Every Day

Lest You Think That I Don’t Spend Any Money….

I did one of the largest shopping trips this morning that I have done in probably a year. This trip was to pick up the rest of the things that I needed for our Thanksgiving meal and other foods for our winter stockpile.

The coupons that Top’s mailed me that I discussed in a prior post arrived yesterday. They are four weeks worth of coupons. This week’s was my free turkey coupon and a $3.00 off produce coupon. The turkey coupon was good for a 10lb. and up with a $50. purchase. I knew that I was going to be spending a lot more than $50. today. Above is the free turkey which will be used for a family dinner next spring. The ice cream is for Thanksgiving dessert and the potatoes were needed to make our mashed potatoes.

As you can see above my free Jennie O turkey was 19.57 lb. It would have cost me on sale $ .48 a lb. or a total of $ 9.39. Free is so much better!

The gallon of milk was free because I purchased 3 Pillsbury Pie Crusts and 1 Pillsbury cookie dough. It was a Top’s store deal. One of the boxes of crusts will be used for the homemade cherry pie for Thanksgiving. The cherries were picked from our tree in June and frozen. I also purchased a pumpkin and an apple pie. I am short on time next week because we have appointments on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I like Mrs. Smith’s pies so they will suffice. I will make the cherry pie on Tuesday evening. I picked up the limit of 4 butter at Aldi’s for $1.99 a lb. and 1 lb. at Tops with a Super Coupon. I need to get more at Aldi’s every time I go by one. I plan on stockpiling 20- 25 lbs. for this next year. The sausage is for the stuffing next week. Eggs are always stockpiled here when we have company. Hubby wanted some deli ham for lunches this week. I usually buy my 1/2 and 1/2 at Walmart but they have had none the last 2 times I have been in that store. Hopefully this will last us through Thanksgiving.

The bananas were free with the $3.00 produce coupon. Celery was needed for stuffing. The jellied cranberry sauce, yams, and some of the broth will be used for our Thanksgiving meal. The Ritz were needed for the stockpile as was the canned apple pie fillings. The Chex mix is for snacking while company is here. The candy is a gift. The 6 cans of Deluxe mixed nuts are to make two large batches of our party mix. One for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. Hubby HATES mixed nuts that have peanuts in them. So once a year I splurge on over $40.00 worth of the deluxe nuts for the holiday party mixes. The Fit and Active whipped topping are for  the pies.

The 2 boxes of Rice Chex, 2 Cheerios, and the 2 bags of pretzel sticks are for the party mix. The bread is for French toast when we have company.

Lastly, Hubby’s Diet Coke was on sale for B2G2F. So to keep him stocked, I picked those up.

I spent $ 142.36 at Top’s and $ 22.47 at Aldi’s. I desperately need Wheat Chex. Neither store had any. We can’t make the party mix without it. So as soon as I finish this post I am headed out to go to a few more stores to try to find two boxes. I may have to travel to another town but I am not coming home without it. I also need to go to the liquor store for some bottles of wine. Once this is done, I am hoping with the exception of butter and some hams to not need anything else for a long time.

Have you guys finished your shopping yet for your Thanksgiving meals?     

Every Day

What You Spend Is So Much More Important Than What You Save

Everybody is always talking about how much they saved when they tell you about a purchase. I’ve been guilty of this over and over again.  I show my grocery shops with coupons and Ibotta and Checkout 51 savings.  Perhaps it would be better if I just showed what I spend.

Unless you actually put an equal amount of the savings into a bank account for 1-2% interest or invest it in the stock market, you haven’t really saved anything.

If I buy a Coach or Dooney Bourke handbag at 40% off of say $325., I still spend $ 195. for it. I did that once in my life many, many years ago. Then I realized that I was paying for the name. I now never spend more than $65. for a handbag which is about what I paid for the one I am using. I got it at TJ Maxx marked down. It is wearing just as well as my Dooney Bourke one did. I still have the DB bag which I really need to let go.

