Hot New Extreme Couponing App!

A couple of weeks ago Kelly from Working Mom Coupons was on the Extreme Couponing television show and I watched her whiz through the store with her handy dandy iPad spreadsheet, recalculating her shopping trip totals on the fly!  It was amazing and I immediately wanted a copy of the spreadsheet for myself.  It turns out that Kelly is a bit of a spreadsheet wizard and she designed it for herself, but she's had SO MANY requests for it since the show aired that it's now available for sale on her website.  You can choose from a Numbers or Excel version for just $4.99, depending on what you're running on your device, and I'm certain you'll save much more than that from using the app! 

Kelly has been so thrilled and humbled by the interest in her spreadsheet that she is also sponsoring a giveaway for an iPad2 – everyone who downloads the spreadsheet is automatically entered to win, but no purchase is necessary to enter!  Click here for more details!

Disclosure – this post contains affiliate links.  Check out the complete policy here.

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Final Numbers for April – Saved $735.23

We spent a total of $261.47 during April to purchase $985.86 worth of groceries, toiletries, pet food and supplies for our family of seven plus two cats, a dog, fifteen thirteen goldfish and several thousand (new) Sea Monkeys.  At the end of last year we set a monthly budget of $375 but we’ve been too busy between travel, spring break and unexpected house repairs to do any freezer cooking lately so we bought very little meat in April.  Unfortunately, now we’re scraping the bottom of the freezer and we really need to try and fill it up with some nutritious homemade meals this month!  I still think we can come in under budget for May also, but I certainly won’t feel bad if we don’t – as long as the freezer is full too!  According to the spreadsheet we’ve spent $860.55 so far this year for $4,813.65 worth of stuff, or 83% off.  I’m amazed that it equates to an average of $215 a month, but I’m also sure that will be going up this month with a couple of large meat purchases and over the summer with the kids spending more time around the house.

 

Final Numbers for March – Saved $1,131.03

We participated in January’s Clean Out Your Cupboard Challenge, even extended it as far as we could into February and I’m really impressed with the good habits that we’ve taken away from the challenge.  Our monthly budget is $375 and even though we’d been holding way back in January and February due to the challenge, we were still able to finish out March way under budget.  We STILL need to get going on another freezer cooking day pretty soon so I’ll likely spend most of the budget on meat in April!  We spent $264.68 in March to purchase $1,389.67 worth of groceries, toiletries and household goods, for a savings of $1,131.03 or 81% off.

 

Final Numbers for February – Saved $686.26

Since we extended January’s Clean Out Your Cupboard Challenge as far as we could into February we were able to finish out the month way under our $375 budget.  I’m sure that March will be a much different story because the freezer and cupboards are pretty bare now and we’ll be needing to plan another freezer cooking day pretty soon!  We spent $204.78 in February to purchase $891.04 worth of groceries, toiletries and household goods, for a savings of $686.26 or 77% off.

 

Final Numbers for January – Saved $1,360.68

I participated in the Clean Out Your Cupboard Challenge in January so I’m proud to show that we started out the year WAY below budget, simply by taking an inventory of our cupboards, stockpile and freezer and planning our meals around what we had on hand for the month.  I still continued to shop for all the hot deals (gotta get my retail therapy in!) plus the usual staples like bread, milk and eggs.  This month we spent $90.89 to buy $1,434.13 worth of products, for a savings rate of 95%.  Whoohoo – those are awesome numbers, but they aren’t typical so don’t get used to seeing these kind of ratios every month!  The reason we did so well this month is because we spent next to nothing on groceries, shopping our own stockpile instead, and I concentrated on just getting the free or next to free deals at the drugstores.  Next month will be more like normal, although I do plan to try and continue the excellent shopping habits I was nurturing in January.

 

End of the Year Numbers & 2011 Goals

Here is my year at a glance for 2010 – I’m very proud of these numbers and am happy to share, but honestly I can’t believe how easy it was.  I’d never kept track like this before this year and I’d like to thank Angela at The Coupon Project again for putting the spreadsheet together that I’m using.  I’d highly recommend that you download Angela’s new updated version of the savings tracker spreadsheet for my favorite price – free!

This year we bought $15,249.05 worth of products for only $3,743.84, or 75% off.  Take a look at the ‘coupons’ and ‘discounts’ columns and you’ll see that the $11,510.21 that we saved was approximately half from coupons and half from sales.  That shows that you can save 30-50% without clipping a single coupon if you simply buy things when they’re on sale, and buy enough to keep you until the next sale.  So how much you want to save and how much time you want to spend are completely up to you, but you CAN do this!

For 2010 we set a budget of $500 per month for our family of seven, plus two cats, one dog, and five hermit crabs (sadly, there are no more sea monkeys). That’s $115/week ($6,000/52 weeks) or $16 per person, which we felt was reasonable and would maybe even allow us some room in the budget to expand our stockpile.  I’m thrilled and more than a little surprised that we’ve actually spent an average of $72/week for all of 2010!  Even though that’s just a little over $10 per week per person, I’m going to budget $4,500 for the new year, $375 per month or around $86 a week.  That will provide us a little bit of a cushion and will allow for occasional “splurges”, plus it’s 25% lower than last year’s budget.  Considering that we used to spend around $325-350 a WEEK, I’m super excited to know that we can easily live within our new monthly budget of only $375 a month!