Category Archives: Savings Sunday

Savings Sunday: Last Chance Thanksgiving Savings!

Today is pretty much it, guys! If you haven’t done your grocery shopping for Thanksgiving yet, you had better get to it – the last round of flyers was released today (unless you’re brave enough to go out on Wednesday, for those stores whose sales start that day. I am not.)

I highly suggest that if you haven’t gotten everything you need for Thanksgiving, you go out today. It’s going to be bad (hectic, things will probably start being out of stock) but it’s only going to get worse.

My family and I will be going out to get our normal groceries tonight and then we won’t be going back to the grocery store until next Sunday.

Good luck and Godspeed!

 

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Menu Monday: Menu Planning

This is sort of a cross between a Menu Monday and a Savings Sunday Post. This month I decided that instead of our weekly menu planning, I was going to do a monthly meal plan (for dinners. We eat virtually the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch, because we are boring people with no time.)

So far, it isn’t completely off the rails! And I did it because at the beginning of the month, there were some awesome meat sales ($1.88/lb Perdue chicken breast and $1.99 all natural kielbasa). We don’t have deep freezer, so when sales like this come around, I can only stock up so much.

So, I wrote out a rough meal plan. I also jotted down how much I needed of other ingredients, and was able to take advantage of some other sales, too. I haven’t wholy got into the “savings zone” for the month, but next week is promising to be much less expensive, even with a few Thanksgiving items left to buy.

Savings Sunday: Thanksgiving Part 2

Menu planning! If you haven’t done so yet, why haven’t you? Not to alarm you, but you have 11 days (counting today) to plan your Thanksgiving menu!

I have found that menu planning several weeks out from the big day is one of the best ways to save money on the holiday, and also to “spread the pain,” so to speak. Plus, if you are taking stock well in advance, you have more time to find mistakes , add things to the menu, and run out for those last minute items – not at the last minute!

11 days out from the holiday, I’ve only got a handful of things left to pick up.

Also, if you haven’t picked up a turkey – certain regional Krogers have turkey for as low as 49 cents a pound! (At that price, it’s going to pay for itself in stock alone for me!)

Savings Sunday: Planning Thanksgiving, Pt. 1

So, remember a few months ago when I mentioned that I don’t coupon? Well, I sort of lied. I mean, I still stand by my statement that I don’t coupon regularly, in conjunction with my weekly shopping trips. However, at this time of year, I am a coupon hawk.

You see, it’s almost the holidays, and do you know what companies do for the holidays? They put out their  best coupons so that you will buy their products to impress your guest, instead of buying the generic things you buy the rest of the year.

You know what also happens around the holidays? People use products they don’t use the rest of the year. For example, already this season, I have found a coupon for Karo Syrup, used in candy making and pecan pie, among other things. I’ve also found a coupon for baking nuts from Fisher, and any day now, I expect to see a coupon for pie dough from Pillsbury. (While I cook and bake so very many things from scratch, pie crust is usually not one of those things for me. It just isn’t in my wheelhouse and I don’t have the time or inclination to improve when I only make pie once or twice a year.)

So, where to go for coupons? Well, there’s always the Sunday paper, of course. And coupons.com. I also recommend, if there are brands you normally use, taking a look at their websites for sales, coupons, and promotions.

Stay tuned this month for more ways to save on Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Savings Sunday: Budgeting on the MicroScale

We all know we need to have a budget, right? Track spending, set limits, etc. But that’s on the macro scale. What about the micro scale? When you have an event, a holiday, a trip, or a desperate need (such as winter clothes for the kids), do you do a budget work-up for that, or do you just try to shove it in wherever it will fit?

I have tried my best to budget these things separately. Obviously, I have the main budget, but usually, unless things are really dire, there is some money left over in the budget for “other.” And at this time of year, there is SO. MUCH. OTHER.

Last month, the other was Baby Girl’s birthday. This month, Halloween AND my anniversary. Next month, Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping (if I don’t start it this month.)

So, I find or develop planners. For Halloween, I use this one, which I devised myself. (It’s a rather large file and may be difficult to handle for some older model printers. If you find there are printing errors, try splitting the print job into pages 1-8 and 9-13.) For my anniversary,  this year it’s just been a sticky note on one of my regular budget pages, because we didn’t plan much for this year. Thanksgiving … Well, in the past, Thanksgiving has been a nightmare amalgamation of many different planners. With any luck, I’ll have time in the near future to streamline that.  I have planners for trips and birthdays and all sorts of other events. And, of course, I have a giant Christmas planner that could damn near be its own binder entirely.

What things do you find yourself planning on the micro scale? Have you been able to find or make a planner to suit your needs?

Saving Sunday: Anniversary on the Cheap (ish.)

As we talked about on Thursday, my anniversary is coming up, and it’s quite frankly hitting us at a bad time financially. We aren’t broke by any means, but I am seeing the writing on the wall with regards to some major expenses coming up (Christmas, for one – though we’ll talk later about keeping that frugal as well) and am trying to build up our savings as a buffer against that. So we’re going super cheap for our anniversary.

First, we are going to a restaurant that has a lot of coupons available – and I clipped one to make our night a little more enjoyable (it’s a free appetizer.) That being said, it is still a steakhouse, which is basically all my husband ever wants in life and I do not remember the last time we splurged and went to an actual steakhouse. (He won’t order a steak anywhere else and I can’t say I blame him.)

Second, like I said in my other post, we’re not doing presents. We have a major gift giving holiday coming up, and my birthday, so we don’t need an excuse to get each other gifts. What we are going to do instead, though, is spend time with each other and go back to the place we got married. (It was a state park, so it’s free other than the gas money to go there and back.) We’re going to walk the trails and take some pictures, weather permitting.

Finally, at least on my end – I found a coupon for American Greetings cards. I was going to go really frugal and make him a card from the craft stuff I had laying around (and boy do I have a lot of it), but with Halloween coming up, I was concerned I wouldn’t have time to do something really nice. Maybe next year?

How do you celebrate anniversaries? Have any other tips and tricks for keeping the budget in line? Share them in the comments.

Savings Sunday: Budget Lockdown… Again. 

A few things are converging to make me nervous about the budget again, some of which I probably shouldn’t talk about freely at the moment. Things I can talk about, though are: my mortgage escrow being miscalculated, Trump’s ridiculous tax plan that will probably screw me over, and the holidays coming up. General normal budgeting problems, in other words.

So, we’re on budget lockdown again, and I am trying my damnedest to actually follow through. When I run out of cash, I’ll be done with yard sales for the year. We’re trying not to eat out (though we broke that on Thursday night… must try to do better!) There is a strict budget for anniversary at the end of the month – $100 for cards, presents, and our anniversary dinner. If we can spend less, I’ll be thrilled.

If we get through the month, I’ll be sharing my tips and tricks, but right now I’m thinking about motivation. What keeps you motivated to penny-pinch when it’s not strictly necessary? That’s always been my downfall, so I’d like to hear your ideas!