Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Savings War!

Several weeks ago my Sissie and I declared a savings war. The rules are simple: 1) Save as much as you can everywhere; and 2) Be sure to brag to Sissie (or Cissie -- she's one and I am the other). And so it began!

The first shot fired was the purchase of the kitchen cabinets. Combining a store sale, manufacturer's credit, and a weekend double bonus, the purchase was parlayed into more than $850 savings, dropping the price from more than $4000 to almost $3000!

The return fire was a major clothing shopping purchase for two growing boys which netted more than $175 in savings from a major clothing chain. The purchase included six pairs of pants, twelve shirts, socks and underwear.

Not to be outdown, the battle moved to a new venue -- the grocery store. Here the battle became a matter of stategy and good planning. E-coupons were discovered as well Crystal and Lisa's websites. Both are huge resources for coupons as well as scenerios for savings. While many of the stores are not in my region, the scenerios for the stores mentioned can work for other stores.

While I do not have the largest grocery budget, since my son is home until February, it has doubled. (The kid can eat!) Plus, I am building one heck of a pantry filled with staples. I really dislike carrying in heavy groceries in the winter, so this has been a way for me to stockpile those things I don't care to shop for in rain or snow (bags of flour or toilet paper, for example). Every week, Sissie and I call each other to tout our latest coup at the grocer's. This week mine was six Pillsbury biscuits for 20-cents a can. Last week it was Suave shampoo, 38-cents each, with a limit of 4.

To be completely successful, we have both returned to menu planning rather than the dreaded, "What will we have for supper?" approach. We are both finding less leftovers as well as better use of our resources. Frankly, I am finding this exciting! For menu ideas we are taking inspiration from Laura or Melissa. Another inspirational post came from Jane yesterday! There is no end to the wonderful sources!

What lead to all this thriftiness? Well, it is several things. One, the Commonwealth is experiencing yet another budget shortfall and voluntary retirements are being offered. While Don qualifies in spades, I don't. Realizing that this is an option, we are trying to cut our expenses and pay off the two remaining debts we have. Every penny saved is being thrown onto these two bills to get the balances down as quickly as possible. Two, we want to farm full-time. There are so many things we both like to do here, but we need capital to start a few of these ventures. This is a way to accomplish that. And, three, who can let their sister beat them at anything!?? *grin*

What money saving ideas do you have?


  1. Good luck on the savings war! We too are working toward retirement and throwing everything at our mortgage , so we'll be debt free. Only eleven more months to go! Maybe you'll have to live on goats milk, cheese, and butter? Kind of like the Swiss used to do.


  2. Hi Matty,

    I really enjoyed reading this post! It's always so inspiring to hear how other people are saving money...I especially like your friendly competition with your Sissie (or...is she Cissie? ;). To answer your question, my most recent way to save money was on an online order for clothing. To preface, I rarely buy retail and am an avid yard sale/thrift/consignment clothes shopper. That being said, I have been curtailing even that sort of shopping lately (and the clothing prices at our GW and other thrift & consignment shops are going up so high that my frugal self will not pay them, unless it's for a very high quality garment). My wardrobe was in very sad shape, however, and in truly dire need of some freshening-up for the winter. Thus, I took inventory of my closet and tried to put together outfits using what I had (it's much like menu planning but instead of creating meals from the pantry, I create outfits from my wardrobe). My church and business wardrobe came out in good shape, but my daily clothing was quite literally pathetic and very rag-like (I am huge on comfort;). Thus, Mike (my husband) challenged me to take a hundred dollars to see what I could find online.

    Going against my nature, I browsed a bit and found that everything seemed so expensive, even on sale, until I happened upon Old Navy. (of course, I'd heard of it, but had never shopped there). I spent about an hour browsing through their sale section and ended up finding about a dozen items, including a pair of shoes I've been longing for (not the exact pair, but very similar to ones I saw online, at a more expensive store). When I finished the check-out, my total (before tax) was about $120, which was reasonable to me as the most expensive item on my list was a very cute, ruffled, hoodie sweatshirt for $15, originally $50--most other items were $5 (originally $10) and $7 (originally $16.99) each; the cute shoes $12 (originally $24).

    It was then that I remembered a wonderful website called MyBargainBuddy.com . They have special bargains that vary from day to day, but they always have a section where you can find the retail store you want and check to see if they are having any special discounts and/or free shipping and the like. I scrolled down to Old Navy and found that they WERE having a sale, 25% off all orders over $100, and it ended the very next day! Well, needless to say, I was very happy. I went back, entered the code into the box at the Old Navy check out and the price went down about $30, bringing my order to $90--plus $7 shipping and the tax (argh, sadly, tax was almost as much as my most expensive item).

    The box of clothing arrived a few days ago, and I am thrilled with the quality, fit, and color of each and every piece! Of course, I was very careful to read their sizing charts and know my own size before I ordered. As well, reading the reviews of others on their site offered me very valuable information--such as cut and fit and fabric quality of their clothes.

    I now feel as if I my wardrobe is set for the winter. These purchases have very much livened-up what I already own. I'm using my basic jeans (bought on ebay) and classic skirts,coats and boots (bought years ago at estate sales)as my basics.

    Sorry this is so long! You have sparked one of my favorite topics!! LOL.


  3. This is brilliant, Tracey! I, too, don't care to shop for clothes so this would be a great way for me to do it painlessly! Thanks for sharing a great idea!


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!