So I decided at the beginning of June that my family and I were going to take the challenge of living a more frugal life. In my household, we have 3 adults (myself, my husband, and my mother) and my 2 year old. We were spending way too much money on groceries & going out to eat.
So, with the help of Tricia & Ebony and Being Frugal 101, I started my way into becoming a serious couponer. I had started couponing before my son was born, but had just really gotten serious about it last December. I kept sending Tricia deals I found and she asked me to come onboard blogging for Being Frugal 101. That in itself got me more into couponing.
For those that don't know, I have fibromyalgia. It's been a tough road getting the diagnoses. When I had Aiden, I had to have an emergency C-section due to preeclampsia. That meant I had a lot of hospital visits before the C-section. Aiden came into the world a beautiful baby boy and he and I were healthy. 8 months later, I had to have a second surgery to get an ovarian cyst removed (caused by an IUD). Though I responded well to the surgery, my body went into a kind of shock and I got Fibromyalgia. So, over the past two years, we've been trying to pay off the thousands of dollars in medical bills. I'm happy to say that I only have $600 left to pay off!!!
With the Fibromyalgia, I always found it easiest to just have Jasen pick up dinner on the way home. We would both go buy lunch during the week since I didn't have the energy to plan out meals and execute them like we really needed to. We budget about $1000 a month for groceries and were spending an average of $650 in restaurants. That's pretty ridiculous, right?!?
So, after sitting down and entering all of our expenses into a spread sheet (I was determined to pay off those medical bills!) I couldn't believe what I saw. Here are our expenses for April & May:
Grocery Expenses in April: $991.42
Fast Food/Restaurant Expenses in April: $709.11
Grocery Expenses in May: $811.96
Fast Food/Restaurant Expenses in May: $554.20
Those amounts were just ridiculous. Though I was using coupons, we easily gave into spontaneous purchases that weren't on sale or that I didn't have coupons for and didn't really plan out any meals.
So, the challenge began. I decided we were only going to buy things we had a coupon for & were on sale (excluding our fresh foods). I really took advantage of all of the free samples that came along and I couponed and planned like crazy.
So here's the results from our Being Frugal month:
Grocery Expenses in June: $310.90
Fast Food/Restaurant Expenses in June: $297.35
I saved a total of $785.62 on my groceries this month!!!
I brought down our restaurant expenses average by $350!! And that was with the fathers days meals and wedding expenses!
Taking the time to view the weekly ads of Publix, Target, Walmart, and Kroger and pairing those deals with coupons I purchased off eBay really lead to the success of this month! On top of the grocery store purchases, I have a basket full of free samples (shampoos, pull ups, wipes, sugars, etc)!
This month was great! And what's also great: My stockpile is FULL! My family and I have so much food, toiletries, and paper items from all of the stock up items I got this month! My stockpile shelves, both freezers, and bathroom closet are FULL of the items I got.
We also used a great deal to get Jasen his glasses! We used the great deal from Coastal.com to get him free eye glasses! We ended up spending only $40 to get the glasses (it was extra for the scratch and glare resistant coating). His glasses normally cost $200-$300!
Though we had a lot of extra expenses this month, we have an extra $400 in our account budget this month. So guess what??? I can pay off a large portion of my medical bills! Only $200 left!
After seeing what great savings I got through couponing, I'm going to continue on this path. This month, I'm going to try to have an extra $600 in my bank account at the end of the month!
Wish me luck!