As you know my life is pretty hectic to say the least.  I’m always looking for new ways to save time and streamline my day.  I was recently looking through the Aldi’s circular and saw a ad for instacart spend $35 get $20 off with promo code ALDIDELIVERYS.  It’s a busy day and we were out of milk.  The thought of piling all five kids to the grocery store or even two of them is the last thing on my mind.  It was the perfect time to try Instacart.  The app was pretty easy to download and use.  There were several stores to choose from, I chose Aldi’s, but they had Publix and Kroger available as well.  We needed milk and Lil Prince was out of underjams, so it was perfect timing.  After downloading the app you can choose what items you want to add to your cart.  A few of the items had coupons available to use, I didn’t try those as they were only candy.  I tried ordering dairy, produce, staples, etc.  The items arrived in great condition; however the grapes were not instock so I was unable to see how the produce worked out.  The driver is the one who shops for you and delivers the items.  She did try to text me letting me know the grapes were out of stock, but I didn’t get her text message.  The grapes were promptly refunded before the food was even delivered.  I would definitely recommend the service to others.  I know it might not be for coupon users as there was no way to get the coupons to the driver before they shop and pick up the items.  First time users can click on my link and receive $10 off your order.  I was given a free delivery otherwise the delivery free starts at $5.99.

Chasing the BARGAIN – an addicts’ confession

Chasing the BARGAIN – an addicts’ confession

Saving money has never come easy to me, after all I love to shop.  I also love to receive packages, it’s like a birthday or Christmas every time I get a package in the mail.  It’s the shopping online that I love, after all it offered no lines, convenience  and the ability to snag unbelievable deals.  The only problem was that it becoming an addiction.  I searched out unbelievable deals, many times for things I didn’t really need and sometimes didn’t even want.

My online shopping started off innocently enough at first.  I found myself searching out items to build a stockpile, then I started looking for clothes fr the kids, with four I really wanted to stretch my dollar as far as I could.  The small purchases, like 25 coupons for next weeks deal, or the new outfits for next season turned into six months supplies of toilet paper and paper towel.  The necessities soon became the gifts for holiday’s – Christmas, Birthday’s, Easter, Halloween Costumes, and of course the presents for just in case we get an unexpected invite to someone’s birthday!  I soon found myself signing up for freebies I didn’t need, telling myself I know someone who could use it.

I was caught in the thrill of the chase – chasing down a bargain, any bargain.  Being able to say I got it for free or pennies on the dollar filled me with excitement, one that it was hard to step away from.  It almost got my in trouble, not the financial trouble.  The kind where if I didn’t stop I would have become one of those people you see on tv, their house filled with tons of unopened boxes with no room left to walk.  OK, may I wasn’t that far down the road, but I feared I was really heading there.  I decided to stop.

I had to learn to say no to the chase, sounds easy, but it wasn’t,  not at first.  Anyone who knows what the chase feels like, the high of getting something at 90% off, can be like a drug.  It was a drug, my drug and it was easy to find the source for my next high, after all they emailed me constant updates of great bargains, as soon as they became available.  Before I had a chance to fall off the current feeling of incredible power,I was already on to the next fix, the next bargain.

What got me to stop?  I came home and saw all the stuff that was accumulating in my house and realized I was sick of it.  I was sick of the drawer full of dog food (I don’t have a dog, in fact I am highly allergic to them!)  I just wanted it all t be gone.  I told myself then and there it was time to clean up, literally!  I started by going through items.  Things that didn’t fit me or anyone in my house or my sisters went straight to goodwill.  The items for my sister’s house went quickly over there.

When the first cleaning was done, and things were reasonable, I set about with one simple rule.  For everything one thing I bring in that is not needed (I mean really needed), I had to get rid of five other things.  That one rule was really freeing for me, it was something simple that I could live with and I have.  As time has gone on, I have added more rules, but the have to be simple or else I just won’t follow them for long.

Happy Savings!

So I’ll be honest.  I forgot today was day one of the live below the line challenge until I got to work.  So I’ll have to start tomorrow.

But to give you an idea of how much I spend regularly here is what I ate to day.

Breakfast – 9am  I had tea and four pieces of pullman loaf bread.  My cost $0 (I eat free at my work.)  Cost of items: tea bag $0.30, water for tea $0 (tap), bread $.43.

Lunch – 3pm.  I had a salad with chicken and a slice of cheesecake for dessert.  My cost $0.  Cost of items: $3 for the salad and $2 for the slice of cheesecake.

Dinner – 8pm.  Pasta and peas with Alfredo sauce.

Pasta – $0.07 per box, used 1 box.  Stockpiled from BOGO sale at Publix and $.55/1 coupon.

Peas – $.45 for can.  Stockpiled from a Publix Bogo sale and coupons.

Alfredo Sauce – $.75 for jar, used only 1/4 of the jar.  Stockpiled from a Pubix BOGO sale and coupons.

Total cost of dinner $.71 for dinner.  Number fed 7 – me and 6 kids.

I will go shopping tomorrow and come and post what we eat each day.