How to Save on Coffee

how to save on coffee

My parents are coffee junkies. They can go through an entire bag in just a few days!  It can really add up – especially if you are buying coffee out.

Let’s look at a few ways we can reduce the cost of that coffee habit!

1. Go Reusable:  If you have a Keurig check out some Reusable K Cups you just fill them with your favorite coffee!  You get the convinience of one time use cups but not the expense.  Have a regular coffee machine?  We’ve had a reusable filter for years and a quick scrub after use and it is still going strong!  You can find some deals on Reusable Coffee Filters.

2. Don’t Be Brand Loyal.  I made a pot of coffee for my dad one evening.  We aren’t big coffee drinkers in my house so I don’t keep the fancy (ahem- expensive) stuff on my shelves usually.  He was impressed with the coffee and wanted to know what variety of his beloved Starbucks it was.  He was amazed that it was Chock Full O’Nuts that I had picked up really cheap!  Give the less expensive brands a try it may take a bit of trial and error to find the best coffee to water ratio for you but you may surprise yourself!

3. Reuse your Coffee. I can already see the looks “Drink old Coffee! No way!” It’s easy to make an iced coffee in the evening – just put the left over morning coffee in a pitcher or glass in the fridge.  Add flavored creamer or milk and ice in the evening- viola- your caffeine fix on a dime! You can get double duty out of one pot!

4. Store it properly.  The bags that the coffee comes in probably isn’t good enough to keep your coffee fresh for long. Check out some alternative storage options like this Tightvac Coffeevac 1 Pound Vacuum Sealed Storage Container,.

5. Use coupons!  Buying coffee while on sale and with a coupon is the easiest way to spend less on your coffee habit.  Check out the currently available coupons for coffee!

Tuesday Totals 7/8

tuesday

I write this post each week to keep myself accountable to my $55 a week budget.  I had $71.29  left over from previous weeks’ budgets so I am starting with a total of $126.29  in my grocery fund. You can find the grocery deals this week here.

My freezer and fridges are FULL and my pantry pretty stocked so I am going to be focusing on household and personal care for a while! I am also reinvesting in the drug stores- getting good deals after points and rewards to start rolling again!

Value: $154.05
OOP: $70.57
Savings: 54%
Left with 16,950 pts and $19 in UP+ plus $54 in up from the clothing & gift deals
Roll over to next week: $55.72

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Do the Math: Don’t Pay MORE for LESS

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*The sales above will start 7.9 at Harris Teeter!

It amazes me that stores think that we are not smart enough to spot a fake bargain.  Here’s a perfect example of a sale that will start 7/9 at Harris Teeter:

You have two choices for canned Pepsi:

Buy (5) 12 pk cans of 12 oz each for $2 each (You must buy 5 to get this price)
OR
Buy (2) 8 pk cans of 7.5 oz each for $2.99 and an extra $1 off when you buy them both together = $2.49 each

So let’s run some math

12 pk cans
12 pk cans x 12 oz each = 144 oz per 12 pk
5- 12 pks at $2 each = 720 oz for $10
that comes out to .01388888 per ounce (let’s round that to .014)

 

8 pk cans
8 pk cans x 7.5 oz each =  60 oz
2 8 pk cans $ 2.49 each ($2.99 – $1 off wyb 2 ) = 120 oz for $4.98
that come out to .0415 per ounce

.0138 or .0415…..which would you rather pay per ounce?  EVEN if you planned to only use 7.5 ounces of soda you are going to pay nearly 3 times as much per ounce to get the 7.5 ounce cans than you would to buy the 12 ounce cans.

Yes you have to buy 5 12 pks of Soda to get the cheaper price but soda doesn’t expire in a week- it might not last on the shelf for a year like pasta but it doesn’t expire too quickly.  Even if you couldn’t use 5 packs yourself – find a friend or family member to split it with you- you’ll both come out ahead!

 

Don’t Wait to Buy Based on Clearance Price Tag

price tag

There are all sorts of charts and “insider secrets” flying around, and have been for a long time, about Target price tags.

“If it ends in an “8″, they say it will be marked down again- so don’t buy it now” they say.

That’s bad advice for two reasons.  First- Target clearance deals vary widely by store.  One store I visit marks items down 15%, 30%, 50%, 70% and then finally 90%. By 70% there is barely enough to fill a buggy.  If I had passed up an item and 30% or 50%- most likely by 90% it would be gone.

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Tuesday Totals 6/17

tuesday

I write this post each week to keep myself accountable to my $55 a week budget.  I had $53.73 left over from previous weeks’ budgets so I am starting with a total of $108.73  in my grocery fund. You can find the grocery deals this week here.

