Saturday, January 30, 2010

January Totals

This was the first month that I implemented our goal of $35 a week for groceries.  I was curious to see if I could stay within the constraints of such a tight budget and still have enough food in the house for all three meals each day.  Now, as a disclaimer, Bubba and I eat at church for Wednesday night supper and he doesn't typically eat breakfast.  We do all we can to send him to work with a lunch box so that his spending money is spent on other things besides lunch.  We have also drastically reduced our out to eat trips and only go places that we have coupons for!  Are you shocked?  :-)

So, here are our totals for January:

Shelf Cost:  $586.36
Coupons:  $224.26
Store Discounts:  $237.58
Rebates:  $11.00

Total Out Of Pocket:  $124.52 or $31.13 per week!!!!
Total Savings:  $472.84

I would say this is a successful month and I am challenged to continue this trend for the rest of the year.  I know some weeks will be better than others as well as some months better than others but I am up for the challenge and know it can be done!  To God be the glory for such a wonderful thing He has brought into my life as I seek to honor Him in every area...including our finances.

If you are wondering how I got to this point please check out the blogs that I have on the right side of this entry.  If you would like someone to walk you through this step by step, I am more than happy to do so but it will require a time commitment as this is not something I can explain in 15 minutes or even an hour.  Just shoot me an email or comment.

To His glory,
Mrs. Bubba

Thursday, January 28, 2010

About to bust!!!

I did NOT want to go to Publix or Walgreens this afternoon.  I just wanted to run to the bank, cash some rebate checks that had arrived in the mail then head home to my comfortable couch and the TV or the internet for entertainment.  I'm so glad I didn't!  I watched God turn this coupon obsession into something positive to further His kingdom and I get to sit on the sidelines and holler, "Go God! Go God!  A-W-E-S-O-M-E,  You are awesome, to-totally awesome!!!"

As some of you know, Covenant Care Services ( asked that I make a few cheesecakes for the Warner Robins Ladies Night Out (which is March 4 so mark your calendars).  I am glad to be asked to do anything for this ministry as it is one of my favorites so of course I said okay.  Then they tell me that they would pay for the ingredients, so I enlisted the help of my Facebook friends and email buddies to round up as many coupons for the ingredients as I could.  Several of you were God's hands and feet and printed out the maximum number of coupons you possibly could so I saved a TON of money on the cream cheese.  Well, this week Publix has Honey Maid Graham crackers on sale for Buy-1-Get-1 (B1G1) free.  Publix has a coupon policy that allows you to use 2 coupons when you buy 2 items even if they are B1G1.  Then I read on one of the grocery blogs that I follow (I would give credit where credit is due if I could remember which one) that there are $2 off of 2 Nabisco Cracker coupons out there.  I printed a few.  This made 6 boxes of Honey Maid Graham Crackers (made by Nabisco) $6.70 tax and everything!  As most of you know, Dad sent me a $50 Visa gift card just for this project so I paid for it with that.  So far, Covenant Care will be paying ZERO dollars for TWELVE cheesecakes!  Woohoo!!!  My cup runeth over....

As if that is not enough to make you float for a while, God is also blessing another ministry called Breaking Free.  It is a place where young men who are addicted to drugs and other things can go to get clean, learn a life skill, be taught the Word of God (not superficial but extremely in depth teaching), and get told about the One who is better than any temporary high the world has to offer.  They take in these young men for free.  They feed them, keep them clothed, give them clean places to sleep, shower, etc.  If the young man has no family at all and several are in that position then they provide them with the basic necessities of life (soap, deodorant, shampoo, etc.).  Due to the nature of the ministry the items they provide are the cheapest of the cheap since it is what they can afford and still feed this young men.  I was told by a mother of one of the young men residing at this ministry that her son gave one of his razors to another one of the young men because the razor he was using was tearing his face up!  This broke my heart but it also caused me to be excited because I knew that with my coupon obsession, God would show off and provide for the men at this ministry in his situation.  Today, at Walgreens, they have 2 particular styles of Bic razors for men as B1G1.  Walgreens has a slightly different coupon policy.  If something is B1G1 then you are literally paying full price for one item and nothing for the other.  Due to this situation if you have a coupon for B1G1 then that means that both products are free!  I had 6 B1G1 Bic razor coupons so I purchased 12 packages of this very nice men's razor and paid for the taxes on it and that is all!  God is just showing off because He is God and I am so excited to be sitting on the sidelines to watch it all!

