So in light of our cheapness, I'd like to share some easy things we do to save money!
1.) We spend no more than $300 a month on groceries. An easy way to do this is to cut coupons, however most coupons are for food items that are NOT good for you, so I'm not an avid coupon cutter. I do these simple things:
- I buy only from the perimeters of the grocery store. I buy fresh veggies, meats and cheeses and that's about it. (I'll sometimes venture into the no-no zone to pick up pasta, beans and kashi bars). I also buy the fruits and veggies that are on sale that week.
- We buy our chicken in bulk at Costco.
- When I cook dinner at night, I try to do a 3/1 ratio of veggies to meat. This stretches meat further (which costs the most).
- We also eat leftovers - we cook 3 meals a week and stretch those out for 6 days.
3.) I never go shopping. As you can tell by this blog, I post a lot of things I see online that I love and want to buy (I RARELY ever do actually buy). This is because I never never never go to shopping. I believe that going shopping to just look is like an alcoholic going and sitting at a bar - what's the point??
- I only buy things I know I need, that includes clothes and things for the home. I never buy something for our home that I don't know exactly in my mind where I would put it. This actually prevents me from buying 95% of things I pick up, because I hate clutter and knick knacks.
- Also, keeping a blog of things I love is a way to release my wants. Instead of purchasing something, I blog about it instead and usually get the same satisfaction.
- If I do finally need something, I shop around and always purchase either on sale or from discount stores. Overstock.com, Smartbargains.com, clothing sales (old navy, banana republic and j.crew all have great sales), Ikea, Target, TJ Maxx and Home Goods are pretty much the only places that eventually do get my $$.
5.) I track like crazy. I have an excel spreadsheet that I look at everyday so I know exactly where we are with our finances. In this spreadsheet each of our paychecks (four a month) are broken out by where the money is going to. I also have a box in this said spreadsheet that I type out all our financial goals. I recommend it to anyone, and if you want my template, shoot me and email.
6.) And last but not least, I ask my husband and vice versa. This is a great way to stay grounded. When we think we just HAVE to have something, we ask each other and 99% of the time each of us can talk each other out of it. Think of it as a checks and balances.
I'm sure most of these are no brainers for most married couples, but I hope you found them a little bit helpful. I consider these our Financial Newlywedisms 101; as we go further in our lives together I'll try and share how we deal with more pressing financial issues such as saving for a home, saving for a baby, stocks, emergency funds etc.