As a family, we've been later than others in feeling the effect of the poor economy. And certainly we have so much to be thankful for: Mark is gainfully employed by a company who treats him well, in a job he really enjoys. Still, we have lately been forced to tighten the belt a little, be more strict following our budget, and look for creative ways to make the dollar go just a little farther.
One way we did this was our Not Disney Disney Vacation. Since our hotel was paid for by our Club membership and our resort condo had a kitchen, we were able to stay for free and cook most of our meals at our temporary home. Of course, speeding tickets don't bode well for the budget, but such is life!
Another way in which we are being creative with the finances is by couponing. Unfortunately, the Not Disney Disney Vacation threw me off the couponing game a bit. This weekend I decided it was time to get back in the game. I sorted, tossed, clipped, and sorted some more. I'm armed with my coupon file box and ready to head out wherever the sales flyers lead me.
This couponing game does take considerable time to do right. There is, of course, the clipping. But then there is also the researching. And to really make it worthwhile, a significant amount of research is required. It's also difficult finding the balance of eating healthy while using coupons. A majority of coupons from the weekly paper are for junk items like Oreos, Lucky Charms, and other similar products I only want as a treat (notice I didn't limit that to my children; I'm a big fan of Oreos and Lucky Charms too). However, I have found that if I stockpile toiletries especially, we can save a bundle. What's great about stockpiling is I never find myself out of toothpaste right before I head out the door to a homeschool event where my morning breath would not be appreciated. There is always plenty of toothpaste in stock. It will take me awhile to build up my stock of coupons again, but I have a good start with today's paper and some I printed from http://www.coupons.com/.
Besides couponing, I try to find time to read blogs and other types of articles on frugality. There are so many good tips out there. Part of what will keep me accountable and keep me in this game of frugality is posting great finds or creative ways we have saved money. That is what I want to do on Frugal Friday. And I would love to hear any tips you have to share. If I had more than 3 regular readers, I would certainly test my technological prowess and offer a Mr. Linky, but for now, if you have a tip to share, leave a comment. And please forgive the title. Certainly I am not the first to use "Frugal Friday" as a meme title; all of the creative titles with alliteration have been taken, my friends. I hope I am not infringing on anyone's copyrights.