Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A VERY Easy Way to Save Money this Year

Here is a VERY easy way to save a good chunk of money this year that you can put in savings, put towards a vacation, pay off bills, etc. 

Do you or your spouse get paid every other week?  If you do, you get paid 2 times in most months.  In all of those months, you make your budget off of 2 paychecks and it covers the bills (we'll be talking budgeting soon if it doesn't :)).  With 12 months in a year, and 2 paychecks a month, that's 24 paychecks.  But if you're paid every other week, you actually get 26 paychecks in a year. 

This means that 2 months out of the year, you get an extra paycheck! 

Since you're able to live off of just 2 paychecks a month for 10 months out of the year, you should be able to do the same in the 2 months that you get 3 paychecks.  Having said that, you should be able to put those 2 extra paychecks in to savings, towards bills, etc without ever missing the money!

We do this each year and it's a very nice addition to our savings - and it's so easy to do! 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Do You Coupon?

Do you coupon?  I'm not talking being featured on TLC for extreme couponing, I just mean - do you use coupons?  If you don't, I would strongly urge you to consider it.  And if you're considering it, this is a pretty good week to start... there are 6 (SIX!!!) coupon inserts in this week's newspaper - that's a great way to start!

Not only will couponing help you to save money on your groceries and personal products, but it will also help you save on your holidays.  How, you ask?

Valentine's Day - there's always coupons for Valentine's Day candy.  Pair those with a sale and you can get some very inexpensive candy. 

Easter - Same as Valentine's Day, you'll get great deals on candy.  Also, last year at Easter time we saw AWESOME coupons for some toys (I got the Fisher Price Laugh and Learn Dog for $3 with coupons last year at Easter time - no lie).  You can use these toys for Easter baskets or save for your gift closet.

Summer Picnics - You'll find great deals not only on the food you're going to serve at your picnics, but also on the paper products that you'll need.

Halloween - Again, candy!  I don't think I've ever seen a coupon for costumes, however, if you follow coupon blogs, you'll definitely see which stores/sites have the best deals on costumes. 

Thanksgiving - There will be tons of coupons for the traditional Thanksgiving fare.  AND... Black Friday at the drug stores is awesome!  You're able to score so many free items!

Christmas - Again, coupons for candy and food.  You may also find some coupons for toys.  But just like with Halloween, if you follow a coupon blog or two, you'll see the best deals on toys to snag them at the lowest prices.

I've been couponing for almost 3 years now.  But I'll be honest - I'm not very good at couponing at the grocery store.  Maybe it's just the area of the country I live in, who knows, but I could never be on Extreme Couponing!  But I am able to save a few dollar each time I go, so I'll take that. 

But where I really save money is in toiletries.  I rarely ever pay for toothpaste, tooth brushes, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, body wash, mouth wash and the list goes on.  And when I do pay for those items, I pay less than $1, 100% of the time. 

So even though I can't get $500 worth of groceries for $0.89, I figure I'm still saving a ton of money on necessities by getting free toiletries!

If you are interested in getting started couponing and don't know where to start, here are the resources I used when I started couponing:

My Frugal Adventures:  Couponing 101
Couponing to Disney:  Getting Started
My Frugal Adventures:  Drug Store 101

If you do start couponing, remember that you aren't going to save 97% your first week!  Take it slow, and before you know it, you'll be seeing big savings!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Valentine's Day Tip for Kids

If you have children who are just starting to write or struggle writing, this tip is for you!

Buy your Valentine Cards early - like as soon as you see them out in the stores.  Then each day have your child write just 1 valentine.  This way it won't be a struggle to sit down and have to write out 20 valentines all in one clip. 

I made the mistake last year of having my daughter write all her valentines at once - it was torture, for both her and me!  This year you better believe I'll be grabbing those valentines as soon as I see them (I checked Target today - not out yet) and we will be doing them one at a time!