You all know how I love to share my favorite bloggers with you. Have I shared A Thirfty Mom yet??
She just posted an awesome article on how to start a coupon stockpile.
Many, many friends are asking me these days about my stockpile and if its like the folks on TLC. What a storm this show has started. Yes and No. I have a stockpile for many items, but not to the numbers that these folks have. Why, it is hard work and I have part time work and 2 healthy, energetic toddlers, and last our budget has been horrid for the last year. We have used our stockpile up several times. Another thought- we have a 1000 square foot home with a family of soon to be 5- we don’t have an available hallway to line with toothpaste!! 🙂
I read many posts on blogs from some very coupon and savings savvy women AND men saying that they or their spouse lost their job and they didn’t know how long they would survive, so they changed their ways and learned what they could do with coupons, internet deals, and planning planning planning. We’ve experienced that this year just in me not having gone back to my part time job that provided enough support. One TLC mom said recently that she would never go back to non-couponing again.
I’ve always couponed. Would I go back to spending less time on it, probably not, we are having SO much fun here at Saving With Anna, but I would enjoy having such stockpiles and having saved enough that I’m saving more in my bank and feeling less guilty when I hit the supermarket for things that are convienent and you just can’t save. Right now…. I choose between those shopping trips and other things. But life has its ebbs and flows, and the Saving With Anna family thanks God regularly for the freedom we have to us these tools- coupons, the internet, and store savings programs! We thank God for our many many blessings, the times when the stockpiled items hidden in our pantry have made us scrumptious dinners when times were tight!
We have also learned many thrifty ways. Some you will laugh at but now seems a fun time to share them, to confess….
* We ran out of diapers a few times and were tight or far enough from town, I didn’t want to go to the store quite yet. So we used our massive stash of swim diapers with large maxi pads on the inside- it worked!
* We ran out of baby wipees and I took paper towels, cut them up and folded them back in the box with water and we had wipees! But do you know, we still are doing this because I’m saving so much and my husband swears that they work better!?
* I’m just starting to make my own homemade laundry detergent- recipe to come soon… 🙂
* We quit buying trash bags, except during the holidays, and we use plastic shopping bags.
* We tried dish soap for our daughters bubble bath solution HAA they didn’t like stinging eyes- but luckily Johnson and Johnson has that awesome bubble bath that is safe for the private areas and can be bought through coupon stacking for next to nothing.
* We never bought diaper trash bags that everyone uses, we collect the bread bags, the newspaper bags, and anything similar! Works great for doggy walking bags…
* I don’t tend to keep paper towels available in the kitchen and instead have taken to leave stacks of old dish towels and rags all over so that we just wash them!
* I cut up old towels to make dish and dusting rags.
* Some members of our family are not keen but I love hand me down towels, when it gets torn, I just cut it down to a smaller size and use several. Fluffy new towels were for a time in my life when extra money didn’t mean more fun for my kids!
* I have a clipboard that all of my scrap paper, misprints, coupons that print with only one on a page– these are stapled into notepads or handed to our toddler to use for coloring or craft projects.
* We save dryer lint to make fire starters for camping.
* We Freecyle- its a yahoo group that nationwide, has local city groups where you offer, request, or exchange goods that are not longer using that can be of value to another family- do you know that out of 15 months, we have only bought 2 cans of baby formula? How?? Combination of nursing, GREAT deals stacked with product coupon and checks, and exchanges on Freecycle and from friends! With my first daughter we were spending over $150 a month. This time around, we barely spent $40!!
* I’m starting to keep a list of off brands that I’m testing. I am not having any luck with off brands for my face cleaner, but many other things we have been able to get overages at stores for other coupon stacking and then FREE money is available to buy small items and off brands fill these gaps well!
OK, so now you’ve heard some of my thrifty thoughts…. go read on A Thirfty Mama how she recommends starting a coupon stockpile.