Not. At. All.
It's all good though. I was made JUST for this situation.
I'm a frugal shopper. I don't mind diving and digging into TJ Maxx racks, I don't hesitate to hit sales early for a good deal. Time is money, and some people don't like to spend time saving money, but to me it's worth the investment.
Plus, I'm good at it.
We had to make a lot of changes since we've added the girls into our family and it was a long time coming so we've been more than ready to make the proper accommodations. Many people told us our world would soon change with kids, no more sporting events, steak dinners, and frivolous shopping...like we seriously thought it wouldn't change? Of course we did and we have done well so far.
Of course there are some things you just can't or should skimp on like vehicle maintenance, doctor's appointments and healthier eating options (still working on that) but there are somethings we've done to make the transition easier and cost effective. Here are a few things that have saved us some cash.
1) Generic or "Off-Brands"
I've always been okay with generic, even when the labels were white with black letters. Joey, on the other hand, was new to generic grocery items until we got married. There are somethings he wouldn't budge on and to this day there are several name brand items we insist on. Regarding generic, my personal favorites are Malt-O-Meal cereals, anything Hill County Fare or HEB brand products, and an absolute FAVORITE Target's Up & Up Formula. I just LOVE the Up & Up products and get as many of their household items available at a discount.
2) Coupons & Rewards
I've been keeping up with coupons and store reward programs like no other. I haven't gotten too serious with the coupons but I definitely use the ones that offer big savings, although I see myself becoming a bit more hardcore about it in the future. Almost every major store offers a discount card or rewards programs so it's convenient and doesn't take much time or money to invest in.
Just this weekend I bought 200 diapers for $8.64 from Walgreen's! A friend of mine posted about their buy one get one free sale on Facebook and on top of that provided a coupon code that would give an additional dollar off per pack. I was hesitant to use off brand diapers but so far so good. I'm not going to lie, they're softer than the (non Snugglers) Huggies.
|*when Googling the quality of Walgreen's diapers I quickly discovered they have a large fan base with mommy bloggers. I regret not buying out all of the size 2's-5's!|
This weekend I also cashed in my Level 4 Reward from ULTA for spending over $200 there during the last quarter which entitled me to list of different products from the store. I opted on a foundation that I've been LOVING as a concealer.
3) FREE Downloads
I LOVE music and downloading something on a whim just isn't very smart anymore as it can be quite the addiction to me and costly. I've relied on free (legal) downloads as of late and have come across some great bands and artists this way. My favorite sites are the Urban Outfitters LSTN downloads on their blog here and most recently HELLOX6 which I came across from an old college friend who puts out a set list every Friday. Yes. FREE music, every Friday. Sweet.
|*like how I added a pic of a cassette when we're clearing speaking pure digital downloads? Oh well. I liked it.|
4) Netflix and Crafting
No more feature films at the theater every week, mainly because of childcare, not so much money. Nevertheless Netflix to the rescue. Can you believe we never dabbled with Netflix until we had the girls? Craziness. Right now I'm watching the first season of the Cosby Show and loving it. Plus, Netflix is how I developed my love for Dexter.
As for crafting, it's not cheap at first, but once you accumulate some items the possibilities are endless. Currently I'm working on some uber cheap but cute memo boards which I shall post soon.
5) Alternative Shopping
Enter Craigslist and Ross.
Like I said earlier, I don't mind digging into racks and skimming shelves. I've bought quite a few things from Craigslist and I won't lie, at first it was out of necessity. I knew I needed a Boppy if I had to feed two babies at the same time, so I bought a brand new one with two new slip covers for $25 on Craigslist. From that point on it wasn't so much out of necessity as it was incredible deals.
I've also frequented Ross, Marshall's, and TJ Maxx for decorative items for the nursery. Ross even has a decent amount of scrap booking materials for crafting. Just recently I bought an iron birdcage from Ross for a little project I'm working on (post soon). Every place I looked offered the type I wanted for $50+ but scored one from Ross for a mere $9.99.
|*not the cage I purchased but I didn't feel like taking a photo and uploading, ha. Mine is hanging, not standing.|
So there ya go. A glimpse into my methods of saving. Please share any gems of advice on how you save!