Friday, March 1, 2013

Frugal & Fancy!





A long-standing joke in my home is that my hubby is so...er, ehm...so frugal that he could start his own television reality show CENTERED ON his money saving strategies!!! Of course, being the doting wife that I am, I lovingly poking fun at some of his radical ways :)

However, over the years of being married to this amazing man, I've grown to appreciate his methods, and see them less as madness, and instead as a wise way to invest our God-given resources. 

For example: in just over eight years of marriage, my husband was able to help me pay down an almost $30,000 student loan; then have a 25% down payment for our first home, which was derived solely from his pre-marriage work savings; THEN several years later we were able to fix that home up, and sell for a sizable profit; and recently we've invested that profit into a much larger country lot (closer to his work and with more room for all the guests I enjoy having over!). I don't want to give the impression that he doesn't have room to grow, but overall, he's been a GREAT role model in our marriage in regards to our finances.

By watching him model a lifestyle of saving, and making things stretch, I have learned to see the value in what thriftiness over time can really accomplish. 

So, I've decided to work alongside my hubby. Nope, he's not willing to commit to his own TV show, or even his own blog on his money saving ideas! He IS however, willing to share his ideas with you all through MY blog, in hopes that us bloggers can encourage one another along this journey of frugality.

First, before I dive into today's money saving tips, I'd like to share THREE reasons why we believe it's important to be good stewards of our resources:

- We desire to be a generous family. We cannot give what we do NOT have!

-We should want to model for our children the balance between being miserly and being wasteful. Although, I contend that this is no easy task for parents in our overindulgent society.

-Both my hubby and I are self-employed. So...there is no retirement package. There is no company fund with RRSP's. It's all up to us baby!



So without further adieu, I'd like to share some grocery saving tips that have helped my husband save money on our GROCERY BILLS:


  • Never be lured by fancy packaging! My hubby focuses on meat, legumes, nuts/seeds, fruit & veggies (the basics!) PLUS my recommendations for healthy fats (as I am a nutritionist I believe it is important that you do not skimp out on healthy fats for our childrens' developing brains!)
  • Don't be lured by 'sales' that are really inflated food prices, reduced to more 'normal' price. He DOES buy things that are truly reduced in price, and that he would have bought ANYWAY!
  • He has a routine. He shops almost the same day every week. He goes to the same stores. He gets the same items and doesn't (often) let his children (or me!) persuade him to veer off of our staples.
  • He takes a written or mental list with him. Sticking to lists is very helpful.
  • He often buys in bulk. If we're going to use it in the future, and it's not perishable, then we stock up. Especially if it's a legit sale.
  • Some of our staples are: ground beef, chicken, bags of brown rice, bags of quinoa, legumes, a few basic sauces (Costco packages with three cans at a time), a few basic veggies (onions, carrots and celery are regular staples) and salads; basic seasonal fruits in our area (about 3 main ones, we rotate in the warmer months or when there are sales), yogurt or kefir, milk, and some condiments PLUS some variety depending on what I might add in with my weekly small grocery run.
  • My hubby does NOT like eating out! However I do, and I sometimes take the kids out with my allotted budget, but if he takes us out it is like the $1.39 McDonald's fries or burger. He always feels it's such a waste of money. He loves packing a picnic if we're out for the day. You get the picture.
  • Just an example of what we eat on a typical day (although there is a lot of variation with me cooking or just mixing it up from time to time!) **Breakfast=oatmeal, **Lunch=brown rice & meat with veggies; sometimes eggs and toast w/veggie, **Dinner=Brown Rice or Quinoa, Protein and Salad/Veggie; sometimes homemade soup 
  • He doesn't buy a lot of dessert. If we have some, it's usually because I made it from scratch with the kids, or I bought it for a special occasion, or we're having guests over.
  • For our homemade soups we purchase chicken or beef bones (cheap) from the butcher or a storefront. We boil the bones for hours to get out all the nourishment, and then add the veggies and/or meat later. Saves money and way more nutritious! (check out my recipe page with my famed chicken & veggies soup http://www.parentingandhomeschoolinginfaith.com/2013/02/nourishing-winter-soup.html )
  • He rarely buys chips or other munchies, even crackers are not too common around here. Same with boxed cereal (although we eat some for a treat at breakfast!), boxed pizzas, and other salty/pre-packaged foods. The exception is for parties/entertaining; I can ask him to pick up some munchies or whatnot from Costco at a good price!

So there you have it! You may be picking up the drift that we have different shopping personalities, and if you guessed that, well then you'd be correct :)
However, as mentioned before, I am learning to appreciate his gift of frugality, and him my gift of bringing a lil 'fancy' to our home.

***Please feel free to share the BEST grocery bill slashing tip you've discovered in your household below***

32 comments:

  1. Planning! I plan every grocery trip right down to snacks. Recently, my hubby has even made me up an excel spreadsheet that lists all my menus with ingredients and prices, so I know how much I will likely spend before I even leave home.

