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

by Melody on May 21, 2012

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.

My inexpensive alternative to cooking spray

While we’ve been trying to cut out canola and other vegetable oils from our diet, it seriously didn’t even occur to me that Pam is made straight from canola oil.  While we don’t use that much when we cook, it still didn’t feel right to me to use it.  Emilie suggested buying this Misto Olive Oil Sprayer from Amazon, at less than $10 it is a very inexpensive alternative.

The only thing I haven’t figured out is what to use when baking or making waffles.  Possibly grease with a little bit of coconut oil?  Any other suggestions?

Accepting my non-craftiness

I really am not that crafty, but I have enjoyed making my boys birthday invitations in the past.  It was on my list to start making them for my youngest son’s 2nd birthday, but these past few months have been nuts.  I started a Birthday Party Pinterest Board a few months ago and stumbled across a super cute design for invitations that I just stored away in the back of my mind.

After starting to develop anxiety about the darn things, I just gave in and admitted I didn’t have time.  I ended up ordering these adorable invites, just $12 for the personalized image and about $5 to print at Target.  $17.  I’m positive I would have spent more than that if I had tried to make them and I definitely would have spent more of my sanity.

Two stock-up trips to Fred Meyer and blowing the grocery budget

Fred Meyer’s Founder’s Day sale has consistently amazing prices on items that our family uses all the time.  I made TWO trips this week to take advantage of all their great sales, but blew the grocery budget a bit in the process.  In both trips, I bought bread, organic strawberries, butter, cranberry juice, cheese and coffee.  All things that can be used quickly or frozen for use down the road.  I felt comfortable dipping into next month’s budget, as we would be buying these things regardless.  I now have 8 loaves of bread in the freezer and about 12 pounds of butter.

Vegas on the cheap (sort of, maybe)

My husband and I spent last weekend in Las Vegas with a few friends and while Vegas will never in my lifetime be considered “cheap” or “frugal” (at least while you’re down there), we managed to save a few dollars by staying ahead of the game.

As soon as we booked our trip, I signed up to receive daily emails from Groupon Las Vegas.  Most of the deals that came through were for things we weren’t interested in, but I found two amazing opportunities.  We ended up purchasing tickets to a club crawl for half the price that allowed us to see 5 different night clubs in 3 different casinos for just $27 each.  This was a fantastic way to do Vegas a little differently and not have to pay an enormous cover charge at each club.  We also found a voucher for dinner for 2, appetizer and pitcher of beer for just $27 at a PLACE WE WERE GOING TO GO ANYWAY.  Did you catch that?  We would have paid full price if we had to.  Score.

It’s totally worth it to check out these daily deal sites if you are going out of town.  We have been able to try out some new restaurants and activities that we wouldn’t have otherwise thought about.  We do tend to try the same old comfortable things when we go to a familiar vacation spot, so this gets us out of our comfort zone.  Plus, when you get home from your trip, just unsubscribe.  Super easy.

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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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Emilie May 21, 2012 at 7:50 pm

I brush on butter. Or, spray olive oil. :o)
Brett complains about both and begs for Pam. :o)


Karen May 21, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Yep, Fred Meyer is not helping me stay in budget this month either…but you have to LOVE the sales they are having . 🙂


sandra May 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I use coconut oil, melt about a Tblspn in a small bowl and use a pastry brush on the griddle or waffle maker, works just like crisco but much healthier. I will use your tip for Groupon, next summer we plan to attend family reunion in CA! Thanks


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