So, I am thankful that months ago I got sick and tired of all the money I was spending at the grocery store with hardly anything to show for it.  I am thankful for a few friends who pointed me to a blog about how to use coupons to my advantage.  I am thankful for a patient husband who cheered me on with my new couponing project.  Now, I am thankful for the ability to use my coupon obsession to bring honor and glory to the Most High King as He leads us to give to those in need. 

Praising His name and couponing for His glory,
Mrs. Bubba

Monday, January 25, 2010

75% Savings so far this month on Groceries

Totals so far for the month of January:

Goal:  Spend $140 or less for the month on groceries
YTD (year to date) OOP (out of pocket): $112.70
YTD Total Shelf Cost: $407.91

That is a total savings of 75% so far!!!  That is far above and beyond anything I could have imagined!!!  God is so good and I am in awe.

Now I will be completely honest with everyone about how much time I spend working on this...a lot.  However, it is because I have the time.  We do not have children and I work part time at a very flexible job.  There aren't a whole lot of demands on my time other than wife duties and whatever God calls me to be involved in as far as volunteer activities.

If you had told me a year ago that I would do 50% of my grocery shopping at Publix I would have laughed at you.  That store is the most expensive in Middle Georgia but only because we do not have a Harris Teeter.  I am crazy about Publix now.  Their BOGO deals are unbelievable when you match them up with coupons.  Their coupon policy is out of this world...FABULOUS!

Kroger is having an outstanding deal right now with their Mega Event.  Whenever Kroger does their Mega Event you save $5 off your bill for every 10 participating items you buy.  This, in essence, gives you $.50 off each item and then pair that with coupons and you can really do some damage!  I purchased Kraft block and shredded cheese for $.49 each because of the Mega Event and the coupons I had!  Kroger's coupon policy isn't nearly as wonderful as Publix's (and Publix's is only good when there are plenty of competitors in the area) but it is good.

I guess the question I am asking myself now is: what am I going to do with the money that we are saving?  I know part of it will go towards newspaper subscriptions, baseball card inserts for my binder, All You magazine subscription and other items I need in order to collect and organize my growing pile of coupons.  If you would like a subscription to All You Magazine (every month has new coupons in it) then follow the link on the right hand side of this page.

By the way, I found a deal on Dove deodorant!  I went to CVS and bought 2 for $7, had 2 $2 of 1 coupons which brought the price down to 2 for $3.  CVS has their Extra Care Bucks (ECB) which can be spent in CVS on anything and I received a $2 ECB so that makes my Dove Deodorant 2 for $1 or $.50 each!!!  Woohoo!

Did you get a great deal on something this week?

Mrs. Bubba

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bertolli Pasta Sauce Deal

I ran into Publix this morning on the way to my part time job.  I went for one specific purpose...I was a woman on a mission!  Certain bottles of Bertolli Pasta Sauce are buy 1 get 1 free (B1G1) at Publix this ad cycle and there are $1.00 off 1 ($1/1) "peelies" coupons for them.  This makes the pasta sauce around $.34 each at our Publix here in Middle Georgia.  You can find the peelies on various packages of shredded Sargento cheese.  So, my big plan was to run in, grab 10 peelies, 10 bottles of pasta sauce and head to work!  That is exactly what I did.  :-)  My 10 bottles of Bertolli Pasta Sauce ended up costing me $3.45 + .40 tax = $3.85.  Not bad for some fancy pasta sauce.

I am on the hunt for cheap Dove deodorant as it is my favorite.  If anyone in this area knows of a great deal I would love to hear from you.

