My husband and I both work full-time. His work occurs in an office and mine occurs in our home. He brings home a paycheck every two weeks, I work to stretch every last penny out of that paycheck. We share several of the domestic duties--but when it comes down to the dollars...the specific jobs are clear.
He works to make money, I strive to make that money work for us.
About a year and a half ago, I started investing time each day trying to educate myself on ways to stretch our hard-earned dollars. I researched how to shop deals, combine coupons, and start a healthy stockpile of groceries and personal care items. I signed up with survey companies to earn a few bucks here and there and I created an account with Swagbucks where I've earned several $5 amazon giftcards that have paid for leisure books, magazine subscriptions, and parenting books.
I have defended our excessive coupon usage and linen closet stockpile to nearly everyone we know, but at the end of the day, my husband and I agree on something very strongly: couponing has benefited us and saved us HUNDREDS of dollars.....seriously.
So, I set a goal for myself three months ago. It was a pretty simple one--"Earn" $500 in the course of one year. My husband and I agreed that the $500 could come in any form: overage from coupon usage, overage in Extra Care Bucks from CVS, Swagbucks gift cards, profits from Craigslist sales, etc. I'm happy to say that at three months in, I've already almost made it to the halfway point in my goal!
How did I do it?
61.68 from CVS ECB overage. Meaning, if I pay $1.00 out of pocket for a purchase and EARN $8.00 in ECB in that purchase to use towards our next purchase, than I get to count $7.00.
Cost for 2 bottles of contact solution and 2 packages of feminine products=.32 out of pocket. I earned $7 in ECB on this purchase. Meaning, my overage was $6.68
Cost out of pocket for package of diapers, 3 pack bar of soap, 4 bottles of travel hairspray, woman's razor, 2 packages of feminine products, and two bags of M&M's=$2.56. I earned $9 on this purchase--so, $6.44 in overage to use on the next purchase...and so on....
(you can see coupon savings at stores other than CVS, we regularly use coupons for items at Wal-mart, Target, and the grocery stores---the savings will still add up!)
$20 in Swagbucks giftcards. It's seriously the easiest thing ever. Download the homepage and toolbar--and just use it to search online (like you would using Google!) And yes, if you choose to sign-up under that link, I earn matching points as you do.
$93 from items sold on Craigslist Here's the funny part, $25 of that was items I sold that I had gotten free with coupons....or paid 25 cents or less for. The other were from old clothing items I sold.
It works in our home to be creative--to challenge ourselves to think outside of the box---and to use coupons everywhere!