I am learning one definite truth as I travel this saving journey. You must plan ahead! I used to go to the grocery store without a list, or really even much of an idea about what my menu would be for the week ahead. I rarely had coupons. I would browse and buy food as an idea would enter my head. Often I was pretty limited on ideas and would come home with two, maybe three, meals worth of food. When that food was used up it was generally easier to go out to eat than to do another grocery store run. Obviously, with our finances limited, this way of life has gone out the window. Now I scour the grocery ads along with my coupon database, and come up with a full week of menu's before actually going to the grocery store. Coupons are pulled and taken. A quite extensive grocery list is followed with very little deviation. This all takes quite a bit of planning. But the savings are well worth it. I also try to plan ahead when running errands. No more running to Dillons one day and then Target the next. Instead I try to stretch my gas by visiting stores close to one another in the same trip. Again, way more planning than I was doing previously. My latest planning focus is Christmas. The only way to make gifts possible this year is to be creative. And for me.....that means more planning. Watching clearance sales, free magazines, rebates, coupons, and finally......making some of the gifts myself. No Thanksgiving this year where I realize I haven't done any Christmas shopping yet. Actually it is a little scary. I found myself on the Martha Stewart website yesterday! I was a little worried I might start channeling her! But then today I found a new blog. This one may fit me a bit better. The name of the blog?......Crap I've Made! Aha, here is my new mentor!
Have a fabulous day! ~Marla