... I love love love Trent at the Simple Dollar.  He has written for a while and has excellent advice, gives wonderful access to financial related resources and well, he's just an all around great guy (have...

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Freedom and Happiness Quote of the week

Posted on : 30-11-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Uncategorized

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“There are plenty of ways to get ahead.  The first is so basic I’m almost embarrassed to say it: spend less than you earn.”
~Paul Clitheroe

Freedom and Happiness Quote of the week

Posted on : 23-11-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Quotes & Affirmations

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“The amount of money you have has got nothing to do with what you earn… people earning a million dollars a year can have no money and… people earning $35,000 a year can be quite well off.  It’s not what you earn, it’s what you spend.”
~Paul Clitheroe

Don’t use coupons? Think you can’t save money using coupons? I challenge you !!!

Posted on : 18-11-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Groceries, Stockpile, budgeting

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I wrote this in response (as a comment) to a comment quoted in a post on the Five Cent Nickle blog.

=========================================================

Coupons are the single best way to reduce your grocery bill to nearly zero – on a consistent basis.

I feed and beautify a family of 6 (4 boys) for less than $400/month. Additionally, the last 2 months we’ve been supporting 2 other families (3 ppl and 4ppl) without depleting our stockpile or increasing our expenses. Additionally, we’ve given bags upon bags of food and toiletries to our food bank (this is very much needed right now).

I spend an average of 10 hours a month couponing, matching sales, planning the shopping and actually shopping multiple stores.

We have our own business in which I work full-time, so it’s not like I’m a SAHM that works this into my SAHM schedule.

Saving money has NOTHING to do with buying “generic” vs. “store brands”. It has everything to do with being flexible in the brands you do use, keeping coupons for everything, including things you’ve never used before and matching the use of store coupons/manufacturer coupons/sales/catalina’s to make the most effective use of your money.

You must be willing to try new products – to integrate things you’ve never eaten before – to make use of what is inexpensive.

I love challenging people who say they “save as much or more using generic” or people who say that coupons never come on the products they use (I guess they don’t take showers or baths, brush their teeth, wash their clothes, clean their homes, eat breakfasts, lunches or dinners, etc). In October alone we saved $100 off our previously “normal” budget of $675/month for our family of 6. However, the amount of food I bought for $525 was more than triple what most get for $525.

Stockpiling is KEY – buying enough of an item when it’s at it’s lowest price to stock up until it goes to it’s lowest price again (on MOST items it’s a 3 month cycle). Also watching for unexpected low low prices (ie, anything pork related was at an insane price the past couple of months because of the “swine flu” scare so I stocked up on ~100lbs of pork roast for 89c/lb) and, watching for seasonal items at their lowest – soups are always at their lowest in Sept/Oct/Nov, etc.

Anyway – I love that most people just are ignorant about coupons – it allows me to feed lots of people for very little money.

I also no longer care what people waiting in line think about how long it takes me at the checkout counter. They don’t live in my house and they don’t have to feed my family – I do. If going through checkout takes an extra 5 minutes (which it always does because of the amount of coupons I use) and saves me $500+/month – I’m doing it. I refuse to spend more money just to appease someone else.

I do love it when the person behind me sees just how much I save. When the total starts out at $150 and I end up paying $20, they notice. When the total starts out at $53 and I pay ZERO and I do TWO transactions back to back like this, they really notice. (these are real life recent examples).

Anyway – Mr. Stein – keep up the “get rid of coupons” mantra – I’ll keep using them :D

$500/month is nothing to sniff at – $6,000/year – that’s a great vacation every . single . year.

Freedom and Happiness Quote of the week

Posted on : 16-11-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Quotes & Affirmations

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“Have nothing in your house that you don’t know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
~Author Unknown

Freedom and Happiness Quote of the week

Posted on : 09-11-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Quotes & Affirmations

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“With greater emphasis on working to live, not living to work, we are creating awareness for simpler solutions, a more creative existence with healthier, happier longevity, for those brave enough to accept the challenge.”
~Tracey Smith

Target simply loves giving me free things :D . . . the ladies in line behind me were wowwed!

