Monday, November 9, 2015

Budget hacks

I started this blog to help the people on snap get through the month eating somewhat healthy on a limited budget.   I developed  a plan over fifty years.   A little background: I grew up with a mother that had survived the Great Depression.  While we had money, my mother never forgot her life lessons and she was always cognoscent of not wasting money.    When  I was in my early twenties, found myself in a position of being a single parent.  It was the days  of double digit inflation.  We didn't get a raise in three years.    Nixon froze wages.  I got paid twice a month.  One paycheck went for rent, the other for daycare.   There was no earned income credit, no food stamps, and no help with childcare.   I just had to make it on what I had.   I started with what my mother taught me and read everything I could get my hands on.  Through the years,  I adapted ways  to stretch a buck.   I'm still learning.
This blog post explores ways I have found to cut costs on other necessities also.

  • Personal heigene.   Many items can be purchased for free with coupons.   I have yet to get free toilet paper, but I am working on it.   The drug store chains have reward points.   I have successfully rolled points to get some things for free.  Rite aid used to have a better plan, but I have scored with the new one too.   It's a little less  complicated  than Walgreens.   I managed to get an electric toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash for free.  They paid me to take it out of the store.   This is the only senecio  I have found in this state to get overage.  Toothpaste is one of the easiest things to get for free.    
  • Coupons:   I spend very little time clipping coupons.  I do use coupons. They help a lot. Favado is a free ap that matches prices with coupons and tells you where to get the coupons and even sometimes gives you a link.   I get a newspaper from the dollar tree for a buck on Saturday( Sunday's paper).  My friend saves hers for me too.    More inserts come in our mail.   I give them a quick glance and cut any that I know I want.    The inserts then go in a file folder with the date on the insert and a monthly date on the file folder.    Once a month I download coupons from  I do it as close to the first day of the month as I can.   The coupons are limited . You  can only print two and when they are gone, they are gone.   
  • Laundry.   Necessary evil!   I don't use dryer sheets or fabric softener.   With laundry detergent, I got five months supply for 5.79.    I used two three dollar coupons. And found a rebate on a bottle.    
  • Clothes.   I watch Fred Meyers when they have up to seventy percent  off the last marked price.  I try to buy classic clothes.   Once or twice a year, we go to the off price mall and buy clothes.  We get an inexpensive off season room. At at a old fashioned breakfast diner we eat one meal and either purchase dinner at the Safeways or do Subway.   Breakfast is free at the motel.  I got 6 Christopher Banks tops for 20.00.   Goodwill is another good resource.   I got a darling party dress for granddaughter for four dollars. 
The best advice I give is to know your needs and prices.   My mother had the expression , "some people wouldn't know a bargain of it got up and bit them". Don' t be that person.  

Plan your trips.  Try not to buy anything unless it is at least half price.  When grocery shopping, stick to buying only the actual sales.   Only deviate when it is something you have to have or if you see an unadvertised special. Today. I got four percent fat hamburger for 2.99.   One time I got whole chickens for .50 per pound.   

Pick two chain stores a week based on the store ads.   Plan your trip. 
  • Check the ads from the newspaper, or favado.   
  • Write down what is truly on sale that you can fill in your meals with ( perishables), a loss leader protein,  and your stock items that are short. 
  • Check favado or your coupons binders or matching coupons.   Everyone but Winco will let you stack coupons - a store coupon and a manufacturers coupon.  
  • Make meal plans from what you need to use up and what is on sale .  
  • When you get home, check ibotta for any match ups.    
I had a huge bag of chocolate crispies I got at Winco for a dollar.  I bought a bag of mashmellows for a buck.  I barely made a dent in the cereal, we had chocolate crispy treats for 1.33 a 9x13 pan.  



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