Over the years, I pretty much tried to ignore all commercials. But that is hard because you are just bombarded with them. It has gotten to the point that there seems to be more commercials than there is show. So a year or so ago, I quit watching cable TV. It is so much nicer to watch You Tube or Amazon Prime shows. But even those I only watch in the evening when there is nothing else that I am doing.  You Tube is where I can learn to do some things that we would otherwise have to hire out. So that is not a waste of my time. Amazon Prime has some movies that Hubby and I can choose from for our weekly, at home, movie night. BTW, even though it is going up, we have decided that it is worth it for us. Not only for the movies but for the “free” 2 day shipping. We order enough during the year to make it worth it for us.

Now there are exceptions to everything. For example, if you find a top or pants marked way down at the end of the season and use a coupon, the $ 2.00 – $ 5.00 you spend for them is definitely worth it.  If I get an item at the supermarket that is free after coupon then that is worth it. 

But if you are spending $ 200. a week after coupons for groceries for two people, you should be cutting your spending. That is a tremendous amount to spend on food when you only have two mouths to feed. So monitor how much you are spending for any category that you spend money for. In order to do that, you have to track your income and outgo. If you have never tracked how much money you are putting in your family’s mouths each year, you may be in for a shock when you do. Include money spent on all restaurant meals and you may be horrified.   

Coupons will not up your net worth. Only saving income week after week at a steady pace will up your net worth. So many young people these days are saving to retire early. We didn’t retire as young as they did, but we did get out at 54 and 53. I think these young people have the right idea to save 65-75% or more of their income for 10 or more years to get out of the rat race and do whatever they want. I don’t know if we could have done it but if we had to do it over again, we might have tried.

If you are “saving” a lot with coupons and not paying cash or paying your credit card bill in full every month, you are throwing your “savings” out the window. I have known people who charge groceries every week who only pay minimums on their credit card bills. At 9 to 28% interest, they are not saving. They are paying a fortune in interest!  But they always tell you what a great deal they got and what their savings is. They just don’t get it. These people should be scared to death because eventually that credit shopping will leave them with nothing.

So the next time you go shopping, think about how much you will actually be spending. Sure grab your coupons but think about the bottom line. When I make a grocery list, I then go back over it a second time and cross off anything that I can substitute something else for. I also cross off anything that I can make cheaper from ingredients that I already have on hand. 

When I went clothes shopping last week, I had a budget that I set to work within. I also took a list of the clothing items that I needed and my coupons. When I was making my selections, I made sure that the tops could be worn with many different slacks or jeans. I also kept an eye on the pricing of the two pair of jeans I purchased. That is why I only spent $120.+ for all of the items. When I go back next week to spend the $20. in Kohl’s cash that I got, I will buy a needed item as close to that $20. after coupon as I can. Of course the Kohl’s cash is all about getting you back into the store to spend a lot more than the $20. But I don’t play that game! 

When you go out to dinner, have a certain amount in mind that you are going to spend before you go. Also, going out to dinner once or twice a week is a big waste of money. You can make it so much cheaper at home. Hubby and I had NY strip steaks that I purchased at $6.99 a lb. for Mother’s Day dinner. While Hubby grilled them outside, I put a few frozen French fries in the air fryer.  I also steamed some broccoli and sauteed portobello mushrooms in butter for the steak.  A dinner like this would have cost us $20. each or more before drinks and tip depending on what restaurant we went to. Our dinner cost us a little over $10.00 for both of us. It was so much better than going out on a holiday with the crowds and slow service. Our experience has been that the food isn’t as good either.

I am not saying never go out to dinner. I am saying to be mindful of what you are spending each week or month on eating out. Hubby and I like an expensive restaurant in the area. Their food and service is top notch. So we go there to eat about 4 times a year. If we feel the urge to go other times, we go to a local restaurant or one that we have a gift card for.  But most of the year, we cook at home.

So the very next time you are going to spend money on food, transportation, clothing or a myriad of other things that aren’t bills that you pay every month like your mortgage, insurance, taxes, electric and gas, etc., think about what you are spending not the savings you are getting. Doing that will free up some money that you can add to your net worth that you can use for goals that you may be working on: paying down all your debt, a down payment on a home, a new to you car, college and/or private school, a trip you have always wanted to take etc. This way of looking at money will get you thinking and you will have less stress in the long run. It actually becomes a game to see how fast you can fund your goal.

I am having a rough time this week thinking about my dental appointment tomorrow. I am very nervous about getting those 4 teeth pulled. So please cut me some slack if I am not on here every day.