What I saved today

How I saved money, time or the environment today or recently. Relevant comments or questions are appreciated.

Monday, May 31, 2010

We finally did it.  We bought 1/8 of an organic, grass-fed, grain finished cow.  Usually we buy natural beef at the upscale supermarket, but we splurged a bit.  This would have cost a lot more to get the organic from a natural foods store. It came for $175 total.

veggie/fruit juice

Like most people, its a challenge to get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. My youngest really dislikes all vegetables, besides shoestring potatoes. He does, however, like V8 Fusion. I discovered that I can buy it cheaper at a warehouse store. I also get a 100% fruit and veggie juice blend from Aldi, but the kids don't like that.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shopping online

I like to shop online. My favorite shopping sites are Amazon.com and Ebay.com. What I can't use at those sites, but can at most other sites, is coupon codes. Any time I shop at any other online retailer, I search for online coupon codes which may reduce my total bill or give me free shipping. Recently I ordered two pairs of sandals for myself from Payless.com. I chose to pick up at the store and did another errand in the area to save gas and time. I got one pair of sandals half off (Payless calls this BOGO)and by finding an online code, I was able to save an additional 15%. The best place I have found to get these codes is Coupon Cabin.

I miss my CSA

I really miss belonging to a CSA. CSA stands for community supported agriculture. We had a farm share for about six years when we lived in New Jersey, but none are available close enough to where we live now. We picked up just-picked organic produce from June to November every week. The price was much less than it would have cost us to buy the non-organic produce at the grocery store. Sometimes it posed a challenge to use up all the produce from week to week, like when there was a bumper crop of lettuce or heirloom tomatoes. But we were exposed to a lot of vegetables I had never seen before and I was challenged in a good way to research recipes to use up these oddities, which usually turned out quite tasty. Localharvest can help you to find a CSA or Farmer's Market in your area.

An answer to Andrea's question

Andrea, sorry I never noticed your question.  I don't see much change in stores' everyday prices. I try to only go out for groceries once or twice a week, and then I try to combine the trip with an errand to save time and money.  If there are good sales at the upscale supermarket, I'll make a trip just for those items.  Otherwise I will shop wherever I can get the best deals for what I currently need.  I usually have a month's supply of the things we use regularly stored wherever I can find the space. Every few weeks I go to Aldi and/or a warehouse store to restock.

price comparison list

One of the most useful ways to save on groceries is to have a price comparison list. I was really surprised to find that many name brand items cost 25% more at one local grocery store than at the other. I've also known for a long time that purchases at warehouse clubs are not always the best deal. Many times a generic or less-expensive version can be purchased at a grocery store. Know the price per unit.

The Tightwad Gazette

I was blessed to find out about The Tightwad Gazette while it was still being published as a newsletter. Author Amy Dacyzyn goes over the top sometimes, but I still consider the book made of the gazette essential frugal reading. You can usually get it at the library, but you may find yourself referring to them so much you want to buy it.

homemade microwave popcorn

You don't even need a bag for homemade microwave popcorn! Alton Brown's recipe works great, and I read you can do it without oil or butter or a bag (I use a Pyrex container with the top on). So, I tried it myself. It works great! I'm making some now for my sons and their friend. Personally, I enjoy air-popped popcorn without seasoning or butter, but you can add whatever you like.

Save on sports drinks

We have two sons involved in sports. To prevent them from becoming dehydrated in hot weather, we have allowed them to drink sports drinks. (Generally they are limited to 100% juice, milk or water.) To save a bundle on sports drinks, I purchased Gatorade mix and mix up a 1/2 gallon in a pitcher. On game days, I give them a reusable drink bottle containing the Gatorade. Muche easier on the environment than single serve drink bottles, too.


I'm Lisa, a married stay-at-home mom with four children. Our family currently lives in Union County, North Carolina. What with the downturn in the economy and the increasing costs of raising children, I have been focusing more and more on frugality and sharing my ideas with friends. I thought a blog on that subject would be useful to other people, too. I plan to make at least one post a day on how I saved money that day or in the past. I will also reference frugal blogs I like and links to resources which I find helpful in my quest to save money, time and the environment and still maintain a healthy, happy family.