Sunday, January 24, 2010

My New Game

Last night at dinner my grandmother commented on how it has been a while since my last blog post, to which I responded by explaining that we really haven't been doing anything exciting enough to write about. Our day-to-day activities haven't strayed too far from the norm. Wake up. Go to work. Go to the gym. Come home. Eat dinner. Relax. Go to bed. Repeat. Our weekends have consisted mostly of working, cleaning the house, and doing things to prepare for the next week (laundry and grocery shopping) or things that we don't have enough time or energy to do during the week. I know it sounds pretty boring, but I don't really mind it and I don't think Andrew does either because we both like having a steady routine. And if I had to guess, I'd say our routine isn't that different from everyone else's (I hope so anyways...). So while I haven't really had much to write about, all is well in the Hartman household.

To keep myself entertained, my newest game is coupon clipping. Yes, I called it a game. Right now Andrew and I are working our way through Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps. We're currently on Baby Step #2, which means that we are putting as much money as we can toward paying off our debt (student loans). So the more money we can save, the better, and the faster we can get through this.

One of the ways we can save money is to always look for ways to reduce our grocery bill because it's something that we can sort of control. Before we go to the store every week, I plan out what we are going to eat for dinner every night and make my list accordingly. Sometimes I'll browse the Kroger add and see what's on sale for that particular week and plan our meals around that. But one thing I have stumbled upon recently is coupon websites. There are all kinds of websites out there that will let you print manufacturer's coupons. I even found this one really great website that adds coupons to your Kroger Plus Card and they are automatically applied to your bill when you checkout (you don't even have to print the coupons out). So oddly enough, this has turned into somewhat of a game for me because I want to try to save us as much money as possible. Between using our Kroger Plus Card and redeeming coupons, we saved about $17 this week on groceries. If you saved that much every week, you would save almost $900 a year. That's a lot.

One of the websites I found has some good tips on coupon clipping. You shouldn't feel like you have to use every coupon, especially if it's not a product you use regularly. If you buy things that you wouldn't normally buy just because you have a coupon, then you're really spending more money than you would have in the first place. Another tidbit is to make sure that you are actually saving money when you use the coupon; sometimes the generic brands will be cheaper without a coupon than the brand names are with the coupon. So maybe I'm just really weird, but I find this kind of thing fun (I'm probably just weird).

Here are some of the websites I have found to be good:
  1. - they update you multiple times a day to let you know about all kinds of good deals at different stores and different coupons available online.

  2. and let you print out manufacturer's coupons.

  3. - you can add coupons to your Kroger Plus Card (or other grocery store savings cards) and they are automatically redeemed when you checkout and use your card (no printing required!).
Happy Clipping!