OOP: $57.90
Value; $200.98
Savings; 72%
Left with $20 in Gas Cards
Roll over to next week: $50.83

CVS:

IMG_0111

trans 1: 4 Huggies Diapers 2/$18
used $5 off $25 and (4) $4/1 Q (http://moolasavingmom.com/?p=84133)

Paid: $0.00 after $5 ecb from survey and $12.09 off HT go for gold gift card
Got $10 gas gift card

trans 2: 4 Huggies Diapers 2/$18
used $3 off $15 emailed coupon
used (4) $3/1 coupons (http://moolasavingmom.com/?p=84133)
Paid: $7.91 from HT go for gold promo, $15.26 OOP cash
Got $10 gas gift card

Final OOP: $15.26, got $20 in gift cards

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Thrifty Tip: Day Trips

My family takes a lot of road trips, spends a lot of time at the park and travels to see family a lot during the summer.  It’s HOT and we get thirsty.

A fountain drink at the fast food restaurant will run you about 1.50.

A 20 oz soda at the gas station will cost about $1.59.

A 6 pack of Coke can be as low as $2.00 at the drug or grocery stores.

Of course a 24 pk of water is even cheaper (and healthier).

Either way- you can save a TON of cash by bringing your own drinks with you. Most times we put a small cooler in our van when we will be gone a while and put some fruit and some bottled drinks. If we’re going to be gone most of the day, we pack a full lunch.

In fact, today we are traveling to Raleigh to pick up my mother in law & we had a cooler full of food- keeps us out of the drive through lane!  Instead of using bags of ice (or cleaning out my freezer) we froze the bottles the day before in our deep freezer.  We’re using them on the bottom of the food to keep it all cold with some ice from our freezer. We will also put some unfrozen ones in there too.

When it comes time to eat our lunch the water bottles will have partially unfrozen & the unfrozen ones will be cold!  By the time we leave Raleigh and head home – the frozen ones will be icy cold & unfrozen!

What’s your road trip tip?

Tuesday Totals 6/10

tuesday

I write this post each week to keep myself accountable to my $55 a week budget.  I had $131.00 left over from previous weeks’ budgets so I am starting with a total of $186  in my grocery fund. You can find the grocery deals this week here.

Value: $280.67
OOP: $132.27
Savings: 54%

Roll over to next week: $53.73

*Yes I went WAY over budget!But I ended up with about 9 gallons of milk, lots of hamburger and chicken breast.

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Thrifty Tip: Total It

Thrifty Tip

Whenever I take advantage of a store instant savings promo- I always have the clerk total my order before handing over coupons.  This allows me to be sure that all the discounts I should get come off.

Once the cashier hits total if the discounts or instant savings didn’t come off we can rectify the situation before my coupons muddle up the totals.  It only takes them a second to hit total and watch the total drop.

This is also helpful with Harris Teeter EVIC (Zvar) coupons= when the order is totaled it allows you to see all the discounts come off.

Dollar Tree Decorating: Your Sink

dolalr tree

I am in the redecorating mood- just need some new colors and accents and I want to do it on a budget so look for some ideas to breathe new life into rooms with just a little bit of money!

My kitchen colors are yellow and grey and I couldn’t find hardly any kitchen accents in yellow.

I just happened to be in my Dollar Tree and saw this super cute hand soap dispenser.  I don’t know about you but as much as I love my free dish soap- their dispensers leave something to be desired!  So I picked up the hand soap dispenser and am using it for dish soap!  I LOVE it.

It’s also great because it portions the soap for my kids (2 squirts guys!) and 1/2  a bottle doesn’t disappear for just a few plates!

 

The Key to Spending Less on UnPlanned Trips

overspending

It’s one of the times that it’s inevitable that we will pay more than we should have to- the unplanned grocery store trip.

For some of us they happen often and others it’s a rarity- but they happen.  That Sunday evening when you realize there is nothing that the kids can really take for lunch (cold Beefaroni anyone?), the produce drawer is empty and the milk in the freezer is too frozen for cereal.

No time to print coupons- we have 10 minutes until bed time and we’re going to have to just wing it.

My family tries to limit these types of trips- because they are pricey!  We can easily spend our entire grocery budget on half a cart of stuff without a single good deal in it!

In fact, my family had one of these trips Sunday.  The kids wanted fruits and yogurt for lunches this week at school- and we had none.  Of course taking my kids and husband in the store with me instantly adds 25-50% on top of the already over blown total!

Here are a few tips to avoid overspending & overpaying on these unplanned trips:

If possible, go alone. When offered an apple at home- my kids are fine with red or green.  In fact, they don’t even have a preference but for some reason when shown the different varieties in a store- suddenly only the ones NOT on sale are good enough.  Whenever I have to make these “emergency runs” I do my best to leave them at home (or in the car with Daddy!)