The samples and freebies that I have ben signing up for on nearly a daily basis are starting to hit my mailbox.  It was actually exciting to go to the mailbox this afternoon after work.  I didn't just get free samples but coupons as well!  I received several samples of Always tampads and Playtex tampons along with some sweet high dollar coupons.  One of the coupons was for a free package of the product!  Those are my favorite coupons.  I also got a large postcard with coupons on it for Sonic.  One of the coupons was for a $.99 Route 44 drink and I do enjoy a cool sip of Cherry-Lime Coke from Sonic.  I was tickled to get those coupons and have no idea why they were sent to me.  I received my February issue of All You with all the coupons and great advice that comes with each magazine.  Finally, we got our shipment from Wilson's Leather...they have their clearance marked down 60%, we got an additional 20% off that, and free shipping!  The hubby got a new winter coat and I got a sweet Nine West purse.  Now, if I could just win one of the sweepstakes I have entered in that would make it a G R E A T day.  :-)

It's Wednesday night so it's time to head over to church for supper and choir practice.  Have a blessed day.

Mrs. Bubba

Friday, January 15, 2010

This Blogging Thing

I am a little frustrated with this whole blogging thing.  I can't get it to look exactly the way I want it to.  I see all the fancy blogs out there and know that I don't have the computer knowledge to get mine to look that way.  However, I am thrilled to pieces to have finally figured out how to add "buttons" to mine of some of my favorite blogs!

Southern Savers is the first blog my friends sent me to when I said I was sick and tired of spending too much money at the grocery store!  I learned so much from Jenny @southernsavers and continue to learn from her.

I Heart Publix is another one that I have enjoyed reading and hope that I will be in the coupon trading world soon.  You can find her link to the right.

Smart Couponing is who I watch for freebies or discounts and other things.

There are many others that I read and follow but those are the main three.  I will post links to some of the others that I follow at the bottom of this blog site (scroll all the way to the bottom).

I hope to get better at this and make it a regular thing.  I would love to keep everyone up on how much I save at the grocery store and how we are doing as we save towards our trip to Israel!

Thanks y'all,

Mrs. Bubba

Coupon Trade

I have a few coupons that will go in the trash unless there is someone out there who would like to trade with me.  No matter how good the deal is I will never use these coupons so I would love to pass the savings on to someone else!

Here are the coupons I am looking for:
$2/1 or $1.50/1 Dove Deodorant
High $ Kellogs (cereal) coupons
High $ Cheez-It coupons
If you are willing to part with it I would love any of the $5/4 Kellogs cereal Target coupons you may have.

Here is what I have:
$2/1 Ambi (several)
$2/1 Purpose (several)8
$2/1 Boost Glucose (several)
$1.50/1 mulitpack Boost (several)
$1.50/1 slim fast shake mix/multi-pack (several)
$1.25/1 slim fast bar multi-pack (several)
$1/1 Depends for men (several)
$1.50/1 Depend Any (several)
$3/1 Prilosec (expires 1/31/10 & I have several)
$3/1 Metamucil (exp 1/31 & I have several)
$3/1 Align (exp 1/31 & I have several)
$1/1 Atkins 5 pack bars (several)
$1/1 Atkins shake 4 pack (several)
$3/1 Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower cleaner starter kit (several)
$1.50/2 Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic shower refills (several)
Many pet coupons and various others.

When I say that I have several of each coupon, I am talking about 3-6 of each.  Send me an email with "Coupon Trade" in the subject line and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Looking forward to trading with you!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Great Adventure

