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  1. #1
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    New member for West Virginia

    Hi,
    I somehow stumbled upon this website from a pin on Pinterest. I am glad I did! My family is spending at least $900 a month on groceries and toiletries, and I try to watch every penny we spend! Ridiculous! I just finished reading the 2012 Family guide to Groceries Under $250 a month last night but still am not seeing how we can get the cost down that low.

    I'm going to try to start with baby steps. I have been a fairly big user of coupons for the past 2 years (and saved almost $3000 last year) but quite frankly I'm getting tired of it. I have a 12 year old, 5 year old, and 2 year old, am a partner of a home business, I homeschool, and work 5 nights a week outside the house. It's very time consuming to do the coupons and I do not think the sales have been very good this year.

    I am definitely NOT saving what I did last year. I almost don't save enough to cover the cost of the coupons some weeks. I'm having to go to 2-3 different stores over 2 days time with 3 children. Very tiring!
    One question I have is what do you do about toiletries?

    Toilet paper and paper towels are so expensive! I am trying to use less paper towels by reusing and washing rags instead. I just don't think the bulk prices at Sam's are that good. On sale at Kroger with a coupon I usually pay about $5.49 for 12 rolls of TP.

    But if I stop couponing, it will be more.

    Any suggestions would be great! I'm willing to try different things. Just not sure where is the first place to start.

    Also, we buy a lot of convenience foods and snacks at my house. I'm thinking of trying to make some mixes to have on hand at least for healthier cookies, gravies, etc. Where can I find the list of mix recipes that was suggested in the book?

    Thanks again for any help!

    Heidi

  2. #2
    Grocery Guru GB101's Avatar
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    Re: New member for West Virginia

    Quote Originally Posted by hlmiller69 View Post
    Hi,
    I somehow stumbled upon this website from a pin on Pinterest. I am glad I did! My family is spending at least $900 a month on groceries and toiletries, and I try to watch every penny we spend! Ridiculous!
    Welcome to the site!

    I just finished reading the 2012 Family guide to Groceries Under $250 a month last night but still am not seeing how we can get the cost down that low. I'm going to try to start with baby steps. I have been a fairly big user of coupons for the past 2 years (and saved almost $3000 last year) but quite frankly I'm getting tired of it.
    When you did the grocery receipt challenge, what were your results?

    I have a 12 year old, 5 year old, and 2 year old, am a partner of a home business, I homeschool, and work 5 nights a week outside the house. It's very time consuming to do the coupons and I do not think the sales have been very good this year. I am definitely NOT saving what I did last year. I almost don't save enough to cover the cost of the coupons some weeks.

    I'm having to go to 2-3 different stores over 2 days time with 3 children. Very tiring!
    We completely understand! Coupons definitely have their place and can be a big help, but the amount of time and energy that it takes to cut, organize and then seek out the best deals can be extremely time consuming.
    Generally speaking we now rarely use coupons. It was becoming increasingly difficult to find local stores that would still accept them without ridiculous boundaries such as no more than 3 of the same item, no more than 40 total, no doubling, no free items, no IP's, etc etc. The list goes on and on.

    One question I have is what do you do about toiletries? Toilet paper and paper towels are so expensive! I am trying to use less paper towels by reusing and washing rags instead. I just don't think the bulk prices at Sam's are that good.

    On sale at Kroger with a coupon I usually pay about $5.49 for 12 rolls of TP. But if I stop couponing, it will be more.
    Well, as you've seen in the eBook- the majority of our groceries are purchased around $50 weekly, which leaves $50 for the rest of the month for other items such as toiletries, cosmetics (which is what coupons are Great for!), etc. Paper towels are a notorious waste of money, imho, although I do buy a case of them about once a year for traveling or when we have company. We bought "bar rags" which are just white cotton hand towels and keep a full drawer of them on hand always. Dh keeps a basket of them in the garage as well.

    TP I buy at Walmart or Sam's club, the brand we use (Scotts) NEVER has coupons. In the 20 years I've been buying it, I don't think I've EVER found coupons for it. I loathe most of the other brands- particularly Charmin which is notorious for clogging toilets and septic systems (another massive expense!).

