Sunday, May 16, 2010

Clip and Save

Living a simple life means living happily and securely on less. Less stuff and less money. I would have to say that living with less money has been an ongoing struggle for me during this transformation. After all, I'm a good little American who supports her extractive economy by shop, shop, shopping away. And I'm damn, damn, damning myself and my family by continuing to do so with reckless abandon. My husband is no better. We've got to get our heads out of the dirt and get it together. Money does not equal happiness so they say, but I'm having an awfully hard time defending that motto when I get to buy something new and sparkly. It makes me pretty darn happy to buy stuff I don't need. The key here is to find happiness in everyday things, taking pride in what we already have, and letting the "shopping high" fall to the wayside.

The first step to living on less is being accountable for your debt and building your savings. Hubby and I are still in denial so we'll skip this stage temporarily and focus on little things until we get over ourselves and really do it up proper. By little things I mean eating out less, planning meals, ironing instead of dry cleaning ( I HATE ironing but I'll have to take one for the team,) cutting cable and internet speeds, and cutting out those aforementioned trips for sparkly, pretty, unnecessary things. As keeper of the home, I control most of these expenses so it is up to me to follow through and be disciplined. I've decided to start with grocery shopping.

A mammoth of a grocery store has opened up not even half a mile from my home. They have the biggest produce department I have ever seen with a large selection of organic produce. They also have a sizable natural/organic grocery area so I can buy all my earth friendly household and beauty products with having to schlep across town. It's gorgeous, well maintained, fairly priced and I can WALK there. No more loading the kids up in the van and wasting gas to wait in endless lines at Wal Mart. That alone is enough to encourage me to shop there!

But.....yes, there's a but. Though far from the most expensive grocery store, they aren't the cheapest. Wal Mart is, but I really, really despise shopping there. It's a corporate monster with questionable produce and sticky floors. So in order for me to shop at this new grocery store, I'm going to have to change the way I shop in order to avoid racking up my family's food costs. A bulleted list for your viewing pleasure:
  • I'm going to have to walk. It's ridiculously hot here right now so I'll have to make the trek early in the morning or after dark but I'm not wasting gas money to drive the .4 miles or so to the store. Time to invest in sturdy wagon.
  • I will transfer my prescriptions to the store. Save more gas and get a gift card for groceries!
  • I will use the weekly store ad to plan my menus with what is on sale, not with what I'm craving.
  • I will make a list and STICK TO IT.
  • I will clip coupons. I will try very hard to remember to take said coupons to the store.

 I spent a few minutes this afternoon with the Sunday paper, a pair of scissors, and glass of sun tea with mint. I have quite the coupon collection and hope to add to it soon. I find that the majority of coupons are for processed foods, which we don't eat a lot of, but there were a few that could save me some bucks. I think the biggest help here will be meal planning with the weekly ad. Also, I'll soon be able to rely more on our garden for produce now that things are starting to ripen, as illustrated by the beautiful bucket of carrots pictured below. Note the cute chubby hand reaching for a snack.

Now if I only I could remember my resuable bags...


  1. I can't even FIND my reusable bags!!!

  2. They give you a nickle a piece for using 'em, you might have to ask though. It ads up. One of those coupon "envolope" things is a great investment from the $1 isle.