Those of you who did the Spin Cycle last week made quite an impression on me. The topic was certainly eye catching. MONEY! The actual assignment was "Turning Dollars into Sense". I'm more than a little embarrassed to say that until I needed to create a link, I've never actually visited Sprite's Keeper and her blog. Once there, I knew I would be back. For those of you who have no idea what the heck I'm talking about, let me explain. Sprite's Keeper hosts a weekly writing assignment called The Spin Cycle. Each week she assigns a prompt and those who care to play have a week to create a blog post about the given topic. Each player links back to SK's site and then is listed there so that readers can check out all the different posts written on the topic. At least that's how I understand it.
Between Jan's (of Jan's Sushi Bar) and Thistle's (Of Thistles and Maple Leaves) posts I was both encouraged and then inspired. Then Pseudo of Pseudonymous High School Teacher came along with her post about Walmart and The High Price of Low Cost and blew.me.away! My mother, Lucy, loved Walmart. We called her a Walmart groupie and often joke that if there isn't a Walmart in heaven that she is lobbying for one now. If the reports are true, there is no room for Walmart in heaven.
There is no denying that the economy is in the crapper. People are losing their jobs, their homes, their life savings and more. Everyone is feeling the crunch. If you are one of the fortunate ones who haven't been hit hard by our nation's current economic downturn, you are surely aware of it and maybe a little nervous. And Americans are not alone in our misery. People all over the world are affected. Who of us hasn't given some serious thought to how we can cut back and try to keep more some any of our hard-earned cash.
My thought processes evolved slowly. After reading the above-listed posts, I thought about what I've done to cut back and how I could write about it and share it with you. Then I thought about how everyone must be looking for and finding new ways to economize. Why not invite others to write about their saving savvy too. Together we are a wealth of information. I believe that we can all learn from each other. There's not a lot in this world that is within our control. Wouldn't it feel good to make a difference? If something I write can help even one person to save a few dollars, that's good enough for me.
I've asked a few of my blogging friends if they would be interested in participating in a project like this. The response was overwhelmingly positive. If you would like to share what you're doing to keep more of your dollars in your pocket, feel free to use the Money in the Bank title and the piggy bank photo. I only ask that you link back to this post and leave me a comment. I will announce all the participants here. Initially I thought of choosing a specific day of the week to post our tips but I'm lazy, inconsistent and prone to procrastination I didn't want to force those restrictions on you. (And Janie at Midlife Slices didn't want to do it that way.) Do it when the mood strikes. I'll keep it going until we run out of ideas or we've achieved economic recovery……..whichever comes first.
Without further ado, here is my first offering:
Making a List and Checking it Twice
I'm not what you would call a planner. I'm pretty much a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. (Much to my mother and youngest daughter's dismay) So it comes as quite a surprise even to me that I am so organized when it comes to grocery shopping. I've tried to ignore it but it's in my genes. When I was a young girl, my mother and grandmother (who lived with us) would comb the weekly grocery ads for bargains. They would make their lists and then spend their entire Saturday going from one store to the next in search of the bigger, better deal. They were better women than me. They would drive across town to save 2 cents on paper towels at this store and go to another store on the other side of town because ground round was on sale. I'm not that crazy good. There comes a point when my time has more value than the 2 cents I will save and I just suck it up and pay the higher price. Nevertheless, the lesson didn't go unlearned.
Each week, I sit down with my laptop and open the local grocer's ad online. First I go through the entire ad and plan my weekly menu according to what is on sale. We'll call that list #1: The Menu. My next step is to make a list of all the items on sale that I want to purchase. List #2: Sale items. List #3 is really just a continuation of List #2. I review the menu plan and see what else I need that isn't on sale. List #4 (I'm just CRAZY for lists, can you tell?) is also a continuation of #2 and #3 where I add miscellaneous items that we need like toothpaste, toilet paper, laundry detergent and the Diet Coke that My Harley Stud requires to quench his addiction.
Here's where I might lose you as some may consider my list-making a bit neurotic. But I swear if you will take the extra 20 minutes to follow these instructions, you will not only save money but will also save time. The last step of this list-making craziness is to take #s 2, 3 and 4 and arrange all the items on a brand new list according to the aisles in your store. Yeah, I know, it might seem a little obsessive but you will thank yourself if you're anything like me. And I know you are. At least YOU are. You know who YOU are. You commented on my last post how you are just as forgetful, distracted and scatter-brained as I am. This could be YOUR saving grace.
If after trying my grocery shopping method, you feel compelled to send expensive gifts to show your gratitude, (something that comes in a little blue box would be nice) just shoot me an email to request my shipping address and I will be happy to oblige. *wink*
Check out these money savers too:Jan has combined her money saving skills with some great ideas for Valentines' Day. Check her out.
Calling all book lovers!
She's got a million of 'em
If you would like to play along, copy the piggy bank photo, use the title, leave me a comment telling me of your post and link back to this post. The beauty of this game is that there is no schedule. When you have a tip, take the pig and run with it.