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Monday, January 4, 2010

Feeding a family of eight for $5 a meal? Cutting my budget? Yikes!

We're a family of eight - hubby, self and six children - so we have to live on a tight budget since the hubby's pay check is our only real means of income.

I gave up my two paper routes while my eldest continues to do her own (her pocket money). As such we no longer have that extra $500 to $700 a month (I originally had three paper routes but broke one and then merged it into the remaining two) but it was tiring waking up every morning at 3:30 AM to get the papers delivered by 6 AM. My eldest still has her paper route and makes roughly $50 a month on it. That's all hers and she needs to start saving that since she's competing in the Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen again.

I follow $5 Dinners however the dinner's there are unrealistic for my family size... or is it? BTW -- Enter to win one of her books! My budget is twice that of hers because my family is twice the size of hers. I'm trying to get it to be under $10 a meal and thankfully with the kids back in school we now only have to prepare two meals a day and breakfast is typically cereal which I get for free or near free using coupons!

So, here's what I'm planning on doing for 2010, consider it my New Year's Resolution, I'm planning on cutting our meals from $10 a meal to $5 or less. If I can feed a family of EIGHT for $50 a week then anyone can!

I'm also working on a new budget for us. We spend way too much money and after an incident today which resulted in the hubby losing $50 (cash) out of his pocket I've decided enough is enough. I want to not have to worry about the bills and whether we'll have money for a trip this summer or not. After my hubby became sick, we lost our business and used our nest egg last year, I'm resolved to change our spending habits and rebuild that nest egg. I've already dedicated $5,000 to a CD @ 2.01%.

So time for me to work on that budget and see where we can cut costs.

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Couponing Acronyms

$1.50 SS 10/18 - $1.50 coupon from the October 18 Smart Source insert
$1.50/3 - $1.50 of when you buy 3 items
B1G1/BOGO - Buy One, Get One
CC - Competitor Coupon
FAR - Free After Rebate
MFC or MFR - Manufacturer Coupon
MIR - Mail in Rebate
OOP - Out of Pocket
P&G - Procter & Gamble Insert
RP - Red Plum Insert
RR - Register Reward (Wags)
SC - Store Coupon
SS - Smart Source Insert
WAGS - Walgreens
WFC - Weekly Flyer Coupon
WYB - When You Buy

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Where to get coupons

BEST PLACE: The Sunday newspaper!

In stores:

Blinkies – Found on various store aisles these little machines spit out coupons as you pull them out. Most blinkies have little lights that blink hence the name.

Catalinas – Receipt-like coupons printed at the register. Not all stores have Catalinas (such as WinCo). These are typically NOT printed on the back of the register receipt.

Hang/Wine Tags – Found around the neck of a bottle with a little piece of string or rubber band.

Peelies – Coupons found on certain products that peel away from the product.

Tearpads – Coupons on a tear away pad. Typically found in a display and not directly on the product.

Other ways:

Home mailers - sign up for products online or even contact a company to either complain or complement their products. Click here for a blog with over 200 links to companies that will mail you coupons!

Internet coupons - There are many places online that you can print coupons from. See links below for printable online coupons.

Magazines – Pretty much all magazines will have coupons in it. Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset, Parenting, Working Mother are a few. The BEST magazine with coupons is All You magazine.

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