Shopping Smart in 2012 – Frugal Novice

Shopping Smart in 2012

Anyone who knows me can tell you I love coupons or finding a good deal. I enjoyed it even before having kids thanks to my mom’s influence, but now we’re working even harder at living on a budget since we have the boys – and especially since we have a few big goals for our family in 2012.

One of our goals for this month is to finally finish our master bathroom remodel. When we moved in, it had carpet, floral wallpaper, a rusted sink, a beat up vanity, and pink towel bars. Brian gutted it and we’ve been working on creating a bathroom that’s more of an escape than a nightmare. We shopped around for good deals and so far have been able to keep our budget on track pretty easily thanks to some hunting! We found travertine tiles on sale, and got a great deal on a free-standing vanity with granite counter and under-mount sink. Finds like that make a big difference, but I’m working on accessorizing frugally too. For instance, I found a deal on a curtain rod and set of blinds… the total for both? A whopping $6. I’m going to look locally and online for towel bars, a toilet paper holder, and all of the other finishing touches. I’m sure I’ll do a whole post on the bathroom project and can break down our costs there, but suffice it to say – I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to get done for a beautiful, quality bathroom.

But that’s just one project, and sometimes it’s easier to stick to a budget when it’s a single task like that. I’m also trying to get back to shopping smart at the grocery store again too – watching circulars online to see what’s on sale and lining up my meal plans to take advantage of discounts. Coupons make a HUGE difference, and I always love seeing what savings I can achieve.

When it comes to clothes, shopping for the boys is a big weakness of mine. It’s just so easy to find adorable things for them! I can find a lot of savings for them too, though. For instance, if I just hop in the car and head to Children’s Place I might pay regular prices for said adorable clothes. If I go online I can find a Children’s Place coupon code that could save me money on the clothing and even give me free shipping.

For everything we shop for I can try to save money with a little foresight and planning. I’ve decided that whenever I save money at the store, I’m going to take the amount we saved and put it into savings. It may be a tiny amount sometimes, but it’ll add up over time – and I’ll feel a whole lot better about having the money in our savings than in a store’s cash register!



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  • Janalyn January 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    One thing that really helps me save is Walmart’s price matching policy. I usually have to go to two stores each week, but it’s worth it! (I get meat and produce at Albertson’s, and then use the other store ads at Walmart for all the boxed items and toiletries. )They even accept other store’s in-store coupons now, so I usually save about half the amount I spend.

    • Christi January 12, 2012 at 10:35 am

      Ok, I feel dumb, but I had no clue about the price matching policy at WalMart. This just opened up a whole new world of savings for me! :D

  • Sarah L January 11, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    That is a really great plan: put what you saved into savings account. Those little bits can add up over the course of a year.

    • Christi January 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

      Thanks, Sarah! It is always amazing how little amounts can become something big – I got the idea from the Keep the Change program with Bank of America.

  • Christin January 12, 2012 at 7:58 am

    I know for me, I feel better knowing I got a great deal too!! I love how the internet makes price comparing so much easier! I hope to start meal planning again soon, I got out of the habit when my husband starting traveling a lot and I was never sure how many to cook for!!

    • Christi January 12, 2012 at 10:48 am

      ITA on the meal planning, Christin! I gave up on it because our plans for evenings were so unpredictable there for a while, but I’m ready to get back to being organized with meals again!