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See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RP = Red Plum
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

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challenge

This month I am challenging myself and all of you to try to cut your budgets to save $1000 (or 10% of your income).  If you are already saving that’s awesome, but I still challenge you to do this with us.  You maybe surprised at how much fluff works it’s way into your life when you think things are going swimmingly.  For those that aren’t saving and living penny to penny this isn’t easy.  But… at the end of the month it will worth every minute of it to look and have started a small nest egg.

If you are just joining in, read back over the basics of what we are trying to do.  You can also brush up on our plan with our week 1 goals.

Now that you’ve been cutting back for a week, how’s it going?

I’ll confess somethings were easy and some were crazy hard.  I’m not always a planner so not grabbing any fast food when we are out and about is tricky business.  I fell off the wagon once when it was 3 pm and I still hadn’t finished errands and needed lunch.  A girl has to eat… I had packed lunch for the one kiddo that was with me, but thought I could stretch till I got home.

Total for last week we put a nice chunk in savings (yes I took it out of the checking account as if we had spent it and moved it to savings… ah the joys of online banking).  The final amount was $190.

This was from:

  • $55 from not eating out for dinner (we normally budget once per week)
  • $15 in extra grocery money not spent on snacks/juices and non-vital foods
  • $40 from not snacking/eating fast food.  This is normally in a “cash” segment of our budget that goes to miscellaneous.  What we are really trying to do is have NO miscellaneous purchases!
  • $80 in a tank of gas we didn’t need!

I had budgeted last week for $60 in gas, but we did an awesome job on living in one car.  We didn’t even leave the house for three days which is pretty rare for me.

Week 2 Plans

While $190 is awesome, we need to step it up a bit to hit $1000 by the end of the month.  This week the plan is to continue everything from week one, and to add a little bit more…

We already live on a grocery/household purchase budget of about $50 a week but I’m going to try to eat only from our stockpile this week.  I even have a few gallons of milk in the freezer so this should work without a problem.

There are a few other categories of our budget that have wiggle room.  Clothing and medical being the main two.  I’m kinda hoping I can play things well end up with those being unused this month too, but it’s a little early to be deciding that no one will need them.

I did send off two bags of clothes to ThredUp.com so that should hopefully result in some extra income coming in!

  • $55 – no eating out
  • $50 – no grocery shopping this week
  • $50 – no miscellaneous cash purchases (snacks, fast food, etc.)
  • $80 – gas savings from one car living

That’s a total savings of $235 not taking into account any earnings from ThredUp.  We really need to be at $250 to make up for last week so I’ll see how we can get creative during the week.

If you need some other ideas, think about your standing bills and how they can be reduced any this month.  This is a tough one for us, living in the country we only have a power bill.  We are trying to be as energy conscience as we can though.  It’s one that we won’t know till after the month how we did though.

How was your first week?  Leave a link to your post or a comment with how things are going.

    • Jennifer

      This month is REALLY difficult for us only because my son’s birthday is the 14th & we had already planned a trip to the zoo to celebrate as well as our daughter’s class ring deposit was due this month. With all of that being said, we have only eaten fast food once (I seem to run into the same problem you mentioned above) & we have tried really hard to to buy those “miscellaneous” things that you always seem to grab & throw in the buggy when you’re at the store. We also saved about $30 in gasoline. So, this coming week I think we are going to try to do the same and eat from our stockpile. HOPEFULLY we will be able to skip a trip to the store all together. Also, I am hoping to save in car gasoline again. I know that we won’t be able to save $1000, but I am hoping for $400. :)

    • Tamara

      We saved 40$ in not eating out or having coffee out
      50$ in not going to the movies ( babysitter, two tickets, snacks)
      60$ in gas
      45$ no grocery shopping
      I earned some extra money going through our closets and selling bundles on craigslist and once upon a child 48.50$ (it’s been due for a looooong time)
      20$ hubby cutting his own hair

      We were able to put 263.50$ into savings. But haircut and movie are monthly so we willl have to make up for that somewhere else this week. I still have lots to selo in clothing and our little girl just transitioned to a bed, so I will sell her crib hopefully too!

      • http://www.southernsavers.com/ Jenny

        Awesome week!

    • Meghan

      We are doing this after taking the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class at our church. We have found a sense of pride in knowing were all of our money is going, even eating out on occasion because there is a budget for that. When we look at the whole month and save money in multiple areas, we feel on track. Awesome to see you encouraging your readers to save! Coupons have helped us stay in our grocery budget for sure!

    • Ashlee Whitmire

      Has anyone used threadup? The reviews online were not very good but I’m hoping its actually a great site to go through. Any tips would help!

      • Kim

        I used to use it around a year ago…. but then they jacked up the prices and I was never able to find anything that I liked for my boys. When I would sell some of their more expensive clothing, I would get very little for them. I do better selling it to a local BuyBuy Baby consignment shop. I only get store credit, but I use it to buy stuff for my niece.

    • Becky A

      This week was unsuccessful for us. I was just unrealistic about my plans. My daughter turned 1 and my husband turned 30, so of course we had to do something special (but we didn’t go completely overboard)! Plus BiLo had their kcup bonanza, so I had to stock up (I had 2 cups left from the last bonanza). I’m hoping to try to sell some of the excess baby items and possibly clothes in my closet that I haven’t worn in years…(like 60-75% of the closet!). This week I can try to focus even more now that those celebrations are over :)

    • Diva Jefferson

      This month might be trouble for me, too. My daughter’s birthday is next week and there is no way I’ll have time to make a cake, so I’ll have to purchase one. You did great, though! :)

    • Khw

      Jenny, this is great & we really need to do this! I am amazed at your $50 weekly grocery budget! Would you share a sample of what meals your family eats on a typical week? I struggle to come up with meals for my family period, but definitely spend way more than $50 for those meals! Thanks!

    • Esong

      Yes I would love to hear your meals for a $50 weekly budget.

    • Helen McNally

      Wow $50 budget, please share. Party of 4 and 2 hungry boys. They have prepaid lunches.

    • M Beasley

      The hot water heater died on Day 4 and there went almost all of the $1000 we hoped to save. Starting again this week and acting like it’s Week 1.