The Frugal Lady: Pinching Pennies 101

The Frugal Lady: Pinching Pennies 101

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This week we will be featuring Dinner on a Dime & Pinching Pennies 101 from The Frugal Lady.  We will discuss shopping techniques, coupon know-how and ,for all my good students, a FREE Download.  If you cook more that 5 meals a week in your kitchen, good job, you are on your way.  If you want to really make a difference in your pocketbook, then let's consider stepping that number up (way up)!  Commit to eat at home or pack your lunch for at least a month.  I guarantee that you will be happier with your waistline, pocketbook and the sheer joy of knowing you are helping your family.  Let the learning commence!

You don't have to own a coupon organizer, a pair of scissors in every room, nor does your last name need to be "Stewart" to make meals work with little fuss and little funds.  I personally, have begun mastered the ability to feed my family of four on $55 per week or less!  Don't worry, we are well feed, I promise (no comments from those who know me personally please!lol.)  This is doable with a little perseverance and a little planning.

1.  Preparation: Know Your Goal
Set a short term goal for your grocery budget.  Lower it by $25 and then decrease the budget again after the first 2 weeks.  Now, know your schedule for shopping.  What I mean is, when is the best time for you to shop . . . alone?  You want to meet your families scheduling needs and not stress yourself.  I did not shop with my kids with me for the first 3 monthes of going "penny-pinching" shopping.

Now let's just ease into your new shopping steps slowly.  Find a way to get your coupons from the Sunday paper.  Ask a neighbor if they use their's.  Ask co-workers or friends at church.  They are usually happy to share what they do not use.  Get as many copies of the coupons that you can get your hands on in order to capitalize on every sale you are about to discover.

2.  Planning: Grocery Inserts, Coupons and Blogs (of course)
In order to be effect in saving you must plan your meals in advance.  Menu planning is the first big step in saving on your grocery bill.  Next, you will need to find your local grocer inserts or advertisements for the week.  In my community, they come in a mid-week extra newspaper, right to our mailbox on Tuesday afternoon and sales begin on Wednesdays at the local grocers.  It is different for every region, so try to keep that in mind.  Get your coupons clipped.  You can follow and Subscribe to the blogs that know who to buy from and when to buy.  Of course, sales and coupons will differ in other regions of the countries, but you can always gain more education in frugal living from anyone who is ready to teach.  I suggest . . . well, me . . .but these ladies are like clock work posting on Coupons, printable Coupons, lingo, freebies, tips and tricks.  I recommend all of these frugal professionals:

Frugal Hacks
Frugal Coupon Living
Coupon Saving Game
The Frugalisious Mom
"Deal"ectible Mommies
The Frugal Girls
Couponing 101
The Krazy Coupon Lady
The Centsable Sawyer.

3.  Preparedness: Stocking It Up!
Keep in mind while you are coupon clipping and shopping from your sales items lists, that one of the greatest tools of frugal women everywhere is stock-piling.  Use your savings in groceries to help you stock-up on those staple items that you use the most of.  Freezing, canning, preserving are super ways to help you stock-pile you foods.  Stock-piling also gives you a piece of mind in knowing you and your family would be prepared for the unknown and emergencies that may arise.  You can also share more with those in need when you are able to stock-pile in your home.

I suggest this site to learn more about Emergency Preparedness

4.  Poise! Never Let Them See You Sweat - - - Stick to Your Guns, Tex!
One of the not-so-fun sides to being frugal is dealing with the cashier with the "attitude".  I am not sure why someone saving money to support their family upsets cashiers so much.  I have a pretty good idea . . . but I'll keep it to myself.  All of that to say, stick to your guns!  You have proof of what is on sale (you have the advertisement).  You are only asking the retailer to produce what they promised in the advertisement.  Never be afraid to ask for a manager!  The manager of any reputable retailer will gladly fix your problem or help explain the confusion.  No big deal!  So don't let the 16 year old cashier who has NO IDEA how tough it is to raise a family talk you out of it.

5.  Pinch and Pull in the Kitchen.
Learn how to make every meal count, then count again and count again.  It is usually more cost effective in most cases for you to DIY (do it yourself) when it comes to processed foods.  It is cheaper and usually healthier for your family.

Example: Refried beans (Eat a bowl of beans for dinner, then refry them in butter the next night to have refried beans in your burritos)

There are so many wonderful ways to cut corners in the kitchen.  Here are a few of my favorite:
a. Make your own bread.  I love to make bread.  It's cheaper.  It's yummier.  And kneading dough can be very therapeutic on a stressful day! (Tune in later this week for The Frugal Lady Recipe clips)
b. Make your own butter.
c. Reuse plastic sandwich bags.
d. Use vinegar, baking soda and peroxide as household cleaners.  Cheaper and natural. Tah-dah!
e. Pack your lunch.

Here are a few more fun spots to find some frugal helps with your Dining on a Dime! - - - -

*Cooking for a "foodie" just got that much simpler.  Download this FREE Ebook containing 31 Secret Restaurant Recipes. . . well, it isn't a secret any longer.
Thanks, Frugal Girls!

* Save on Valentine's:  Take your honey out to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for some special sweets.  When you buy any dozen doughnuts at Krispy Kreme, you'll receive 12 Valentines cards each with a coupon for a FREE doughnut to hand out to your friends (or children's friends)!
Thanks, The Coupon Saving Game
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Well, thank you for being such a good student!  If you read this far you get 

The Frugal Lady Shopping List
The Frugal Lady Menu Planner

Enjoy your shopping, your savings and the empowerment of knowing you helped your family!
Good job!

* Be sure to tune in to all the posts this week for some great giveaways and more frugal topics! *

The Frugal Lady

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