Welcome to Southern Savers, where finding deals and steals is simple and rewarding!

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 over the basics of what we are trying to do.  You can also brush up on our plan with our week 1 goals.

For everyone that already knew all that, let’s get on to this weeks details…

Do you ever feel like your train (week) derailed and it’s impossible to get back on the tracks?  That was last week for us.  My goal was to spend nothing in groceries… but then remembered that it was our week to bring snack to 60-80 kids at our homeschool co-op.  Later in the week we needed to take meals to two families in church.  That is really an honor and not a problem, but I wasn’t quite so stocked to take crock pot meals as I hoped.  With both of those we did have to shop, however we didn’t spend much out of the budget!

As for eating out, we did great!  I did “splurge” and eat out once, but I only did it because I found a gift card for the cafe.  It’s nice to get a treat and not feel guilty for it!

Last weeks goals:

$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

We ended up hitting all of these except grocery.  I spent $35 getting the snack and food for meals to deliver.

We did some other budget maneuvering this week to help make up being behind in the challenge too.  I decided one place we hadn’t looked at recently was insurance.  This is really something you need to get in the habit of price checking yearly.  Never just pay the bill!  Always make sure you have the best rate.  I called around and priced out our cars and our house.  By switching carriers we saved over $200!  We budget and keep all of this money in a special savings account and pay yearly (you avoid added fees and usually get another discount), so that is a sweet savings to feel all at one time!

Savings Total So Far: $590!!

That means we are actually a tiny bit ahead.

I’m still waiting to see the processed earnings from my Thred UP bag from last week, they say it takes 12-14 days.  So hopefully I can add that in next week.

In case you are wondering we aren’t going miserable in this challenge.  It’s been fun, we’ve focused on staying home a lot more and having good quality time.  We’ve also had 3 different nights we considered date nights already this month.  This week it was dinner and a free movie, watching the 2012 version on Much Ado About Nothing on Amazon Prime (I recommend it).

This Coming Week:

We are keeping with the beginning plan, and planning on also listing two different trailers that we have on craigslist.  They are both little and won’t bring in a ton, but it all adds up!

I’m also hoping to do another week of eating from the pantry, this time for real.  No grocery expenses at all!  If things get rough we’ll at least have 6 fresh eggs every day and tomatoes.  To bad our garden isn’t growing anything else right now.  I don’t see it getting that rough though, we still have plenty of things in the freezer stored up.

$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

+ Hoping for Thred UP bag credit and craigslist sales…

How did your week go?  Share what you have been doing to save even more this month in the comments or leave a link to your post.

    • http://jenbendewish.wordpress.com/ Jennifer Bendewish

      Last week was pretty tough for us. Our youngest turned 4 and we had a birthday party at home for her. Thanks to stockpiling, I was able to pull from my stockpile for drinks, snacks, candy, and sides and just had to buy fresh meat for burritos. We did splurge and bought her a new bike (with coupons and cash back of course). My dismal failure was when I went to Party City for balloons and Sofia the 1st decorations (I did use a $10 off coupon but still spent more than planned). Since we had the party at home, my husband tackled a few cleaning projects he never would have gotten around to…. so, I consider that a gigantic success

      As for insurance, both my husband and I are veterans and we stick with USAA for all our investment accounts and insurance. We shop around every couple of years, but USAA has been very reliable over the past 10 years.
      We are up to $35 in Old Navy Rewards from using our Old Navy card for gas and grocery purchases and we saved over $15.00 by finally using the Fuelperks through Harveys.

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

        You know with not shopping the last few weeks I forgot about our saved fuelperks! We should have at least $1.50 off a gallon right now… You’ve just made me feel even better about next week!

      • shaz

        How do you use your old navy card for gas and groceries?

        • Bethany

          @shaz : You can use your Old Navy credit card for any purchase (not just for purchases at Old Navy), then after spending a certain amount, you are rewarded with Old Navy spending money. One year my husband lost 80 pounds, and we put all our purchases on the Old Navy card (and paid it off in full every month), then used the accumulated rewards to pay for all new clothes for him, basically for free. We got over $200 in free clothes that year. It’s a good rewards card as long as you pay it off each month.

        • http://jenbendewish.wordpress.com/ Jennifer Bendewish

          Shaz- Bethany covered it pretty well. I have an Old Navy VISA and for August and September they are rewarding 5x the points for purchases on gas and groceries. So, we are putting all our gas and groceries on the card and will use the Rewards Bucks at the next big sale. A great way to get a little extra as long as you pay off the entire balance each month. During Old Navy sales, I can often get kids clothing less than $3 a piece, which beats my local consignment shops.

    • Becky A

      As far as car insurance goes, we looked hard for better insurance, but our current one was still the best we could find. We did however both pay $19.99 for an online defensive driving course that will save us $120 a year for the next 3 years. So we will save $320 total after spending the $40 up front.