Saturday, March 17, 2012

Planning Ahead

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Since I'm no longer working outside my home, I've had to work hard at being even more frugal than I was before.  The costs of everything are going up and yet we have less money to work with than we ever had.  Yet, we have been doing okay.

A lot of it is because I've been trying to plan ahead and stock up on sale items, as well as being really frugal.

For example, because it's St. Patrick's Day, I've found some really good sales on corned beef.  Yesterday, I went to a store that had corned beef on sale for $1.29 per lb.  I've seen it has high as $3.69 per lb. at other times during the year.  So I went ahead and bought 4 packs of it.  Now, I didn't buy 85 lbs. of corned beef as it's high in salt and other things but 4 packs will last us through the end of the year.

A few weeks ago, Dan called me and saw solid white tuna at $.66 per can.  I told him to buy it because that is the cheapest we've seen it!  

You have to know how often you use something and whether it's worth your while to stock up on it.  For example, we don't eat sickeningly sweet, chemical filled fruit snacks so if something like that is on sale I'm not going to buy it no matter how good a deal it is.

Last night, Dan & I went out and I stopped at another store to pick up flowers for a ladies breakfast this morning and lo and behold they had cabbage on sale for $.07 per lb.!!!  So right now I have 7 heads of cabbage in my fridge.  One is for dinner tonight and the rest will be made into sauerkraut.

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The key is knowing what will be on sale at what time of the year.  In early November, cranberries always go on sale so I stock up on multiple bags of fresh cranberries and throw the bags in the freezer so they will last a very long time.  I also know that apples are dirt cheap in September and October and if we don't pick our own and the sale is good enough I will buy a half bushel or bushel of apples and preserve them.  I'll either make applesauce and can it or slice them for pies and freeze them.

When I see a great sale on meat I will purchase extra and freeze it.   Again, the key is keeping your eyes open and looking out for great deals.  Also, keeping in mind what events are coming up.

  • Birthdays arriving in the next month or two - look out for great sales on cake mixes.

  • Barbecue planned next month - keep an eye out for sale on chicken and hamburger.

  • Leaving for a road trip soon - see if lunch items are going on sale and save double money by packing your lunch instead of buying.

I'm trying to do a better job in this area because I really could kick myself when I haven't planned ahead and have to pay full price for something I could have gotten cheaper.

Saving money takes some effort but if you start practicing planning ahead it is well worth the effort!