I, like many bloggers, have been yearning to finally share my life with the world. All it took was a few life occurrences to make me realize what I have to offer you all.
I am a Stay at Home Mom to a beautiful and energetic 2 year old, Jack. I am struggling with the dreadful "I" word; infertility in conceiving baby #2 and my Husband works extremely hard in order for me to stay home with our little angel. Which means I have added, "save my family a crap load of money" to my day job duties. So here I am, sharing my story with you in hope that I will touch a few lives and weigh down a few wallets. Because I have chosen to use my real name and a dashing photo of my little family, that means my family and friends will get some juicy details on all things Robyn (gasp!) But it's a risk I am willing to take in order to hopefully encourage those of you who are poor and infertile. *Gosh my true humor is coming out already*
Let's begin with the other dreadful word... Money.
I have just discovered my true love of money. Yikes! That sounds much worse than I meant it... No, not what you think. I am in love with being wallet smart and finding exciting and do-able (is that even a word?) ways to feed and clothe my family with the dollar bills God has blessed us with.
This week I have focused on cutting my grocery bill in half. Since that is where I consistently over spend, it was the perfect place to start! I should tell you though, that I am only currently feeding myself and my son. My husband has been job training in a different State for the past 3 months. But even when he returns it shouldn't make much more of a difference since I always cook too much anyway! So this month I have literally and successfully cut our grocery budget from $400 a month to $200. All together now, "How did she do it?" Why thank you for asking! It was simple, but very time consuming. I spent several days (and I am only just getting started) jumping from one store to the next comparing prices and finding where the lowest numbers are truly living. So far I have done Aldi, Walmart and Harps. I compiled a very organized excel spreadsheet (man My Sister-In-Law would be so proud) of all the different prices I found on items in my usual grocery list.
In short: WALMART ROCKS. Walmart beat all other competitors by a loooong shot. Ok ok, I am getting ahead of myself. But if you have not yet discovered the Great Value brand, do it. It will become you new BFF when it comes to saving money.
*Side note: When I finish my grand list I will be sure to post it for all to see*
Something I would encourage everyone to try is meal planning, but with a twist.
Instead of planning your meals and running to the nearest store with a grocery list of all your ingredients in hand. Take the time to find where the best prices are, even if it means going to 4 different stores to gather your ingredients. Nowadays there is no "quick run" to the grocery store. I take inventory of my kitchen and compile a list of only the items we NEED. Then I take it to my spreadsheet and compare prices and re-organize my list into categories of what to buy at which store. Since I keep track of prices I can get a grand total *tax included* before I even step foot in the store! Then I know exactly how much cash to bring with me. When you look at each item individually it seems like a waste of time to drive 2 miles to Harps to save .30 on salsa, but when you begin comparing your receipts those .30 add up to dollars which adds up to Starbucks (only kidding...but not really). Even a small dent in your grocery can make a difference in the long run.
But who knows, I will probably go back to buying my bread at Saks Fifth Avenue by the end of the month. (that one was for you Jess)
For now I am inspired and energetic to begin my thrifty journey to a better future. Soooo cheesy I know, but you get the sentiment.