Sunday, May 31, 2009

ChaChing Challenge

Ok, if Ben Franklin was right about a penny saved being a penny earned, I earned about $150 this week. I did not go grocery shopping until yesterday. Some things that have helped me stretch our $$ this week have been the following:

Meals provided by my parents - Mom sent us home with enchiladas, beans, rice, and dessert.
We bought a distiller for water so we don't have to buy bottled water anymore.
We stockpiled on the Kashi waffles and Kelloggs cereals the past few weeks, so breakfast has been taken care of.
Between Mom and the stockpile, we were good this week. I only went to Walmart to pick up the paper and some Knorr pasta sides that were on sale. I also spent our Costco refund check at costco on soymilk ($24), Juice and chips (total $37.06 out of a $46 check.)

Ultimately, I saved
$4.50 in coupons
$2.00 in price matchups at Walmart
$8.96 overage at Costco.

I spent:
$17.88 at Walmart
-$8.96 at Costco

Since we have a $200/week budget - moved down to $100 budget since I started couponing - I saved about $90 by NOT going grocery shopping.

Thank you for the challenge Kaley and Wes! Thanks be to God for helping me with this!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

$10 hr.

Benjamin Franklin was credited with the phrase "A penny saved is a penny earned". As our company CMO, that is the only way I can contribute to our family's bottom line right now. So I figured out I am earning (read: saving) about $10 for each hour I spend on cutting, sorting, and shopping with coupons. Sometimes I do way better - (like that one week at Target) - but I average about $10/hr. I like that this activity is quantifiable.

Other CMO duties are not as quantifiable - so I am having problems with motivation to do them. For example - laundry. We have plenty of clothes, so Chad and I can go for weeks without me putting any effort into doing our laundry. I need to get this on some sort of schedule so it isn't so overwhelming.

Other examples - dusting, sweeping/mopping, doing dishes - all seems so mundane to me. I will get on a schedule though. At least than maybe I can celebrate weeks that I stay on it. That's probably going to help. I need to create my own recognition program and than get Chad's buy-in.

hmmm. I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vickies anyone?

I was coaxed into shopping for myself while "resting" at my parents house on Saturday morning with my sister, Corie, and my fabulous niece, Semira. Semira asked Chad if I could go with them to Victoria's Secret (they are having their semi-annual sale).

Long story super short - I saved $86 on 13 pairs of underwear. Was that TMI? I paid $2.50 for each pair - I am so happy. So this week I saved a lot. We also went to Bath and Body works, where I purchased 2 items at 1/2 price - saving $7.00. We ended our spree at Old Navy where there were no flip-flops to be found - but I did find a cute swimsuit for $12.50! I have no idea if I saved anything on that since it was not a planned purchase.

Target/Walmart - about $160 saved between the two places
Shopping at the Mall - $93

Total --> $253! Wow.

Now, I did feel some pressure as gas prices were going up this week in anticipation of Memorial Day weekend. I need to get our receipts from that and put them into the Google document.

I am going to refrain from any large shopping trips for a few weeks, I think. We seem to be all stocked - as long as I take time to do some cooking. I will keep my eyes peeled for free items at the store, CVS-ing and such - and keep you posted on our continuous improvement efforts.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Midnight shopping spree

Yesterday, Tuesday, was my big shopping day. I wanted to go to SuperTarget so bad because of all the great deals this week. I found a very easy to follow list on Surviving The Stores.
I ended up spending $78.28 (I could hardly believe it!). The price of all of my groceries was over $207 before discounts and coupons. I even got a $5.00 giftcard to use for the future. Joe went with me and did some shopping of for his family, too. It was nice to hang out with my brother. We were shopping late at night, completely outside of my original plans, but it worked.
The babies were at Corie and Joe's house since we were out from 8pm-1am. Once we were done at Target, he took me to a new Wal-mart with aisles of clearance items. I ended up getting over $30 of clearance items for about $7.50. My favorite purchase last night were these potholders - I know, I know - I'm a domestic diva now. I got two Neoprene Pot Holders for $1.00 each. They are rectangular, like the one on the right. They were regularly priced at $4.25/ea.
For those of you in the DFW area, the Walmart is at 6300 Oakmont Blvd, Fort Worth, TX.
My other favorite purchase were our 2 liter bottles of Coke and Sprite for $.88/ea. It was a price match with this week's Albertson's coupon/ad. (good through Tuesday)
I just read my favorite $$ saving website, Cha-Ching on a shoestring. Thank you Kaley and Wes for honoring me by making me the ChaChing Challenge winner for last week. I am so blessed to have people like you as an encouragement!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Savings this week

