When Matt became unemployed in February, I started "couponing" fairly seriously. Well, it was bigger than just coupons, I sort of changed the way I thought about groceries and household items. (Like today at Ingles, I thought about buying canned pumpkin, but I didn't have a coupon and it wasn't on sale, so I could wait until it is. In the past, I would have just bought the pumpkin.) There were lots of our expenses we couldn't control (mortgage, insurance, etc.) but I could regulate how much we were spending on food and toiletries.
I found some websites that help me with the deals (for free), and it really doesn't take much time. I still don't buy a Sunday paper for coupons; my mom gives me hers sometimes and there's plenty of coupons you can get online. My coupon file does pretty much go with me whenever there's a chance that we are going into a store. I guess it might be silly that I'm putting forth some effort just to get things a little cheaper - or sometimes free - but I hope that it's a way for me to be a good steward of our money, and that's it's enabling us to be freer with our money in other areas, like travel or being hospitable or just plain giving it away to causes we believe in.
All that said, I'd like to start a recurring "feature" here - Deal of the Week. Except this week, it's Deals, because I got two good ones. This is the kind of thing that I would read on someone else's blog, so hopefully it will be interesting.
First deal: 2 bottles of dish detergent FREE at CVS. I got a coupon booklet in the mail from whoever the manufacturer of Dawn is, and saved 2 $1 off any bottle of Dawn with Olay Hand Renewal. It was on sale for $.97 at CVS, so they were both FREE.
Second deal: all these bananas for only $1.49 at Ingles. I noticed that bananas here in GA are about $.20 more a pound than they were in NC. Not these bananas - I weighed them on the grocery store scale and it was almost 10 pounds. So about $.15 a pound is really good. Now, they are pretty ripe. That's okay, one already went into me and Cadie's smoothie at lunch and I plan to make a lot of banana bread and banana muffins - both of which will freeze pretty well.