Saturday, July 26, 2008

Prepare, Enhance, Share, Enjoy!

Prepare. I'm a Frugalite, pure and simple. I believe in Prepping, stockpiling, storing up. I am not awaiting the great collapse of modern society, I am actually an investor. I buy low and hold a product awaiting its use at a given time during the year so when I need it, it costs less than what inflation would do. This is a hard one to get past and Inventory Control nut like my hubby. He has since condoned my investing habits. I don't prep or stockpile for longer than a year.

Enhance. Sauces and gravies enhance meal times just like a pretty pair of pearl earrings enhance your looks. Getting things at a deep discount allows me to spend my money elsewhere to further enhance my simple life.

Share. I can take my Frees or Nearly Frees to the food bank to share with others who are on the edge in this life. If you have ever truly been on that edge you know what I am talking about. It is what enhances our foods that go unbought when money is tight or non-existent.

Enjoy! I truly enjoy shaving the fat off my grocery bill and truly hate to pay full price for anything.

Because I have chosen simplicity in my life doesn't mean I do without. I simply don't pay what the majority of the people pay for an item. So I look for ways to have free or nearly free to Enhance my Simple Living.

This week has been a great money saver! Here's why:

Everyday I did about 4 loads going through things we use and no longer use and each load was hung to dry outside making use of this HOT Texas sun. *Free Energy* Mwaa-ha-ha!

I found the texture of clothing is much better when hung out to dry, it was amazing. *think Value added, Enhanced* Of course, this heat dries clothes very quickly and I was able to have one load folded and inside before the washer was done with the next load.

As a kid I hung out clothes and really hated it. Now, I look forward to the quietude and getting things dry for FREE! No dryer wear and tear, no electricity AND I like the texture of the clothing afterwards. They almost look pressed.

I also found that Egyptian cotton towels are still soft after hanging whereas cheaper cotton towels are not. Something to keep in mind if you have 'Pickies' in your family. I don't use fabric softener. With the money saved, I can afford Egyptian Cotton towels on sale. :) More Enhancing! NOT Wal Marting. Love it!

My mother, the Thrift Store Queen found a set of 8 Egyptian Cotton towel sets and gifted them to me.

ALSO, this is a great week locally for grocery store sales! Generally, they like to run their better sales when we have the least amount of money to stock least that has been my experience. That generally is the last weekend of the month or the last weekend before pay-day. So, I squirrel away some cash just for this occasion.

Remember this post? At the end I talked about turning Junk Mail into Gold. Here's how I do it.

Get those flyers out of the mail box and spread them out around you. We have 4 chain grocers within 3 miles of our home so I start at one and make a round at each store until I have stocked up on all the REAL Sale goodies. I use a cooler in this heat, you might want one too. Also, Get good freezer bags, fill with water, drop in the freezer and when you are ready to shop, you don't have to buy ice, just drop the frozen water bags in the cooler.

The little notebook where we letter each page and makes notes about the prices of the items we buy is a huge help when looking through your grocery flyers...otherwise known as Loss Leaders. The REAL sales actually cost the grocery stores, they go negative on those deep sale items in hopes of making it up on you at other areas of the store. And if you aren't on top of things you will notice you bill rarely fluctuates even though you are buying sales.

So I put each store's name a the top of a clean piece of paper. And I write down everything we use that I know to be a good price. I do this for all the stores, takes me about 10 minutes per store sometimes less.

Then I write down what we need and organize the information by store for the best price.

If TomThumb and Kroger both have Charmin on sale but one is less than the other, I mark through the higher priced Charmin and that way I know to get it at the store with the lowest price.

This will shave about 50% off your food bill.

Coupons will shave another 25+%.

For example yesterday, I bought 32 bottles of Cattleman's BBQ sauce. They were on sale for $1 each (last time I checked the EDP was $2.22/each). So I used the coupons on the sale price to get a huge savings.

Here is how the savings happens:

EDP (every day price): $2.22 X 32 = $71.04
Sale price: $1.00 X 32 = $32
Sale price + Coupon: $1 - .75 = .25 .25 X 32 = $8

You can see stocking up on the sale price saved about 50%.
Adding the coupon saved a total of 91%

Now I don't worry about running out of BBQ sauce for about a year. And by next year, there will be another sale on BBQ sauce and another coupon to use. I usually get Ketchup for .25/bottle and mustard is always free. There are many many items that you will save 90% on or get free. I call them Frees or Nearly Free.

I only buy what we use and NEVER buy what I don't use. I've heard that couponing costs more money than buying generics. NOPE, price your generic BBQ sauce next time you're at WalMart or Krogers and see if it cost less than .25/bottle. Where they get you on coupons is buying what you don't need or regularly use.

Update on my guys: It's been quite a week with them getting settled into their new place. They are COOKING! Yes, skillet, veggies, the whole! Now here is the BIG change, at least for one of them, they are CLEANING too! They have designated Friday as Cleaning day. I'm so proud of them.

My guys know how I save money, the younger one would go with me at times. But, just like making their own pizzas, they prefer mom to do it. That's fine. About middle of August they will begin a frugal journey so they not only get a University Education but a Real Life Education, as well.

Praise God for his many Blessings in your life!

Last night I was late getting home from shopping, hubby was late getting home from work and we met at the back door. He was hungry, hot, scared someone took me, and growling when he called to see where I was. Made me so nervous I could hardly back the Expedition in without running over things, of course he teased me about! I had his dinner ready but he wanted to help me drag everything in.

I told him I had canned goods in the Vintage cart, just to roll that in and I'd deal with it tomorrow (today). He said "I can't, it's too heavy with all that chit in it." I looked at him and smiled. "You mean with the beautiful abundance God has blessed us with?" He laughed and said "Yes, thank you for reminding me."

I'm so blessed with this man! My life is SO RICH!

God bless you all,


  1. Oh my goodness....and they are cleaning too!!! The last time I stopped at my daughter's she called me upstairs for something and I glanced in her bathroom and it was clean...I am guessing she NEVER cleaned her bathroom at home. Isn't it great knowing we did a good enough job raising them that they can survive on their own!

    I may have to rethink the coupon thing after reading your post...

  2. Great advice! Enjoy that empty nesting while it lasts. : )

  3. Hi Melissa. This is great post! I really enjoyed reading it.

    I posted the directions for the etched glass window with lace on my blog for you. You will love the finished look. I would love to see your windows if and whenever you do this.


  4. i enjoyed this too, I rarely use the dryer, I love the smell of clothes from the line, especially if they are then ironed, the drier isn't the same at all!