advice coupons

I've reached the point in adulthood when you rise above poverty level and tax time changes from a time when you get some cash, to a time when you owe some (gulp, major) cash. It has not been a pleasant discovery. I won't complain too much because I support the idea of taxes and public works. In fact, get me started on a discussion comparing Pennsylvania public education and Oregon public education, and the impact of a lack of state sales tax (probably just one factor among many) in Oregon will cause a heart attack (unless you're from Oregon and know no differently).

Over the past year and a half, I've semi-followed David Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" (that title is SO embarrassing) and I've studied the ideals of "Your Money or Your Life". I finally feel IN CONTROL of my money and yet I'm still seeking ways to improve and stretch my money. This is especially important for me in 2009, otherwise known as "the year of the baby" and unofficially known as "the year Julie thinks about starting life as a homemaker and thinks about moving across the country".

So my dear internet friends, what are the ways that you stretch your money?

I'll get us started:
  • I reuse the q-tips that I use for make-up touch-up. Yup, I leave a dirty q-tip sitting on the sink and use it for days. That HAS to save at least a penny a month!
  • I eat leftovers (since many people don't, I'm using this as one of my ideas).
  • I don't pay for cable tv and instead count on internet tv and netflix for entertainment.
  • I don't buy books. I borrow them from friends or borrow from the library.
  • I don't shop for fun. This one is easy for me because I don't like shopping. However, every time I go to the mall or Target, I find things I NEED... so I just don't go!
  • (your turn)


  1. - I don't buy garbage bags. First of all, I try to bring my own fabric bags to grocery stores, but when I forget, I re-use those grocery bags as garbage bags. Sure, they're smaller- but it doesn't really matter, does it? Big garbage bags just get smelly anyway!
    - The greatest tip: Discount stores! I love 'em. Ollies, TJ Maxx, Aldis, sign me up, baby! I'm in!

  2. I make homemade iced tea! It's really easy and then I'm not drinking pop as often (so it's a healthy idea and you produce less waste:). I typically only have water, iced tea, and juice in my fridge. I also try not to buy coffee out very often (although that went out the window once I came to Italy... cappuccino is addicting!). I also often buy the sunday paper to cut coupons and pick my meals based on deals I find. Yes I'm that old! I'll think of more:)

  3. Great ideas! I hope more people post! I'm going to make homemade iced tea tonight! YUM! (Every sentence must end with an exclamation point!)

    MOK- I use grocery bags as trash bags too! Then I keep a smaller garbage can and it definately doesn't get as nasty.

  4. I buy the sunday edition of the washington post. They have 1-2 coupon pamplets each week plus all the store ads. My new favorite activity is cutting and sorting coupons. I have saved at least 5-8 dollars each time i go to the store (and I really try to only buy things I NEED with them) Plus, I feel a lil bit smarter after reading the paper!

    Erin O.

  5. Hi, Jacob's cousin Darcy here. We're saving lots of money on baby expenses.

    Obviously breastfeeding saves us money on formula. (we got a free can of formula mix and we haven't finished it yet) Instead of buying a fancy set of furniture for the nursery, we borrowed a bassinet (which we have since passed along to someone else) and a crib from friends. I bought a changing table/bureau from a neighbor for only $50. I also found a store near us that sells gently-used baby clothing and toys.

    This is going to sound strange given the cost of the fancy velcro tab cloth diapers (like Bum Genius) but we invested in those and they will pay for themselves within 3 months. And we're saving on gas because we don't have to run out to the store for disposables.

  6. We took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University a few years ago and it has changed our lives. Good stuff.

    As far as saving money... since it is your "year of the baby" there are lots of ways to save money there...

    Garage sales. I get almost everything for the kids second hand. You can find GREAT bargains and baby stuff hardly even gets used because they go through the phases so quickly. (I did Jason's bday presents for about $10 and he got a ton of great gifts.) And whatever you will reuse if you have a second child get in neutral.

    You can make your own baby wipes. Making your own baby food is a HUGE saver.

    My best way of saving money is patience.... I always figure if I wait long enough someone will either give me what I am looking for or I will find a GREAT deal on it.

  7. 1. I absolutely refuse to clip coupons. First they almost always seem to expire before I have a chance to get to the store. I usually shop at the big discount Winco food store with low already low prices. Coupons seem to be for brand name processed crap food which costs more than generic brand. Anyways we usually buy fresh produce, meat, and bulk staples. It's just not worth my time. Period.

    2. I don't spend much money on clothes at all.

    3. During cold months we close the doors to our living room and stoke the woodstove instead of heating the whole house with forced air.

    4. We use heated matress pads and lower the thermostat at night.

    5. I grow some of our own food.

    6. During the mild weather months I try to use my bike for getting to work. I also try to bike or walk to the grocery store, dentist, Red Cross, farmer's market, and park. This practice makes me more aware of fuel economy and I plan further trips together ahead of time.

    7. I don't buy movies or have cable TV. Instead I use Netflix or internet TV.

    8. We cook at home a lot.

    9. I wear clothes until they appear or smell dirty. Yeah I know I am soooo gross.

    10. I try to borrow books from the library.

    11. I didn't own a child and saved a lot of money, more than I am even aware of yet. As a father I plan to recoup costs by selling my child's labor as a coal miner, factory worker, or pulling weeds in the fields. That last one is a half-truth. Trust me, I lived it.

    12. I take magazines and the daily newspapers from my workplace.

    13. We go on camping vacations.

    14. I wear things out instead of replacing them too early. i.e. worn out clothing, shoes, kitchen utensils, furniture, my wife, tools.

    15. I play with real living interactive objects like my friends, cat, or Julie, instead of video games. The last thing I owned was an old Nintendo.

    16. I read a lot for entertainment.

    17. I reuse dirty q tips left on the bathroom sink for cleaning out my ear. Then I put them back where I found them.

  8. Haha I just read Jakes comments. I had no idea you hated coupons so much! I mostly cut them for bathroom and cleaning products more so than food.

    Also I will help fund your child in the future by hiring him/her to pull weeds:)


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