Friday, September 23, 2011

Saving Savvy!

I just finished Saving Savvy this afternoon! It was an easy read yet full of important information. My biggest struggle in the budget department is  . . . grocery shopping so this book was definitely helpful! Not sure why, but I LOVE grocery shopping and spend way more time going to stores and spending way more money than necessary. That means, I should always have a fully stocked refrigerator and pantry, right? Not the case! I have tried lots of things over the years and it looks like Saving Savvy is going to be the answer that I have been searching for. You'd think this would all come a bit more natural to me considering my grandmother taught Home Economics and my mom is a coupon queen herself. I have vivid memories of her standing in the kitchen going through piles of coupons and making these lists using abbreviations that never really made sense to me. Maybe I should have paid more attention.

Saving Savvy is written by Kelly Hancock, author of the blog Faithful Provisions. She lives right here in the Nashville area and I have even seen her twice. She's a bit of a local celebrity among suburban moms. Just in case you are wondering, I saw her at Evie's preschool last year and then another morning at Storytime at the local library.

Kelly got interested in saving money at the grocery store when she decided to stay home with her two children! Does that sound familiar to anyone? Most of us could trim our budgets which gives you more money to spend on the fun stuff!

 Several things really stood out to me in her book. Kelly suggests that you set a grocery budget. Of course, that it is not new information and believe it or not I have a budget that I stay within most of the time. It's just my budget is way too high and could be easily cut back without sacrificing our favorite foods. Anyway, one of the first steps is to make your grocery list with your needs and your wants. Shoot for 80% needs and the other 20% should be used for stocking up and some wants that your family may have. Over a period of time, your percentages should begin to flip-flop while you serve your family using your stockpile. Kelly does not recommend having 30 bottles of mustard or 10 bags of flour. Instead, she advises buying your favorites when they go on sale and buying enough to last until the next sale. I tend to think of grocery shopping by the week but need to be more aware of buying items especially ingredients while they are on sale. Obviously, you should still stick to your budget and not buy more just because it is on sale. After three to six months, your stockpile will be large enough that your weekly grocery bill will be much lower. You then will spend 80% of your budget on items that are on sale that your family uses and the other 20% on your weekly staples of milk, eggs, bread etc. That makes a lot of sense to me especially since she cut her monthly spending from $1100 a month to just a few hundred dollars! Now, that is some savvy savings. Think what you could do with that chunk of change!

Coupons are great ways to save money too and the book was filled with easy suggestions on how to use them more effectively. Apparently, I had been wasting my time with coupons all these years! I may begin using a coupon database to search for coupons for the items that I already purchase such as diapers, juice and packaged food. There are even coupons for meat and produce which I always thought were super hard to locate. I really liked the idea of a list of the best prices for food. Faithful Provision's has a list already made which makes it much easier to get started.

There is so much information in this book that I am barely scratching the surface. Some of it may sound like information you already know but the book goes into everything with a lot more depth. Dave Ramsey is endorsing this book so you know it is full of cost saving measures.

Best Practices that I Gained from the book:

1) PLAN, PLAN and PLAN some more - I am much less likely to spend too much money if I know what I am going to serve my family for dinner.

2) Inventory: Keep a basic or even a detailed inventory of what you have and what you need.

3) Organization: Food that is organized in the pantry and freezer is more likely to be used.

4)  Terrific Tips on flash freezing food, ingredient based cooking and kitchen prep days.

5) Coupons are a great way to stretch your money so you can give more to food banks and other service groups!

Hope this gets you excited about saving! Evie and I cleaned out the fridge and freezer today along with our pantry. I am ready to be savvy and will post updates on how this all works out for my family.

1 comment:

  1. I think this will be my next book, and it sounds like one I need to buy the actual book for and not Kindle. I really want to trim the budget, stockpile, and use coupons, I just feel like I don't know where to start.This sounds like the perfect place.


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