Saturday, September 29, 2012

FAQs about the $50/week Challenge

It's got to be close to 12 weeks... somehow I've lost count. (How hard can it be to count to 12?!)  But here we are. 

The question most often asked so far has been, 
"How do you do it?! 
How do you possibly survive on $50/week??"  
I guess we save money in alot of different ways. Here are some:

Buy On Sale
Got all this for $4.75
19x Majesta = on sale for $1 - $1 coupon
= FREE (tax only)
Hamburger Helper on sale $1.49, plus
presented $3 off wub coupon for the beef.
(making beef $1)
(oh - and the Tide Pods were given as samples by
the generous sample lady) :)
    I don't think it's reality to NEVER pay retail... just a pipe dream of mine, but I try. (It kind of hurts a little to pay full retail...) Waiting for sale and THEN applying coupons has yielded a bunch of free and close-to-free products. I've done this with spot removers, shampoos, feminine products, deli meats, bread, bug bite relief, toilet paper... 
Plan Meals

    It's surprising how much planning the week's meals really can reduce spending. Working with what one has. So simple. So effective.  Here's a free menu planner to get you started!

Frugal Living
  It takes a little more time and elbow grease to take this route, but it does save money.  
 One thing I do is wash ziploc bags (especially freezer bags - they're more costly than sandwich bags) ... of course now that I got 6 boxes for free, I'm more inclined to toss them... oops.

Use Little.
- using just a pea-sized dab of toothpaste
 Except the kids... somehow they need a new tube of toothpaste every two months...! 

- using only 1 tbsp of detergent for laundry. (yes, it's enough) 2-3 tbsp on a greasy load

- using a DAB of body wash on my scrubby. Lather, and it goes alot further. My small bottle has lasted nearly a year!! (and yes, I shower daily and am clean... lol) 

Homemade alternatives-Crackers, granola bars, buns, homemade febreeze (recipe to post soon)...
- packing a lunch rather than eating out.

Doing without
  My slotted spoon broke yesterday. It's about 12 years old,
  it did its time. But I won't rush out and buy another one... 
  I'll try first to use a different utensil. 

Raising our own meat.  
   Not an option for all, but it's helped us to fill the freezer with meat for very little money.

None of these will yield truckloads of cash but little by little, it saves. 
(And anyone with a credit card knows how quickly 'little by little' can add up...)

Before I forget... here's the week's groceries. (I'm jumping back on the thrifty wagon after my big splurge. I feel so much better now...) :) 

We bought the above toilet paper $4.75

What's pictured here was $22.85

Cott Cola                    .97

Ragu                          1.23
Cornflakes                 5.50
Milk                           4.69
NN Peas                    1.47
Pepsi 12 pk                3.57
Bacon                        2.99
Broccoli                       .96
Rye Bread                  1.47 ea
Benadryl Itch 3.50-4  FREE 

Not pictured purchases:

Garbage bags 10 pk      1.00
Carnation Evap. Milk      .33 ea
Eggs                             3.00
Milk                              4.50
Something I can't identify on the receipt... 2.97 (that's why I take pictures...!)
And, it's been a crazy week so I can't find the evidence, but I just KNOW I spent $20 on  groceries somewhere... 
So basically 22.85+the above $5.41 (w/ tax) and the mysterious $20 = right around $50. 

Now I'll tell you some of my secret couponing plans...

But don't tell anyone, K? Shhh!! 

Sales I'm waiting for: 

Europe's Best Fruit $4.49 - $2 cpn = 2.49
Europe's Best Veggie $2.99-$2 = .99 ea 
Stayfree pads $2 - $2 cpn = FREE
Blue Water Fish ~$3-4 - $1 = $2-3
Armstrong Cheese $3.49-$1 = $2.49
Danone Yogurt $1.50 or less - $1 = $.50 or less

Black Diamond Cheese ~$6-.75 = $5.25 500g
Hellman's $3.00-$1cpn = $2
Melitta Coffee $7.99-1=6.99
Catelli  Smart 3/$5 -$1on each = .66 ea
Skippy PB $3.49-3.99 - .75 = $2.75-3.25
Soft Soap Liquid 225mL $1-.50= .50

...Which sales are you waiting for?

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