Bubba and I have decided that we will be going to Israel on a 14 day trip that will be a guided tour.  Dr. Jimmy DeYoung will be our tour guide and teacher while on this trip of a lifetime.  The exciting thing is that the adventure has already started and we don’t have to wait until we get on the plane in October.  The trip is going to cost around $10,000 for both of us to go.  I don’t know about you but we don’t have that kind of money lying around.  However, this was a trip that we could not pass up for so many reasons:
1)  I am Jewish by birth and it has been a life long dream to go to Israel, the Holy Land, and see where it all began.
2)  My husband and I are Christians, we both have a personal relationship with The Living God, Jesus Christ.  Israel is The Holy Land and has so much historical and Biblical significance.
3)  As stated above, Israel has so much historical and Biblical significance!  Why is it that the huge countries that surround a piece of land the size of Rhode Island want to crush and destroy it?  Why do they have such a problem with such a tiny little place?!?  Because it is God’s chosen place, housing God’s chosen people, and they hate that.
4)  Dr. Jimmy DeYoung is one of the leading authorities on Biblical prophecy and the end times.  Not only that but he has lived in Israel on and off for around 18 years and so he knows the country and people.  We will be going beyond the tourist areas for an authentic trip of the real country.  We will stand in Biblical places and re-read the Biblical passages that go with them.
5)  The Bible will become more alive than it has ever been for us.  Our faith will be challenged and strengthened as we dive even deeper into God’s Word.
The challenge and current adventure will be saving up the money in order to pay for this trip.  We are, and have been for several years, a debt-free family.  The only debt we carry is our mortgage and we are doing all we can to pay that off.  If we don’t have the money in the bank to pay for something then we don’t buy it.  Period.  So, if we do not save the money for this trip then we will not be going.  Period.
It is my joy to brag on God and His infinite wisdom for a moment.  Around July of 2009 Bubba and I discussed what we would like to do for our 10th wedding anniversary.  Now, our 10th wedding anniversary will be in 2012 so this was some serious “forward” thinking on our part.  We, mostly me, love to visit new places and we discussed a few that we would both like to see.  I thought Bubba would be thrilled to go to Washington State and I’ve never been so it would be good for both of us.  He, surprisingly, shot that down.  So I mentioned New York City, yet another place I am longing to experience.  Bubba was okay with that one but I believe he mentioned a trip to Israel.  Of course, I jumped at that one!  A two-four week trip to Israel for our 10th anniversary sounded like a dream and made both of us excited.  You can not imagine how my heart leapt for joy that my sweet husband actually wanted to visit a place I have dreamed of going to!?!  So, God had laid the desire to visit Israel on my husband’s heart.  We discussed a budget for the trip, did a little math and came up with a plan to save $X every month for nearly 3 years in order to pay cash for our vacation to Israel.  We started saving around August, 2009.  In December, Dr. DeYoung came and preached at our church.  This was such a pleasant surprise as he is a widely sought after guest preacher/teacher.  Before he started preaching our Pastor told us that there were plans to take a group from our church on a trip to Israel and that the meeting would take place after the service.  I barely heard anything Dr. DeYoung said after that!  We knew when we walked into the meeting that we were going.  We were blown away that God had already prepared our hearts for this trip.  We were in awe that He had already put a plan in our hands to save for this very trip!  If we had not listened to God and had not already started saving for this trip then it would not be financially possible for us to go.
Now, we had the time with the intended vacation in 2012 to save up that kind of money.  With this opportunity to travel with our Pastor and Dr. DeYoung on the calendar for October, 2010 we will be re-working our budget.  Other things that we save for throughout the year will be lacking funds this year.  We have sent out a letter to our family members and closest friends letting them know that we will not be buying the traditional holiday gifts for anyone this year (birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s and Father’s Day, etc.).  We put money aside every month for home improvements, camping trips, etc. so those things will not be funded this year either.  Every available cent will be going towards our Israel fund.  Part of this goal to fully fund the vacation to Israel will entail cutting our grocery budget drastically.
This is where I get to brag on God again!  Since August, 2009 I have been reading, researching and learning all I can about couponing and saving at the grocery store and drug stores.  I haven’t cut the grocery bill down yet but we do have more food in our pantry and frig than we have ever had in 7.5 years of marriage.  My goal for 2010 is to reduce our grocery budget from $85 a week to $35.  We have no children so this is a workable goal for us.  This will allow us to save $100 every 2 weeks, add that to the other budget items we have cut out and we are looking at a savings of $325 every two weeks towards our $10,000 goal.
Before you think poorly of us, especially in today’s economy, let me say that we both KNOW and are humbled by the fact that my husband has a very good and steady income.  We thank God for the job he has nearly every day!  The one thing we are not cutting out of our budget is our giving.  We will continue to tithe OFF THE TOP (before taxes) to our local New Testament Church.  We will continue to give to the non-profit organizations that the Lord has laid on our hearts.  We will continue to find amazing deals at the grocery store in order to give to the local food bank.  We will find fabulous deals at the drug stores in order to give to shelters that need basic toiletry items.  We will not turn our backs on our God ordained blessings of helping those less financially fortunate than us.  I say it that way on purpose because a lot of times those that are less financially fortunate are many times more family fortunate.