Posted on : 03-11-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Groceries

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dsc04046

Went to Target on Saturday and did the following . . .

1st Transaction -

  1. Bought 4 boxes of Kellogg’s Fiber bars @ $1.99 each
  2. Paid oop $8.14 including tax
  3. Received a $5.00 gift card (for buying the 4 pkgs bars)

2nd Transaction -

  1. 6 packages Keebler cookies
  2. 4 boxes Kellogg’s Fiber bars
  3. 3 packages Wonka candy
  4. Paid oop $0 (used some of gift card from 1st transaction)
  5. Received a $5.00 gift card (for buying the 4 pkgs bars)

3rd Transaction -

  1. 6 packages of Keebler cookies
  2. 3 packages Wonka candy
  3. 1 package M&M’s
  4. Paid oop $0 (used some of gift card 1st transaction)
  5. Still have $5.00 gift card from 2nd transaction

Total out of pocket for all 3 transactions was $8.14 plus I brought home a $5.00 gift card for future purchases.

Freedom and Happiness Quote of the week

Posted on : 02-11-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Quotes & Affirmations

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“Never let the defeat of the past rob you of the success of your future.”
~Ray Comfort

“Totally” debt free . . . except the . . . SORRY, that’s NOT debt free!!!

Posted on : 28-10-2009 | By : admin | In : Uncategorized

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<RANT ON>

I hear this a lot:

“We’re totally debt free with the exception of the student loans and the cars”

“We’re totally debt free with the exception of the student loans and the house”

“We’re totally debt free except the house”

On what planet is one “TOTALLY” debt free and then go on to say “except for . . .”

That is NOT debt free.

TOTALLY debt free means no debt - no cars, no credit cards, no personal loans, no LOC, no student loans, NO DEBT PERIOD.

</RANT OFF>

6 reasons you must regift - and why you’re a hypocrite if you don’t.

Posted on : 27-10-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Giving

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This post was inspired by Trent’s post over at The Simple Dollar on “Ethical Frugality: Regifting”. I was struck by the absurdity of people who said things like:

  • “re-gifting in any form is rude, thoughtless, and downright disrespectful.”
  • “(re-gifting) just tells me about that person. Lazy, shallow, thoughtless.”
  • “Regifting is fine when doing a “Chinese” gift exchange.”
  • “ the consensus seems to be regifting is only OK if you can plausibly lie about it “

And then of course, there is my wonderfully diplomatic, tactful response:

“For those that consider re-gifting to be gauche, wrong, whatever . . .

Have you considered that you are allowing advertising and marketing firms to form your opinions for you? That it hasn’t been until the last 40 years that most gifts weren’t necessarily new (they were usually hand made and/or remodeled/repaired re-gifted items) and . . .

That by NOT re-gifting you are conforming to consumerism, waste and landfill/environmental issues.

I find it funny that many of the same “you are an idiot if you re-gift” are also the ones that think that anyone using anything but a bike or hybrid is a drain on our natural resources. What hypocrites.”

No, tact is not my middle name. :)

Ok, here are 6 reasons why you MUST re-gift.

  1. Re-gifting gets rid of the clutter in your life you don’t love.
  2. Re-gifting gives you the opportunity to take more time and care in determining who can best use (and love) something you already have.
  3. Re-gifting leaves you more money to help those in need.
  4. Re-gifting shows you haven’t succumbed to mass advertising and marketing pressures.
  5. Re-gifting shows you aren’t influenced by consumerism.
  6. Re-gifting shows you are doing everything possible to alleviate waste and landfill issues.

Freedom and Happiness Quote of the week

Posted on : 26-10-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Quotes & Affirmations

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“Everyone who got where he is, had to begin where he was.”
~Robert Louis Stevenson