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Frugalistas Frugalistas

New and needing to buckle down

Posted by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM
  • 9 Replies
I'm Beka. I have two kids, and we are trying to adopt an older child. My husband has a decent job and I'm a SAHM.

DH is looking at going back to school (kind of, it's with college plus so it's a cheaper and faster way to go). We don't want to borrow money for him to get a degree. We, well mostly I, need to trim our budget. We already buy used and on sale clothes, make our own detergent, have Netflix instead of cable and try to be somewhat frugal. I spend about $120-$140 a week on groceries. What are some more ways to cut costs? Any tips on getting my grocery budget lower?

I really want to make this work for him. I know the hardest part for us will be changing habits. But for starters I just need some ideas on how to cut the budget; which habits I need to change.
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by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM
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Replies (1-9):
matreshka
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 1:47 PM

Do you coupon, shop sales and make things from scratch? That lowered my grocery bill down a lot. I also make my own household cleaners.

We set a tiny bit of money a side for a treat so that we don't feel so deprived.  That keeps us on track when the urges for starbucks or other unnecessary things happen.  Keep track of your receipts so you can figure out what your buying. Is it a want or a need, KWIM?

Also, can he get grants and not loans for college?

Amy127
by Bronze Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM
Do you ever have to throw leftovers out? I do occasionally so this is one area I recently focused on. Usually my dh takes the leftovers to work or me and dd eat them the next day for lunch. Sometimes though there is still stuff that didn't get eaten. I have been using them now to make a different dish or freeze them for use a different day. It has helped a little bit. I have also been transferring all extra money out of the checking account on payday. This makes it so it isn't so easily accessible. I have to think more about the purchase when I have to transfer money back over to the checking. Hope that helps and good luck on the adoption, it was a very lengthy journey for us but worth it in the end.
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bekalynne440
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 2:06 PM
I don't coupon. I shop at aldi though, so I get low prices. I make many things from scratch, though not all. I think we do need to keep track of every penny spent for the next month.

DH is probably going to go through college plus. Basically you study/learn on your own then clep test your way through a good chunk of your classes. Then he'll take reasonably priced online classes through a college of his choice (transferring the clep test credits). Most people using this program earn their bachelors in 2-3 years and it costs a lot less.


Quoting matreshka:

Do you coupon, shop sales and make things from scratch? That lowered my grocery bill down a lot. I also make my own household cleaners.

We set a tiny bit of money a side for a treat so that we don't feel so deprived.  That keeps us on track when the urges for starbucks or other unnecessary things happen.  Keep track of your receipts so you can figure out what your buying. Is it a want or a need, KWIM?

Also, can he get grants and not loans for college?


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bekalynne440
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 2:10 PM
I think I have the opposite problem as you. I don't generally cook enough for leftovers. I hadn't really thought about that before, but when we don't have leftovers we want more convenience foods.


Quoting Amy127:

Do you ever have to throw leftovers out? I do occasionally so this is one area I recently focused on. Usually my dh takes the leftovers to work or me and dd eat them the next day for lunch. Sometimes though there is still stuff that didn't get eaten. I have been using them now to make a different dish or freeze them for use a different day. It has helped a little bit. I have also been transferring all extra money out of the checking account on payday. This makes it so it isn't so easily accessible. I have to think more about the purchase when I have to transfer money back over to the checking. Hope that helps and good luck on the adoption, it was a very lengthy journey for us but worth it in the end.

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boshs1andonly
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 2:10 PM

If you want to cut down on grocery bills, I agree with pp, shop the ad. I did that last week and saved $33 (my total was about $110 before sales and coupons. Also meal planning helps a lot, that way you won't constantly be just one or two ingredients short of a recipe so there's nothing for you to cook. Making larger portions of recipes is a good way to save money since the bulk packages are often a better deal. If you don't want to eat the same thing over and over freeze the leftovers for another day to break it up. Also I agree with keeping just a little bit to splurge so you don't feel so deprived, and when you decide to treat yourself you don't have to use bill money to do it kwim?

Your dh should definitely look into grants, he may be able to get a good portion of his schooling paid for. If it doesn't work, at least you tried. But at this point anything that can lower your expenses would help right? Also, another expense with college is textbooks, if its possible tell your dh to look into renting his, I was able to spend less than half what I would have if I bought my books. 

Good luck!

lilmsnay83
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 4:34 PM

I shop the ad.  I purchase whats on sale and what I have coupons for and make meals out of that.  Its just me and my 4 yr old daughter but I once spent $12 for groceries for a week.  My normal grocery bill is about $40 a week.  I try not to go over that.  We eat leftovers.  I take my breakfast and lunch to work with me.  I also try and use everything I have as possible, meaning I dont buy meat until I need meat. 

AzariahsMother
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 6:50 PM

Welcome to the group Beka!  You have come to the right group for some tips and tricks.

laurag8707
by Bronze Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 9:19 PM

 I think most moms have hit it on the head here about shopping sales and ads and everything else. I mean the main thing is stocking up and combining not just the ads but the coupons you have as well. I always tell people just because you have clipped a coupon doesnt mean you have to use it you wait to use the coupon until there is a good sale to use it on.

ceo-mom
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 10:09 PM

i am so Jealous of you it's not even a joke i spend over 700 a month on grocery shopping. I have a family of 4.

Quoting lilmsnay83:

I shop the ad.  I purchase whats on sale and what I have coupons for and make meals out of that.  Its just me and my 4 yr old daughter but I once spent $12 for groceries for a week.  My normal grocery bill is about $40 a week.  I try not to go over that.  We eat leftovers.  I take my breakfast and lunch to work with me.  I also try and use everything I have as possible, meaning I dont buy meat until I need meat. 


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