Have a list. It might not be the type of list I recommend with items, prices, coupons, total out of pocket cost- but it will be better than nothing! It will keep you on track to get only what you NEED and not just what looks or smells good!

Add up your cart as you go.  The #1 tip for not overpaying or overspending is to know your total before you get to the register.  It saves so much frustration when you are walking to the car to realize that you were charged for two packages of strawberries but only got one.  Use your cell phone calculator to add as items are put into your basket. You might be less likely to put that pricey package of fancy crackers in the cart if you realize you already have $47 in your cart!

Look up, down, all around.  Manufacturers pay a price for premium shelf space- and that often means that the more expensive ones are right at eye level.  So if you are looking for graham crackers- look up and down and around the ones right in your face.  You might see that the store brand is less expensive or there is a hidden Buy One Get One Free Sale.

Run the numbers: Bigger isn’t always better and small things don’t always come in the most cost effective package.  Check the unit prices of any items you are planning to buy. All the different sizes and prices can get confusing so get a common denominator with the price per ounce or pound or item.

Price Match if possible: Walmart and Target stores price match grocery items (Target will not price match produce or meat) but if you have to get several items it may be best to head to Walmart and price match from other stores.  You can use the Favado app right in the store to pull up items at your local stores to price match!

Look for coupons in the store: Look for rebate forms that can help you get a little money back, look for digital coupons ( like Savingstar or Ibotta  or Checkout51 ) and in-store tear pads, hang tags and peelies.  Even if it is only 50¢- that’s savings you were not expecting! Be sure to calculate these savings into the final price when comparing different brands.  Coupons don’t always make the best deal!

Do you have any tips for saving on these unplanned trips?

 

Growing your own Plants from Scraps

I posted this originally last year but had several requests to repost it!

I LOVE house plants but they are expensive in the stores. So I like to grow my own! Here’s how I have grown a pineapple plant from something we were just going to toss away!

Step 1: Get a ripe but not overripe pineapple. Look for one with a tall, green crown (the leafy part at the top). Cut the top off RIGHT where it hits the base. Use a big, sharp knife because this area is very tough.

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Ways to Make A Little Cash So You Can Stay Home

family from the dollar banknotes isolated on a white background

I got an email from Myranda, “I am looking for something to do at home because it terrifies me to take my children to daycare or leave them in someone else’s care. Do you know someone who hires at home workers? I have searched the web over and it is either a scam or really difficult to get into. I just want to help my husband with the bills and be able to stay at home with my children!”

I can understand her position- when my oldest was 2 I was working outside the home and my mother had watched her since her birth.  Suddenly I had to place her in a day care.  It lasted 2 days before I pulled her out and quit my job.  It just wasn’t something I was comfortable with- I wanted to be a stay at home mom.  It’s been the toughest job I’ve ever had.  The messiest. The most rewarding.

It took a lot of sacrifice and changes to our lifestyle to go from a 2 income family to a 1 income family- but it was the best decision for our family and I wouldn’t change it for the world.  Here are some ideas to bring a little bit of money into the house while staying at home. Finding a “at home” job leaves many people frustrated- there are so many scams that it can be hard to find a legitimate one.  So I focused my ideas on other things.

Stay at home mom is telling friend her responsibilities

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Tuesday Totals 5/14

Tuesday totals

I write this post each week to keep myself accountable to my $55 a week budget.  I had $221.07 left over from previous weeks’ budgets so I am starting with a total of $276.07  in my grocery fund. You can find the grocery deals this week here.

Fair Warning: I got lazy again this week.  We needed produce (and lots of it) plus a few things for lunches that some how I had missed we were running low on .  After a crazy weekend we headed to Walmart on Sunday to price match a few things and just get it all over at once.

Total Value: $304.67
OOP: $144.95 (ouch!)
Savings: 52%
Roll over to next week: $131
Submitted for $25 MIR

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Caution: Counting Rewards can Cost you

caution

Coupon Math is not the math you learned in school where 1 + 1 = 2.  In terms of coupon deals, an item is “free” when you pay $10 at the register and earn $10 in rewards.  For deals like this I try very hard to say “Free after rewards” but I am sure sometimes in my haste to bring you a deal I will fail & for that I apologize.

Here is an example of a coupon deal I saw posted in a braggers lounge (where couponers post their deals):

Transaction #1: 
Bought Product X
Used a Coupon
Used $5 store rewards from last week
Paid $5 OOP
Got $5 store rewards= FREE

Transaction #2:
Bought Product Y
Used a Coupon
Used $5 Store rewards from previous transaction
Paid $5 OOP
Got $5 Store rewards= FREE

I got BOTH products FREE!

That math just doesn’t add up! 

Cash paid out: $10
Rewards received: $5
Even in coupon math they still “spent” $5 after rewards.

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