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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Welcome to BunGirl Saves

Oh no! Not another BunGirl blog!

Yes, I know. I've started how many blogs now? I tend to write for a little while and then eventually it gets pushed to the back burner and I forget all about it. I'd like to say this time will be different, but who knows! What I will say is that I've been wanting to start this blog for some time, but have put it off because I didn't want to start yet another short-lived blog.

But this is a topic I think I can stick with.

So, no promises, but we'll see.

So what's this "BunGirl Saves" thing about anyway?

Over the past few years, as the economy here in the USofA has pretty well tanked, my husband and I have had to learn new ways of doing some things. Since he's been laid off several times and there have been pay cuts and very little commission coming in, we've had to cut back on our spending. I've sought out ways to save a dime here or there and learned quite a bit. We've gone from spending over $100 pretty much every week, just for groceries, to spending $50 (or much less sometimes) for the same things and even adding in things we thought we could not afford before!

Several friends/family members/etc. have asked me how I'm doing it, and I'm more than happy to share my secrets. Of course, there are plenty of money-saving blogs out there, and I realize that you could just go learn from them like I did. Here though, you can trust that all the tips I give you are 100% ethical. You will not learn how to cheat the system, but how to work within it to stretch your dollars as far as possible.

Also, please understand, I do not in any way claim to be an expert on any of this. But I have been doing it for several months now, and my results speak for themselves. From time to time, I'll show you those results. Whenever I have a particularly good shopping trip, you can look forward to seeing my receipts right here on this blog.

To start us off, and give you an idea of the kind of savings I'm talking about, here's one from CVS from a few weeks back. If you look, you'll see that I paid only 40¢ that day. What you may not realize at first glance, is that I actually had to ADD that Hershey's Almond candy bar to my order to make the total positive!

So, lets break down this order.

We have the candy bar at the top, which was on sale 4/$3, making its cost a mere 75¢. Not bad, but again, this was just filler so I could actually check out.

Then we have Ragu. I love pasta. I love pasta sauce. I have a tendency to doctor up my pasta sauces so they don't taste anything like what I started with. Therefore, I love buying super cheap pasta sauce when I can. This one was on sale, 3/$5 ($1.67 ea.), and I had a $1 off coupon, making it 67¢.

Next is three "OEP TS" items. What on earth is that?!? It stands for Old El Paso Taco Stuffers. These are microwaveable pouches with beans, rice and meat, for making some very yummy tacos. Each one was a full meal for the hubby and I (we added tortillas, some diced tomatoes and onions, and sour cream), with a little left over for his lunch the next day. They were on sale for $1.99, and I had three $1 off coupons, so I bought 3 for 99¢ ea.

Then we have two Edy's Slow Churned Ice Creams. These are really, really good. They're a little pricier than we normally used to pay, so this is certainly one of the items I would not have been buying if I hadn't learned about couponing. However, this particular week, CVS had them on sale, buy one get one free (bogo). Since one costs $5.99, this made them roughly $3 each.

So now if we add up all of those items above, we get $10.38. How on earth did I get out of there for 40¢???

I had $10 Extra Care Bucks from a previous shopping trip. Extra Care Bucks are CVS's customer rewards program. Most people don't pay attention to them, but as you can see, they're as good as cash in any CVS.

So, when you take the $10 off, and add in the 2¢ tax, we come to 40¢ for the entire bill!

Is this typical savings? No, it's not. But I do wind up having to add a candybar just to bring my total positive about once a month. A more typical trip nets me about 60-75% savings. And I get LOTS of freebies!

So how do I do this? I must spend hours combing sales flyers and clipping coupons, right? Not really. I spend about an hour a week, if that. The great thing is that most of the work is done for me, I just have to know where to look! For the "how to" lesson, stay tuned!

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