We moved from a very small three bedroom home and had four children:) The youngest was 18 months old when we moved here...and every surface of this home had to be painted! It was a NIGHTMARE! This house needed new light fixtures etc and paint, and new appliances...it was a LOT of fun:( However, now it is beautiful:)
We had emptied our old house and filled a storage unit on the advice of our realtor...then when we moved into a house that was three sizes bigger than our last house...we of course filled this one to capacity...because that's what we all do....but now we are hoping to move into a smaller house...but a much newer house...which means PURGING!
I struggle with shopping...I used to...I see adorable things and well....its super cheap...why not??? We started Dave Ramsey Plan around six years ago and we are no longer in debt (except for our home). It's not to say that I haven't messed up in those six years I certainly have...but lately after I have realized how foolish I was with our money and how we could have a nicer house if I was wiser...I have changed my ways...here is how I've started getting really serious about saving money and staying out of the store...in the process the house is getting neater, more organized and in return easier to manage!
1. I have started using coupons like crazy. Before you all get excited and say you don't have time to coupon...know that I'm saving between $60 and $120 every week...I used to go over my $60 every week and now I either stay at my budget or am under it by $60 every single week! I used two websites www.moneysavingmom.com and I use krazycouponmom.com I downloaded the coupon organizer from krazycouponmom and print all my coupons from moneysavingmom. I get the sunday paper and cut coupons from there. I use two stores exclusively for my coupons: CVS and Target. If you want more information about that go to these sites I've mentioned. They even tell you the deals going on at those stores.. When I first started the first week took me five hours...I'm slow what can I say...now two hours is all the time I spend....I do it on Sunday nights when my hubby and son are away at youth at church and my E and I are watching a show while I cut coupons and look at the ads for the two stores I visit.
2. When I do go to the store my E and my T no longer get anything! NOTHING! absolutely NOTHING! my E does her chores for two weeks and then is able to get a new coloring book or something artsy in the $5 range or a new petshop (which is currently her new thing). She has to work for what she gets.My son T gets allowance for his chores and gets more when he has snow to shovel and in the summer he takes care of the lawn so he gets a significant raise. I do not however pay for movies, or eating out for him with friends. My son is not allowed to buy anything at this time until after summer since he is saving up for about three trips this summer and a huge trip next summer with Boy Scouts. I don't pay for his meals out with his basketball team...it helps him manage his money so much better! I don't give him extra money for meals out on youth trips either. I pay for the youth trip and all spending and food is up to him...its very nice:)
3. I shop twice a year for clothes for my E. I shop at Children's Place and Old Navy for her when they are getting rid of their end of the season sales. I have a card at both places and use my extra reward bucks and save significantly. Since I only use this card at most three times a year its paid off promptly and there are no issues. My son is growing at warp speed so I buy him three pairs of jeans at a time and he likes to shop at American Eagle....I only buy when there is a major sale or we go to Old Navy where there is a major sale...I NEVER buy clothing when it isn't on sale...unless he has to have black pants for a choir performance:(
4. I now have a list of things that I need when I go shopping as far as clothes...many of you that shop a lot get caught in this trap as well...oh look huge sale shirts for $3 lets pick up three and then your home and you buy them and there are so many clothes your child doesn't even wear them all...I do this no longer! If I don't have a reason to go into the store and a def plan at what we are buying I no longer go in!
5. I buy only produce, chicken and dairy at Sams now. It is very rare for me to find coupons for those things and I have not found the prices to be any cheaper anywhere else or be as high quality. My trips to Sams used to be well over a $100 now they are under that and I don't need to make the huge trips there except every other week....I buy all the other products at greatly reduced rates by using coupons...I could NOT believe it either!
6. I am going through every single room in our home...I take a different room each day...the hardest rooms are over...I have conquered my children's room...now I'm moving to the attic. Since we had a long snow vacation this past week I took that time to divide and conquer...my E was so excited that her stepsister visiting from college this weekend...she took her upstairs to show her her clean and organized closet...if you don't think disorganization affects your children it most DEF does!
I first just emptied the whole closet...big time mess....I then had a box for keepsakes and then I just purged whatever she didn't play with....stuffed animals are not my friends...which basically means places like BUILD a BEAR are off my lists to visit FOREVER!!!!!
Here is what I got out of her closet!
She has the smallest closet in the whole house which has always made it difficult but now it is so much easier. The top basket holds her dress up clothes and the other holds her precious sleeping bag and keepsakes. The bottom basket hold her stuffed animals that we just HAD TO KEEP and other toys she plays with. Her suitcase and bags are on the other side. She has a large dresser so the only things that are hung up are church clothes from winter and summer that way I always have an idea on what to buy for the next season and right now...we are GOOD!
For my sons room we had a WHOLE entire shelves of cubes to go through where he had playmobile and legos and Bionicles. We agreed that he can keep the playmobil but the rest had to go since he hadn't played them in at least three years...so we are selling those:)
Have a GREAT day! I am now going to start purging the attic and then start on decorations that I don't need and selling the extra on those as well! Ellie has a birthday party to go to today and she is super excited! have a GREAT day sorry for such a LONG LONG post:)