A-hoppin’ and an interview

I’m in the thick of garage sale preparations (we open bright and early tomorrow morning!), putting the finishing touches on a presentation I’m giving tomorrow on Supermarket Savings: Simple Strategies for Busy Moms for the Ultimate Homeschool Expo (I’d love to have you join us if you’re already registered for the event!), and gearing up for The Total Money Makeover Live Event this weekend (woohoo!) so things are a-hoppin’ around here and I’ll probably not be around as much the next few days.

For those of you who might be interested, Mrs. Wilt was kind enough to interview me on her blog for her A Month of Cheerful Thrift series. I share about how this blog got started, lessons my parents taught me on wise stewardship, strategies for keeping your grocery budget low, how I plan my CVS shopping trips, budgeting, book recommendations, and more. Click here to read the full interview. Enjoy and a big thanks to Mrs. Wilt for the opportunity to share!

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Less is More: Part 2

My number one tip for keeping things simple and saving money is to stay home more. Staying home is one of the simplest ways to have more time, spend less money, accumulate less clutter, and well, to plain just live a less frantic lifestyle.

A lot of times I’m asked how I get so much done. Let me tell you, I’m no wonder woman, but I do know that one of my "secrets" to efficiency is that I am home almost all day, every day.

I’ve purposely said "no" to a multitude of outside activities and opportunities because I know that running around with two little children for most of the day not only wears me out, it is a surefire way for me to spend more money (i.e. trips through the fast-food lane while we’re out, swinging by to check out a sale I see signs for when I don’t really need anything, or ordering carry out for dinner because I’m exhausted and didn’t have time to make anything for dinner) and get less done. It’s just not worth it, folks.

Now, am I saying you need to cut out every outside activity and commitment and never step foot outside your doorstep? No. What I am encouraging you to do is to carefully evaluate all outside commitments and see if there are some that are really necessities or if they are just cluttering up your life for no good reason.

My current redwork project. Embroidering while listening to some good messages or peaceful music is so relaxing and invigorating to me. And staying home more allows me to carve out time for this on a regular basis!

In the area of grocery shopping, one thing which has helped me tremendously is to limit myself to one grocery shopping trip a week. Outside of my once-a-week grocery shopping trip, unless there is some incredibly knock-down-drag-out good deal on something we need and use and we’re going to be right in the vicinity of that store or it is right down the block from us, I just pass the deal over.

Knowing that I’ve only got one shot at grocery shopping each week motivates me to do the best I can do in that one shopping trip. It also forces me to make sure and write a thorough menu and grocery list and to have determined the sales and matched them with my coupons ahead of time. If I forget to write an ingredient down, I have to do without.

You want to know a secret? While post a lot of deals on this blog–often multiple deals everyday–I only actually go out and do small percentage of the deals I post here. Shocking, eh?

I’ve learned over time the freedom which comes from being able to say "no." And I’ve been bargain shopping long enough to know that most deals will come around again. If I miss a deal, I can always catch it next time.

Instead of feeling a sense of urgency to hit every deal possible, I pick and choose which deals are best suited for the time I have, the products we need, and which will work into my weekly shopping trip.

A peek into our kitchen, including my home management center
(And just for the record, while I try to have it look like this at least once a day, it also often looks like this!)

Besides grocery shopping, we do very little other shopping. I hit the second-hand stores, some clearance sales, and a few community-wide garage sales or consignment sales a few times per year to buy clothes for myself and the girls. And we make an occasional stop every few months into a hardware store, fabric store, or office supply store. However, other than that, shopping trips are a rarity at our home. I make it my goal to learn to make do with what we have or to learn to live without as much as possible.

One of the nice side effects of shopping so rarely is that we don’t have a lot of clutter. In fact, some would probably think our home looks really bare, but I’d much rather have only things we need, use, and love taking up residence in our home, than to have our rooms bulging with stuff we don’t need, haven’t used in a long time, and don’t like in the first place.

It’s so simple but it really works: just stay home!

What about you? How have you simplified your life and eliminated unnecessary outside activities so that you could keep things simple? I’d love to hear!

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$2.25/1 Silk Soymilk–coupon reset!

For those of you who enjoy Silk Soymilk, now you can get some for almost free! Click here to print your $2.25/1 coupon good on any quart size or larger of Silk Soymilk.

For those in the KC area, these are on sale for $2.47 at Hen House this week so with this coupon, that’s quite the deal! Let us know if you find any other steals on this milk at other stores using this coupon.

Thanks to MoneyCommonSense for the heads-up on this!

FOR MORE COUPONS, search our comprehensive Coupon Database for manufacturer coupons, printable coupons, eCoupons, and more!

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Trying not to covet or anything, but…

…why oh why can’t we have a Sav-Mor Sidewalk Sale in Kansas City? I mean, look at the possibilities:

All this for $12. (Read about Keren’s super shopping trip here.)

Or all this for $6. (Read about Jessica’s incredible deals here.)

You can read more about the Sav-Mor sidewalk sales here and here.

I’m trying not to be covetous or anything, but I’m just sayin’ to the Sav-Mor store owners that Kansas City would be a really nice place to build another store.

A really nice place. I’m just sayin’.

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