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    1. Excel Spreadsheet? I should suggest that to my hubby. Would be a bit more organized for sure!
      Thanks for stopping by :)

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  2. These are great tips! thanks for sharing. It is good to be thrifty but sometimes we splurge into something fancy. Nice to meet you Rach!

    Judy
    www.pursuitoffunctionalhome.com
    www.kusinaniinday.blogspot.com

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    1. You're welcome :)Thanks so much for stopping by!!

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  3. Hi, Have you heard of Zaycon Foods? We get our chicken breasts from them. You have to buy a 40lbs box at $1.79 a pound. It is fresh and the quality is awesome!
    I also use coupon blogs. I usually spend around $50 a week for my family of 4. And when I get stuff for free by using coupons I get enough to donate to my local food bank.
    I love that you your family desires to be a generous family!
    You are awesome!
    Stephanie

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    1. Nope, I haven't! Mind you we are up North in Canada so maybe they're not in our area...wow only $50 per week!!! That's amazing! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  4. Great tips - and it shows how one spouse can influence the other! Thank you for sharing and I look forward to hearing other ways your hubby influences your family to be prudent!

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    1. Thanks! I am slowly learning it's so much better, and a much more positive experience, when we work together :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. These are some awesome tips, Rach! My husband and I are graduates of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover (woot woot). Becoming debt-free was one of the greatest experiences of our marriage because it took a great deal of teamwork and patience. We did it together and it feels so good!

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    1. Dave Ramsey! Love his stuff too.
      Thanks for coming by and sharing :)

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  6. Yeah, unlike employees who work in companies, who have benefits and retirement package, most self-employed takes care of themselves. So yes, it's all about planning, personal finance, and managing your money well. But I also got to say that it has a lot of benefits that can't be bought by money, like time with your kids and actually taking care of them. ;) Good job to your hubby for living these practice out. We wish you well.

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    1. You are absolutely right; definitely a lot of planning, and growing in our stewardship. We are so thankful that God continues to teach us :)
      Thanks so much for sharing & stopping by!!

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  7. Super great examples of frugality! Thanks for linking it up at Marriage Moment @ Great Peace Academy. BTW Thanks for adding my button to your sidebar, I usually post the link up on Mondays though. :)

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    1. I changed the date of the link up button! Thanks for letting me know :)

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  8. Great ideas, thank you for sharing these! I am so glad you linked up with us this wek!

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    1. You're welcome & glad to join everyone! Great link-up :)

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  9. We also try to avoid all boxed, pre-packaged food, although a little does slip in from time to time. Our biggest struggle is finding inexpensive chicken, fish, and beef. We don't eat meat every day...for example yesterday was leftover chili, and today potato casserole...but meat always just seems so pricey to me for the amount of food you get!

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    1. I hear you...meat and protein is definitely an issue for us at times as well. Love the reminder about all the pre-packaged food! Most of it is pretty junky anyway...thanks so much for stopping by :)

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  10. Great Post Rach. Love your ideas. :)

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    1. Thanks! Hoping to do more of these posts with hubby in the future.

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  11. Aren't frugal husbands a blessing? Thanks to my hardworking frugal husband, we paid off our house in 2002 and officially became debt-free. Your hard work will pay off----keep an eye on your goals, pray for wisdom and guidance, and you'll get there :)

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    1. Yes & amen to that.

      Woooow,that's awesome news about paying off your home!
      Thanks so much for stopping by & sharing :)

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  12. I really would like to start cooking more like this. Do you have recipes on your blog? I'll have to check that out! Thanks for linking this to From House to Home!
    --Gena at ichoosejoy.org

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    1. Just a few so far...but more to come!
      Glad to be able to link up :)

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  13. Great tips for saving money! We've been finding our way in this area for the past several years, too, and we do as much whole-food eating as possible. It really does taste better, doesn't it?

    Thanks for linking up to Inspired Wednesdays!

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    1. Yes, I agree wholeheartedly!
      Inspired Wednesdays is another one of those great link-ups. So much fun to find other bloggers :)

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  14. You have such a wonderful writing style, I really enjoyed that post. Thank you so much for linking with me, I appreciate it. I look forward to more frugal hubby shares :)

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    1. I so enjoy linking up! Thanks for coming & visiting :)

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  15. My husband and I used to eat out almost everyday and it was so expensive. Both of us can cook, but it's just so fun to eat outside. We realized it's not doing our budget any good, so we decided to eat at home everyday go out to once a week. Love your ideas, BTW!

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    1. Thank you so much Megan! I will have to pass that on to my hubby :)
      ...he's the master mind behind us saving all the money, lol.
      Thanks for stopping by!!

      Delete

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