A slightly boring week in the life of a fairly average couponer

by Melody on August 14, 2011







Each week I will be sharing a round-up of all the different ways I saved our family money.  The purpose of this series is to highlight the fact that there are SO many different methods you can use to lower your overall budget that don’t involve mad-crazy coupon shopping.

I will even be mentioning those methods that may seem insignificant to you.  I truly feel that anything that saves time is saving money in some form or another.

Combining your errands = More time + less gas

I always try to combine my errands, whether it be running through the drive-thru of the bank if I’m driving by or planning errands based on what part of town I will be in for other reasons (playdates, appointments).

Since we are eating out of the pantry this month, I’m trying to avoid the stores as much as possible.  I did need to run to Rite Aid to gather prices, so I decided to pick up a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk there instead of running to the grocery store as well.  This meant less times dragging the kids out of the car and less gas used.  The prices ended up being really comparable after my Wellness+ discount kicked in and it was far less stressful.

I try to make a master to-do list at the beginning of each month (especially this summer!).  I go through each event or activity we will be doing and write down anything I need to do before hand (make a potluck dish, send a birthday card).  My husband wanted to swing by the mall to look at shoes and I remembered that I needed a wedding gift for a wedding at the end of August.  I was able to print off a quick registry at Macy’s and buy my gift, no extra trip needed!





  • Somehow, one of our bags of flour tortillas got left open and they all completely dried out.  Instead of throwing them away, I sliced them up, coated them in cooking spray and a little salt and baked them.  Instant (and delicious) homemade tortilla chips!
  • Apparently I’m determined to make every zucchini recipe known to man, because I continue to pick it up from the farmer’s market and my family doesn’t really like it served by itself.  Sunday morning I made these Mini Zucchini Bread Pancakes, doubled the recipe, flash froze what we didn’t eat and threw them all in a gallon Ziploc bag.  We now have semi-healthy zucchini pancakes for breakfast for at least a week and I only had to do dishes once.

Tip of the week from reader Janice:

Now that her family has a chest freezer, any time they are going somewhere and packing an ice chest, she has been freezing her own bags of ice.  This is pretty brilliant and I have no idea why I never thought of it.  Saves money and a last-minute trip to the store or gas station!

I would LOVE to hear how you saved your family money this week.  What methods do you find are the most efficient and effective?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa August 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm

In our large freezer, we freezer water in Costco milk jugs or 1/2 gallon plastic juice bottles to put in our cooler for camping and trips


Miss Jay August 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I do both depending on what I need. The large ice in a gallon container stays frozen longer, which great, and as it melts you can use it for drinking water if you want. I also like having cubes that I can pack around the food.


Trina August 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm

It’s also more efficient to have a full freezer, rather than a partly full freezer. If you fill up the bottom with your own water bottles or bags of ice cubes, you’ll have the ice ready to go when you need it, and the freezer will be more energy efficient too.

Another good thing to do with ice cubes in a chest freezer is to put several baggies of cubes in various spots around the freezer. If you ever see that the cubes have melted, you’ll know that area of the freezer isn’t staying cold enough, hopefully before losing everything completely.


Melody August 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm

That’s a great idea! We have an older stand alone freezer that we bought off Craigslist, so this would be really useful. Thanks Trina!


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