Our budget for groceries was $200/week (including diapers) back when we were both employed - I've been reducing that as much as I possibly can - only shopping if/when I can get a good deal.

This week I spent
<$20 on produce/groceries/papers (Saved $0) $43.16 on gasoline (saved .36 vs. TX average gas prices) $15.16 on clothes (saved $10.01) $6 at Chick-fil-a (saved $3 with coupon for free kids meal) $30 on date night @ Olive Garden (saved $4 with rollatini coupon) All in all, I only "saved" $17.36 this week. But I also didn't spend money - which counts for something.

Chad did a great job spoiling me for my belated Mother's day without spending much.
2 hour massage (prepaid @ massage envy, so I only had to pay a tip)
trip to the chiropractor (paid for by insurance)
Local coffee shop for coffee and a muffin and hanging out (around $10)
Lunch and Dinner above (we used coupons for both!)
We just hung out today, and I had a chance to take a glorious 3 hour nap.
Cori babysitting kids in the afternoon, and PandA in the evening (free childcare!)

I gotta start somewhere! :-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

grocery spreadsheet

Here it is!

Now its time to bathe the kids. :-)

Thank you Erin!

I found a spreadsheet that is going to help me track my savings on Hot Coupon World. I am a firm believer on not re-inventing the wheel so this was created by another CMO somewhere and of all of the spreadsheets I've found, I like this one the best. I just got it posted on - just so y'all can see it too (and encourage me).

I think the thing I like least about being CMO is the feeling of being an island. This blog helps me to reach out and get the feeling of accountability.

Also, thank you for the website and book info on how to make baby foods.

I just printed out a $4 off per person coupon for Olive Garden - yay for date night coupons! :-)

Off I go to get my spreadsheet started. I went to Walmart this morning to pick up a couple of extra papers for coupons and some produce, so I can get some numbers in there.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

How do I keep track of this?

You can't improve what you can't measure --Jeff Hook, Fellowship Technologies

My former CEO used to say this all the time. It was the cornerstone for my ability to consult churches and help them get a higher Return on Ministry at the churches. We would measure the effacacy of what they were doing so they could make informed decisions on where/what was improving and how to proceed.

Now I am the CMO at my house (Chief Maternal Officer). That was the only title I could think of that encompassed all of the jobs I do for our houshold. I have goals - but I need to be sure to measure where I am so I can see what works and what doesn't.

Goals for this quarter (April - June)
1. Increase Chad's fruit/veggie intake to 3 servings a day + Hybrid vitamins
2. Decrease grocery/diaper spending to <$100/week
3. Study homemade baby food; pros, cons, methods

I am going to measure #1 in the calendar. I know I can't make Chad take his vitamins - but I can make sure they are within his reach. I also pack his lunch and dinner each day for work - so I can track what he eats there too. I want him around for a long time.

I am struggling with a way to measure #2. I know I can measure the total that I spend, but I want to build an excel spreadsheet/program to help me track trends for the next quarter. I think I'm going to end up writing out the scope of the program and work in from there.

#2 is going to be tracked at the Macro level with my participation in the ChaChing-challenge. Each Friday or Saturday, I'll post about what deals I cashed in on this week.

Not sure how I am going to organize info from #3 yet. It's a work in progress. Probably in a notebook, or another blog.

Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

Thanks for your support and prayers as we go on this journey as a family!