Saturday, January 10, 2009

Budget Bumps and Couponing

If you are a coupon hobbyist it seems like there are unlimited opportunities to find bargains or even free stuff. Just today I contemplated making a special trip to Walgreens for one more bottle of free hairspray that I won't need in the foreseeable future.
This is great if it's stuff you're buying anyway but it can be expensive if it's just to add to a stockpile. That's the question I've been asking myself a lot lately. Am I doing myself any favors by couponing if I don't need the stuff and my budget is spent?

Here's a list of more stuff that I bought yesterday:

Furniture 40% off so I bought a gaming chair and two kids toy shelves for the basement- $19
Two VHS tapes- $1
brand new Hanes socks for myself- .50 cents
A decorative tin for the toilet tank in my bathroom- 2.00
Two kids books- .60 cents
plus tax= 24.30

Two Thomas Trains for Little Guys birthday- 6.89 apiece
Red and White Decorating Sugar on Christmas clearance- .99 cents
New socks for Big Girl from the clearance bin- .50 cents
2 Johnson Buddies soaps- .99 apiece but free after MFR coupons
2 Christmas clearance finger tip towels- 1.00
2 Boxes of Kellogs cereal- 2.50 apiece but 1.50 after doubled MFR coupon
1 pack of Huggies Overnight Diapers- 8.99 after doubled MFR coupon
= 30.02

Taco Bell for Lunch Today= 5.65

I'm still not sure how I can budget weird things like Birthdays and Birthday parties.
Anyway, the total damage so far is 100.44 over the 60 dollar budget I set for myself.

And tomorrow a new set of deals starts at K-Mart (doubling up to $2) and Wal-greens (cheap Kleenex) so I'll have some deciding to do.


Georgi said...

I don't think you can budget for birthdays when you are just starting out. That is something that you will need to plan in advance, start putting a few dollars away now for next year, just call it the birthday fund. :-)

Anonymous said...

I made that decision a couple of months ago--I was getting tons of "free" stuff but decided it wasn't really free if I got the money on an extra care buck or walgreen's gift card because I always used those things on a new "freebie" so I was counting the same dollars twice and something really wasn't free. For example, buy a shampoo for $5.99, get $5.99 in ECB. Sounds free but I just spent $5.99. Then I use the ECB to buy paper towels for $5.99, use the ECB amd it sounds like the paper towels are free. Well, somewhere along the line I was $5.99 OOP. Now, I am not saying I don't still take advantage when I need something because I do but I am just more careful to consider it a "great deal" instead of "free" and only am getting what I need (like having one extra tube of tooth paste on hand instead of 5 because it was such a deal) and I am not buying anything I don't use regularly (like I had to have the free Excedrin a few months ago but it turns out, I don't use Excederin...good deal, yes, necessary no).

Anyway, good luck to you whatever you decide. I think that just by making a choice to really look at your dollars spent and tracking it, you'll do great...don't you think the tracking makes you aware of what you are spending?

Good luck to you!


Jenny's Vegcafe said...

Georgi, That's what my husband says about birthdays too. He thinks there's no way we'll be able to survive on less than 300 a month for food just because we've never managed it before.

I'm getting to think like you do- We have six or seven tubes of adult toothpaste in our cabinet. How much do we really need? And I do donate extra freebies here and there. I love getting free stuff but is it really free when you have to make a special trip and spend money in the first place?