I went grocery shopping today. Nothing earth shattering...totally normal, in fact. But it scares me just how obsessed I have become with saving my family money and paying as little as possible for things at the register.
At Albertson's, I saved $31.84 with my Albetson's savings card, saved another $6.75 with coupons and only paid $18.32 for my groceries. With that money I got 6 boxes of cereal, 2 boxes of taco shells, a cake mix and frosting for Chloe's upcoming birthday, 4 cans of Enchilada sauce, 2 boxes of fruit snacks, 2 boxes of Gogurt, 2 of the yogurt drinks that Joel loves, and a bag of those Terra exotic vegetable chips for me and my fancy diet. And the chips cost 4 bucks all by themselves...really missing Trader Joe's right about now.
Then I went to WalMart and finished my shopping and was able to get out of there for way under budget. That was even buying some material to make a throw pillow, some clearanced candles and candleholder and a couple other non-food non-essentials (all of which were for some home decorating/home organization project or the other).
All of this is good and great and grand...but what I don't understand is how positively giddy I was about all the great deals. A year ago I didn't care. Didn't read the ads or plan menus. Just went shopping and hoped that I stayed under budget. And since I usually didn't stay under budget I'd just sigh and think well, a family has to eat...what can I do?
Now I comb the ads instead of throwing them in the garbage as soon as they arrive. I make menu lists and shopping lists. I clip coupons. I am willing to go to 2 or 3 stores in order to get the best deals.
But, it's helping us to keep our heads above water and have financial peace. I only wish I'd figured that out a long time ago. Like when student loans were what we were living off instead of paying off.
Oh well. Live and learn. And get your kicks from bargain shopping.