    Any suggestions would be great! I'm willing to try different things. Just not sure where is the first place to start.
    Start where you spend the most money. Take the grocery receipt challenge in the book and figure out WHAT & WHERE you spend the most, Then figure out ways to reduce that amount. :-)

    Also, we buy a lot of convenience foods and snacks at my house. I'm thinking of trying to make some mixes to have on hand at least for healthier cookies, gravies, etc. Where can I find the list of mix recipes that was suggested in the book?
    All of the Links in the book (with the list of mix recipes) should be "Clickable" and take you directly to the pages listed.

    However, in the event that they don't you can find all of the mix recipes here:

    1. Beverage Mixes

    2. Bread Mixes
    3. Breakfast Mixes
    4. Cake in a Mug
    5. Cake Mixes
    6. Condiments
    7. Cone Mixes
    8. Convenience Mixes
    9. Copycat & Clone Recipes
    10. Cookie & Bar Mixes
    11. Dips & Dressing Mixes
    12. Diabetic Mixes
    13. Dehydrated/ Dried Food Mixes
    14. Easy Bake Oven Mixes
    15. Gift Basket Meal Mixes
    16. Gluten Free Mixes
    17. Household Cleaner, etc Recipes
    18. Jar Gift Mixes
    19. Kids Oven Mixes- Easy Bake, Queasy Bake, etc.
    20. Muffin Mixes
    21. Mug & Cup Mixes
    22. MYO: Make your Own (Items that you often purchase but can easily make yourself)
    23. OAMC Recipes - Once a Month Cooking Recipes
    24. Popcorn Mixes
    25. Pudding Mixes
    26. Ramen Noodle Recipes
    27. Sauce Mixes
    28. Seasoning Mixes
    29. Side Dish Mixes
    30. Soup Mixes

    There are also MYO (Make Your Own) Recipes for items that you would normally purchase at the store than you can Make for pennies - like Hersheys chocolate syrup, yogurt, etc.

    Copycat/Clone Recipes- for reproducing the flavor of your favorite restaurants and store bought brands

    http://www.budget101.com/frugal/recipes-117/

    Have a great Weekend and a lovely 4th!

  3. #3
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    Re: New member for West Virginia

    Thank you so much! Your reply is a great help! Going to do the grocery receipt challenge and see where my biggest needs are. Also going to try to look through the mix recipes and see what we use most and try a few.

    I was thinking I would still need coupons for toiletries. Although like you said, they are either nonexistent or only $.25 and if doubled a whopping $.50 but I guess something is better than nothing.

    I actually cut up old baby blankets from when my kids were little and have been trying to use those to wipe faces, etc. after meals. I need to look for some of the rags you mentioned. Are these something you can purchase in Walmart or Sam's?

    Off to check my receipts!

    Heidi

  4. #4
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    Re: New member for West Virginia

    Quote Originally Posted by hlmiller69 View Post
    Thank you so much! Your reply is a great help! Going to do the grocery receipt challenge and see where my biggest needs are. Also going to try to look through the mix recipes and see what we use most and try a few.
    You're quite welcome :-) , glad I could be of assistance.

    I was thinking I would still need coupons for toiletries. Although like you said, they are either nonexistent or only $.25 and if doubled a whopping $.50 but I guess something is better than nothing.
    They actually do help on toiletries and watching the sales cycles to take advantage of the best deals. It depends on if you have an affinity for a particular brand.

    I actually cut up old baby blankets from when my kids were little and have been trying to use those to wipe faces, etc. after meals. I need to look for some of the rags you mentioned. Are these something you can purchase in Walmart or Sam's?
    They have them at Sams over in the automotive area, and also in the kitchen supplies and are listed as "Bar mops" or "Bar rags". They're about $7 or 8 dollars for a pkg of 8 (or 10?) . sorry, I really cant remember. We buy several packages a year and use them for everything.

    I even use them on my steamer mop.

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