Getting started

Coupons 101

Before you begin cutting coupons, you should know the “lingo” that goes along with them. Here is a short guide on coupon lingo.

Sunday paper

As I’ve said before, you must buy the Sunday paper. In it, you’ll find coupon inserts from Smart Source (SS), Red Plum (RP), and Proctor and Gamble (P&G). We actually get a free weekly paper that has additional coupon inserts. Check your driveway first!

Living Frugal series

I’ve been thinking of ways to save money for a long time. Especially because I wanted to be able to stay home with our daughter. The cost of living in California can be tough on single-income families. So I try to get ahead of our budget before our budget gets ahead of us. I want to share some of the ways we cut costs without feeling much of the effects.

Living Frugal: Our pets

I’m starting my Living Frugal series off with my thoughts about pets. We had an emergency with our dog and had to take him to the vet on a Sunday. This was an unexpected expense that exceeded our budget. I know a lot of people who love animals, who’ve had to give them up because they just can’t afford them anymore. When the economy suffers, so do our family pets. Our dog is huge part of our family. We’ve done several things differently since we’ve switched to a single income family. Here are few things you can do to keep your pet happy, safe, and healthy without breaking the bank.

Living Frugal with Food: Part I (budget)

When looking at our spending on food as a whole, I couldn’t believe how much we were spending. Especially since we’re a small family. I couldn’t believe how much money we were wasting on food! Each week, I was throwing away food and money. Not only was it wasteful, but irresponsible. This was the first area I tackled when trying to save money but I didn’t even know where to begin.

Living Frugal with Food: Part II (coupons)

Now that we set our grocery budget (from Part I), we can start talking about how we’re going to be saving. The first and most important resource is the coupon. Taking a 50 cent coupon into a store won’t do much for you. You’ll have to watch for store deals and learn how to get the most out of each coupon. We’ll be covering store deals next week. For now, we’re going to cover coupon basics.

Living Frugal with Food: Part III (grocery shopping)

Before I had a budget and cut coupons, I would go to the grocery store and spend a ton of money. I’d grab a cart, fill it up, and check out. My average grocery bill would be $120 each time. For just one store. I actually went to a couple stores each week. When it was time to take the trash out, I would toss about 50% of what I had just bought earlier that week. Tossing spoiled food and money at the same time. Not very frugal.

Living Frugal: Shopping at bread outlets

My family uses a ton of bread. I love getting fresh breads for dinner parties and special guests. But for everyday living, I shop at the bread outlet. We have anĀ Entenmann’s-Oroweat Bakery Outlet right here in SF, so it’s perfect for our family. I go to the outlet twice a month, and get all the bread I need for my family. I have a small storage freezer, so I stock up for a two week period. I typically save about 40% over typical grocery store prices, and am getting fresh bread and treats my family enjoys.

Living Frugal: Track spending with Mint.com

I wanted to re-post this because the holidays are hear and we are all doing our best to stay on budget. Mint might just be the best Holiday gift there is!

My husband is the one who tracks our finances. He tries to keep me in the loop of what we’re bringing in, and what we’re spending. Especially since I’m the one who spends most of the money on groceries and household shopping. I’ve written about how moving back to San Francisco affected our lifestyle. We still get to do all the things we like, but some expenses are steeper here.

Living Frugal: Shopping at the Goodwill

Clothes and shoes are my weakness. Which is funny because I wear a lot of sweats these days. Clothing was another area of our budget that needed to be trimmed down. I’ll admit: I am a jeans snob. I like nice designer jeans, so I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to trim the clothing budget as much as we’d like. Surprisingly, this was really easy to do. Goodwill is based here in San Francisco. We are really lucky to have all the divisions available to us. If you are new to Goodwill shopping, let me explain.

Meal planning made easy!

Ever since I started trying to find ways to save, it’s always come back to the same things: time and money. I’ve come up with a way to save on both. If you’re trying to find ways to save, here is one of the easiest ways to begin. Meal planning is so easy, and it’s one of the best ways to start. You can start by printing the Frugal Day Weekly Meal Planner to get you started.

About Frugal Day

Frugal Day is a place to share the ideas, coupons, and deals that make it easy to live and shop responsibly. I love to save, and I believe that …

 
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Contact Cam
  • Follow @FrugalDay on Twitter
  • Frugal Day on Facebook
  • Frugal Day's YouTube channel
Watch a clip of Cam's appearance on CBS / Good Day Sacaramento