So Michael had a fun (to him) idea for January and February to live as if he had lost his job, financially speaking. It is supposed to be a tool to determine where we are overspending, how we can save money, and how our lifestyle can be simplified in order to save money. Every time we think about making a purchase we ask ourselves, "Would I be making this purchase if Michael was unemployed?" I was reluctant to join him in the joy of his ingenious idea because I knew where the first spending cut was going to be, and I wasn't happy about it. Groceries. **Sigh** I love buying nice groceries.
Michael was very excited about this poverty experiment, so, in typical Michael fashion, he researched the best methods for saving money on groceries. We have a book by Mary Hunt called Live Your Life for Half the Price, and in it she gives several websites that teach you how to save on groceries. One of them was The Grocery Game. It's freaking genius! This is when I started getting slightly excited about the poverty experiment.
Definitely go to the website and watch the short video where the lady, Teri, explains how to do it, but in a nutshell:
"When you play, you'll get a weekly list (called Teri's List) of the lowest-priced products at your supermarket matched with manufacturers' coupons and weekly specials -- advertised and unadvertised. The Grocery Game does all the hard work and research, and presents it to you in a straightforward format."
The coolest thing is that you don't have to clip every single God-forsaken coupon. You look at the list, decide what you want to buy, and the list tells you where to find the coupon for the products that you want. So today I only had to clip about 15 coupons. Then, I took my customized, printed list to the store to get the items, and when I checked out, I just handed the cashier the stack of coupons that I just clipped instead of scrambling through a large accordion file of coupons checking to see which ones I can use while the annoyed person behind you in line sighs and clears his throat several times. (I've never actually done that, but I've probably been that annoyed person a few times.)
So we went to Tom Thumb tonight and spent $103 on $213 worth of stuff. We saved $110, and we only bought stuff that we normally would have bought anyway! I felt like that woman on the IKEA commercial: "Start the car! Start the car!"
Saving money feels so good. As motivation for these "poverty months" we're going to buy something that would contribute to a healthy lifestyle for our family with our savings (meaning I need to spend less than our previously budgeted amount on groceries). We're thinking of getting bicycles and/or a new grill (the last one died in a scary grease fire).
I know I totally sound like a commercial for this Grocery Game, but I'm telling you...it's freaking amazing. (And if you do sign up, make sure to put me as a referral - if I have 3, then I get 12 weeks free **wink wink**.) :)