SoBo Mama's Tips & Tricks











{March 15, 2013}   The Price of Procra$tination

Had a hankering for something sweet last night...

I have spent most of today piddling around the house, finishing nothing.  Super Nana has the kids for a family to-do (that I’m too cheap to do lol) and I’ve been situating my coupons for a long-needed grocery trip.

I have three envelopes of expired coupons to ship overseas to Coupons to Troops.

My grocery list fills a page a college-ruled notebook paper.  What have I done?

“It is what it is.”  That’s one of my favorite sayings.  Granny-at-the-Farm always corrects me, stating, “It is what you allow it to be.”

I’ve allowed my stocks to become completely depleted.  I know there is no way of staying within my $50 budget.  And it’s my own fault.  Again, routines and habits.

My coupon binder is stocked and organized.  My list is done.  I’m planning to restock my freezer meals, which I know runs about $60 alone, but I can get at least 15 gallon bags into my freezer for that, $4 each, and there are always leftovers from those meals.  My reusable sacks are sorted and counted.  I’ve matched the ads for the 2 stores I’ll shop today.

Why do I have this sense of dread?

It is what it is.  Maybe I can surprise myself and come out of this more cheaply than I thought.

***

$153 after coupons and store rewards.

Procrastination was quite pricey!

In the wisdom of my 3 plus decades, I have discovered that everything in life can be treated as a learning experience and this was one of those experiences.  I also did not check off everything on my grocery list, transferring many items to the next one, but my pantry is nicely stocked.  I had snacks for my lunches each day this week, the monkeys had bananas for a few days and have moved on to devouring fruit cups, and there was meat with green veggies at every dinner.  Win-win-win, as far as I’m concerned.

Did I have the ingredients on hand for Grandma Sweitzer’s oatmeal cookies?  Nope.  That project can wait for spring break.

Did I have the ingredients to make a yummy meatloaf and potatoes?  Yup.  And Monkey 2 is loving a meatloaf sandwich these days.  Go figure.

Anyway, my whole original point was that when we put things off, it costs us dearly.  It costs money, time, space, whatever.  My trip to the grocery would not have taken as long, nor would it have had the same financial sting, if I’d planned better instead of running out of everything.  I will take this lesson into account the next time I put off a chore!

What has procrastination cost you?

~ Katie

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English: Sample budget

English: Sample budget (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In order for life to run smoothly, I need lots of routines and structure.  Which is why the Ducks Unlimited dinner thing tonight threw me for a loop when I learned about it at lunch time.  I’m all about Grizzly going to his hunting support group, but it wasn’t on the calendar.

 

Part of developing routines and structure, for me, has been setting and sticking to a budget.  Do I still splurge occasionally?  Well, yes.  But I’m proud of my shrinking debt, my developing emergency fund, and my stockpiles.

 

Problem:  I hate to leave my house.  My Bunco Babes are worried about agoraphobia(spelling??).  I told them I’m not scared to leave, I just prefer not to.  I like to be home.  But this is becoming an issue.

 

I’ve not been going to the grocery.

 

I can feed my family of 5 (yes, the dog counts) and take care of the house (cleaning stuff, paper goods) pretty handily for $50/week.  Between coupons, sales ads, and store loyalty cards, it’s a lot of fun for me.  But to do this, I need to keep up my stockpiles.  And they are dwindling.

 

Because I haven’t been shopping.

 

Mind you, I haven’t bought shampoo or deodorant in at least a year, and I just recently bought toilet tissue.  But my deep freeze has blank spots. My cereals, of which my comfort level is set at 12, have almost disappeared.  I’m scraping things together for dinner (easy recipe to be shared soon!) and lunch snacks are nonexistent.

 

When did staying home become more necessary than maintaining my tight budget?

 

A lesson I am learning is that to save so much money on my grocery trips, I will have to be diligent about shopping.  I have to spend that $50 each week, or else I’ll be paying much more later on.  There is an old saying that t make money, you must spend money.  Well, to save money, I have to spend money, too.

 

So the grocery is about to be added to the calendar every week.  This will re-establish one of my routines.  Hopefully, this hasn’t been a terribly expensive lesson!

 

What is your budget-buster?  Can you figure out what causes it and how to change it?

 

~ Katie

 

 

 



{February 21, 2013}   One of Those Coupon People….
Couponers!

Couponers! (Photo credit: Timberland Regional Library)

Grizzly is very excited to be participating in his very first grilling competition this weekend, which meant a quick trip to the grocery tonight.  I told him earlier today that he could go by himself and he paid me quite the compliment: “It’s better that we go together.  I’ll spend $100 where you’ll only spend $50 and get more stuff.”  Love love love my big redneck!

So off we went to the Brookshire’s down the street.

After poking around a few aisles together, he went off to the meat department while I started hunting for a meat-free soup for tomorrow’s dinner (Monkey 1’s request since we’re all up into Lent).  I had some fairly decent  Progresso coupons (they would double and the soup is on 2/$4 still) and was trying to locate just the right one when this familiar-looking guy comes up and says, “What’s the big seller today?”

I guess I gave him the “teacher” look, because he corrected himself, saying, “Oh, you’re a shopper.  I thought for a minute you worked here.  Wait, you’re one of those coupon people!”

Um….

  1. Turns out the guy is Jeff Ferrell from one of our local news stations.
  2. I don’t like being lumped in as any “those _____ people.”  Makes me think of the Wal-Mart people.

I clutched my precious binder to my chest, telling him kind of firmly that no, I’m not an extreme couponer.  He figured out that he’d mildly offended me and said it was a good thing, not an insult.

I might just stop watching Channel 12….

Am I embarrassed by my coupons?  By my cheaptitude?  Well, heck no.  I don’t want to belong to part of a group. Especially not the extreme couponers.  No offense, but that show is over the top. I’m as excited about a free pouch of tuna fish as the next couponista, but my toilet paper will not overrun the monkeys’ habitats.

Couponing  is not a freaking cult.  It’s a lifestyle. It’s a conscious decision to spend my money carefully and get as much as I can for as little of our hard-earned wages as possible.  Why should that classify me as “one of those coupon people?”

Unfortunately tonight, I proved how un-extreme I am.  I was only at about 25% savings, which is not great for me.  But I went without a list and without a plan (forgot the dishwasher soap) so in reality, it wasn’t the worst.  And my groceries, after coupons, were actually lower than the competition meat.

So if Jeff Ferrell talks about the crazy woman in the grocery with a beat-up binder this weekend?  Yeah, I’m that chick.

Are you embarrassed by frugality?  How much is too much?

~ Katie



et cetera
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