I wanted to make a quick post about me trying to plan a coupon shopping trip on a super tight budget. I can’t type much right now as I have a stress headache forming on the left side of my head and neck. I will be okay, I know what to do. I only take medicine as a last resort.
A couple weeks ago I decided to join a group of ladies (possibly a man or two) this Saturday, March 2nd, for a coupon exchange and tips/advice exchange. We are all part of an online coupon group called “Northern Illinois Couponing Moms. (Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NorthernIllinoisCouponingMoms) (Website: http://www.northernillinoiscouponing.com). I have to do a quick shout out to the lady who heads this group and got all started. She spends part of busy schedule doing match ups for us to local major stores we all use regularly. Thank you so much for your time!
One of the deciding factors to go to this group was I looked over my pay schedule for the next month (child support only right now) and noticed that I HAD to spend the next payday on food. The one right after that will go to the car insurance (a must in IL and don’t want to get caught without it having no jobs right now). After those to paydays we should be okay…tax refund, hopefully unemployment will finally approve my husband, and I will have a job…got one in the works with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), they help people with disabilities get jobs (hard of hearing, I am!)
Well, after taking care of a couple small thing this week, I ended up with a budget of about $55 for nearly 2 weeks. I’m okay with this budget, I’ve dealt with it before and bought home almost 2 weeks of food, along with some nonfood items like toilet paper and dish soap. Only reason I’m edgy on it is because I know this is all I have if unemployment or the job doesn’t come through for us. My plan with this budget is to pick up what we “must have” and few other meal staples, but no meats. Later next week my monthly allowance for LINK ($55) comes in. I will be using this to buy my meats…should be enough for a month if I find it on sale.
I have spent an hour or so everyday since Sunday sorting my coupons, reviewing what I have, making up lists, looking at online store ads, and checking online printable coupons. I will have to go to my mom’s to print, because I am out of ink for my printer (tax refund “must have” to get). Thanks to N. IL Couponing Moms match up for Schnucks/Highlander/Logli’s, some of my time was shortened and used more wisely. I have come across some good deals that are actually on NOT on my must have list, but I will be picking up because they are under a dollar, a few even under 50 cents. (FYI: Schnuck’s stores double coupons 55 cents and under everyday…one reason I found some good deals…match coupons up to sales and WA-LA! Magic savings!)
As organized as I am with my coupons, I’m still some what overwhelmed with list making and budgeting. I know some people make specific budgets for like meat, nonfood items, etc. I haven’t gotten that far and I NEED to. Ugh…I will learn and figure it out.
I have spent the week begin jittery and worried about my budget. Going back and forth over what is most needed to get us through a couple of weeks. I even made of an inventory of food in the house (which I need to redo tomorrow night). Despite my jitters I had 2 blessings this week…no, wait…THREE. One I already had in line…my mommy is giving me a bit of money for gas to go to Rockford, IL (45 minute drive for me) and do my shopping. The 2nd is Shea came by with a little money from Jen and Chris who decided to help us out a bit on our food budget and nearly tripled it! The 3rd is my County Market Penny Pincher coupons came in this week. (CM doesn’t double, but they do allow a manufacturer coupon stacked on to their store coupons! Many times I have gotten stuff there nearly free or under $2 because they do this).
So as a result of my increased food budget, I am now taking a new look at my lists and what I may print out for coupons when I go to my mom’s tomorrow. I am even looking at a couple of freezer meal prep books I have to try a couple for the first time. I’m considering freezable breakfast foods, since I’m often to groggy when I get up to actually cook and I want to go with my hubby to the gym in the mornings.
Thanks for joining me on this little adventure of mine. I will post about my shopping trip either Saturday or Sunday and if I do freezer meals for the first time.