There are so many uncertainties that come with being 23. I know in the next few years I might say the word house and baby more often. If I want to pay for those pregnancy medical bills, put 20 percent down on a house, help my husband through school, support him through an internship and extra classes/recruitment trips, pay for a fancy new laptop (Dalton has had his current laptop for almost 6 years) and all the regular expenses, coupons need to be a regular part of life.
I take pride in knowing that we were able to eat out Friday night and Saturday night for a whopping total of $20 if the price of the one Groupon is included. And I'm not talking fast food. This doesn't include the tip we paid, but still. Why on earth would I want to pay full price when I can pay half price? Sometimes, though, this mentality gets me in trouble. Why would I buy a new couch when I can buy two couches for $300 that look new except for that one hidden dog drool stain?
I spend an allotted time on Sunday afternoon sorting my coupons and deciding what the best plan of action is for my grocery trip. I'm not one of those psychos ladies in the Walmart line with a binder of coupons, but I have my little stack on double coupon Tuesday, and you better believe I ad match. Why on Earth wouldn't you? Dalton and I eat the majority of our meals at home, not including Friday or Saturday night when I am tired of cooking. Eating out twice this last weekend was rare. We are lucky enough to work close enough to home that we can drive home for a bite on our breaks.
It can be tough sometimes to buy a variety of quality, healthy food at a reasonable price. In a two-week period I usually spend around $100 in groceries, which includes any extra staple items I run out of. I also shopping at Smith's or Lolo's for meat. Why Smith's? Well, because they usually have a ton of Manager's Specials depending on the time of day. That means the meat needs to be put in a freezer very soon, but it isn't bad meat. Let me give you a breakdown of how much Sunday dinner cost us. We still have 1/3 of this pizza left in the fridge.
Shredded Mozarella Cheese: $1.50 at Smith's
- I used half of the 8 oz. bag = .75
Medium Cheddar Cheese: $1.50 at Smith's
- I used the sprinkling that was leftover: = .25
Flour: $1.67 at Lolo's
- 2 1/2 cups = about .25
Salt: .30 at Lolo's
- 1 tsp. = about .05
Cooking Oil: $1.87 Lolo's
- 2 tbsp. = about .05
Yeast (3 packets): $1.18
1 packet = about .39
Chicken: $3 at Smith's
- I cooked all of the chicken but only used 1/3 of the package = $1
Red Onion (1): .30 Lolo's
- I used about 1/3 of the onion = .10
Mushrooms: 1.76 Lolo's
- I used two mushrooms for my half = .20
BBQ Sauce: .88 Walmart (Ad match)
- 3 tbsp. = .05
Kraft Fat Free Ranch: $1 at Smith's
- I had a coupon for $1 off of 2 Kraft dressings. They were 1.50 at Smith's (one of their buy 5 save 5 deals), therefore, I got each for $1.
- 2 tbsp. = .05
THEREFORE, this pizza cost $3.14 to make. And to think, so many people think a floppy Little Caesar's with 7 pepperonis and rubber cheese is a good deal. Get with the program people.
Get smart with your money young ones. I'm still learning, but what I've learned so far is doing amazing things for my bank account. Yes, it takes a little more time and preparation, but my anxiety for the future is at an all-time low. You've heard it a million times, but the little things do add up!
I'd love to hear any of your money-saving tips!