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November 18th, 2012 at 08:17 am

Dh listed three video games on Amazon, and they sold right away (gross was over $100, I am estimating net $100 after fees). WE are already up to almost $300 extra income/savings for the month:


I am not doing anything with the money as everything I listed is what we need to "survive" with our aggressive savings goals, and is how we keep our costs down. {Exception is that the $50 monthly credit card reward we get is directly deposited into our ROTH}.

I am trying to get into a better habit of using coupons, and may consider putting all coupon savings to the mortgage. (Coupons that I am not accustomed to using anyway, to get into a better habit). I am trying to remember to "never buy anything" without checking out the coupons first. I am improving... I would probably never buy anything online or at kohls (or dine out or get a haircut) without a coupon, but in other instances where it isn't a habit I just mind-space.

I'd maybe consider throwing this $100 at the mortgage, but we have been requested about $60 for school-related expenses recently, so I figure it is a wash. ($40 for two t-shirts, $10 for a coach gift, some eating out at competition, etc. With the holidays, I am sure there will be more).

Reminds me, my MIL and mom both gave me Kohls coupons they were sure I could enjoy. "GET 20% OFF if you open a credit card (fine print)." No thanks! I was ecstatic that my mom gave me a $10-free-at-Kohls coupon, but the minimum purchase requirement was $30. I haven't gotten the "free $10/no strings attached" in a while. Their loss - I rarely actually stuck to the $10. HA! Anyway, I know they shared because usually they are able to give me really nice coupons this time of year - I think they just didn't read the fine print. At this rate, I don't see going to Kohls any time soon.

I did buy some Kohls items deeply discounted a couple of weeks ago. At about $5/each the kids agreed they were great gifts for each other. So, DONE!! They both owe me $5 and that is done. We will probably go in one some wish list item for dh (movie or CD or video game).

One of the Kohls items was a Mario Kart lunch box. I probably didn't mention that LM found his lunch box after all. It disappeared for a couple of months, and ended up in the lost and found after that time. !!

Things I can not imagine buying for years:

--laundry detergent
--razors (Stocked up with amazon gift cards)
--soap (got tons free with smart phones reward)
--school lunch boxes (have 3 extras now)
--TP (dh stocked up on to get an awesome grocery reward - another $16 off our next gas purchase!)

What's funny is we are generally not stocker-uppers. I more believe in using things sparingly. I bought a giant container of shampoo not knowing I had one already, so I think "well that is going to last YEARS!" We have determined a large container of laundry detergent lasts exactly one year. I am sure we could save money going the coupon/stock-up route, and we certainly have the room. But the savings to be had just doesn't seem to be worth the effort, for us. All that said, we are definitely getting into a habit of stocking up for the year ahead - getting into the habit of buying things ahead of time off-season, etc. I'd say it just wasn't a luxury we had when our income was significantly lower. But once you get in the habit, it's hard to get out of it. You are then always well-stocked and buying ahead for next year. I've got all year to find laundry detergent on deep discount - when it is we will jump. Stuff like that.

8 Responses to “+$100”

  1. Mary Kaplan Says:

    Great post and inspiring. We have 2 kids in college now, so our money going out is a lot more than in years past. Because of that we have rediscovered things like restaurant coupons and happy hours. We still enjoy getting out of the house for a few hours to eat, have a beer, etc. so this is a more economical way to do it. I've always been a coupon user, but not so much a sale shopper for groceries. I know this is a big savings opportunity, but with gas prices so high, I'm not sure driving further to get the lower prices is worthwhile. Any thoughts?

  2. monkeymama Says:

    Well, it depends the cost of the driving versus the savings. Personally I'd just run the numbers. We haven't bothered because our most local grocery store is obviously the cheapest (we check several stores in the immediate area and stick locally for whatever is cheapest for x, y, z. To a point - we regularly shop 2 stores and occasionally hit one or two other stores. It is a balance between efficiency and cost savings). We've been pleased enough with our grocery prices to not look beyond our back door. If I could save more than gas, I would absolutely drive further out to get lower grocery prices. The gas adds up quickly these days, though.

  3. Looking Forward Says:

    "..a large container of laundry detergent lasts exactly one year."
    Really??!! How do you do that?

    I run full loads of laundry and usually 5-9 loads per week. We have a HE washer and use liquid detergent. I buy the largest jug (170 oz) from Costco and it lasts about three months.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    Well, the first rule of thumb is always use half what is recommended (applies to just about *everything*). So use half a serving of laundry detergent. Or 1/4 if you can.

    My second personal observation is that higher quality products last longer (also applies to many different products). We use Tide HE powder - 143 ounces lasts exactly a year (rated to last 100 loads - so we use for 200 loads with above rule of thumb). I mark the date when we open bottles and packages to track our consumption. I don't use much soap on my professional clothes - use more for dirty rags and house cleaning. In the middle for every day clothing.

    Thirdly, we don't do near that much laundry. The only thing we wash after every use is underwear and socks - though kids tend to wash clothes after every wash because they are messy boys. But their clothes are so small at this age. We average 4 loads a week. We pretty regularly do 3 loads a week of primarily clothing, but I'll throw in the 4th one for when I wash bed sheets, blankets, cleaning rags, or miscellaneous. WE only use one towel a week (each) and stuff like that. We grew up in drought so I have a fair amount of lifelong water savings habits. Which have to do more with water saving than anything else, but comes in handy for saving time, energy and money.

  5. Wino Says:

    I keep telling the wife about using half the detergent. Here's an experiment - one I showed her, as well: Take a typical load of clothing, without any excessively-dirty kid type play clothes. I used adult "worn it to work" clothes for my demonstration.

    Anyway, run it without ANY soap. If you have a top loader, open it during the agitate cycle ("wash") and you'd be surprised how many suds are still there. If you have a front loader, you'll just have to watch the front of the machine.

    Think about it: If you sold oil, wouldn't you recommend more frequent oil changes? If you sold mechanical repairs, wouldn't you recommend less frequent oil changes? Always decide for yourself what amount to use, and how often to do anything. Personally, I change my oil according to the old school 3K miles, regardless of the fact that dealers now recommend 5K miles between changes. They sell cars. People buy new cars when the old one wears out. 'Nuff said.

  6. Looking Forward Says:

    I get it. Smile Thanks for your details.

    I use Tide too, love the smell, anyhow, I can't skimp on DH's work clothes - they are very dirty and thick materials (Carhartt canvas). DD gets her clothes so filthy too. I am able to use 1/2 with my work clothes - cotton blend scrubs, but do have to wash them after every wear.

  7. -Jerry- Says:

    You obviously have a different set of fiscal sensibilities than other members of your family (I know what that is like!) for them to give you coupons that lead to those kinds of strings attached to them. Sweet of them, though. Maybe someday they will understand that just because it SAYS 20% off doesn't mean you have any insurance against small print! Smile Nice job on the other stuff, and thanks for the reminder about looking for coupons.

  8. monkeymama Says:

    I can see why you'd use more for scrubs, LF. We don't really get dirty - LOL.

    @Wino - Interesting you mention because oil change is one we do half as often. At recommendation of our mechanic, who has helped us keep several cars for 20 years (over the decades). As such, I don't think there is anything very useful about more often oil changes. That said, I think the 6-month schedule works for us because we are pretty consistent. The 3-month schedule factors that not everyone is going to upkeep their car on schedule, and might sometimes take 6 months to get it in. I think that is fair enough.

    @Jerry - no - we learned our financial sensibilities from our families. We just usually get much better coupons this time of year! So they assumed they were the good ones and didn't look that closely. It just bummed me out when I looked closer - HA!

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