May 21, 2011

Why we do what we do!

Becoming frugally minded doesn't happen in the blink of an eye, especially if you have no choice. Prior to being laid off from my job of 5 years, I spent money like it would never run out, but all that changed when the pink slip was handed down. I had to come up with ways to dramatically cut our expenses, what with being married with three cats, I had to come up with a game plan.  

After doing a thorough check of our finances, we became painfully aware of our poor spending habits. I was ignorant enough to believe that I would never have to worry about being unemployed. I had to learn pretty fast how to save money in every way just to make ends meet. The very next day we went into survivor mode and raised our automobile insurance deductible, dropped “unlimited text & web” with our cell phone carrier, went from High Speed Internet to a lower speed, all in an effort to save every penny we could by cutting the non essentials. That helped to save roughly $110 a month, but we had to focus on the very important task of reevaluating the remainder of our finances and we discovered that the “black hole” of our paychecks were of course our rent & grocery bills. But what was I gonna do? We had to pay the rent, we had to eat, how in the world could I cut those expenses? It started with making the difficult choice of down sizing from a 2 bedroom apartment to a 1 bedroom mobile home. I immediately saved $200a month but quickly realized that that still was not enough, after going from a modest $27k annual salary to just under $12k on unemployment benefits.  

Out of desperation, I challenged myself to buy store brands rather than the more costly name brands I was used to. I wanted to see if it would have any impact, sure enough it did, I saved an additional $40 a month just by giving up on brand loyalty and switching to generic brands for our everyday toiletries, cleaning and laundry supplies etc. But lo & behold, it still was not enough, we had to take it a step further, after perusing almost every frugal website known to man for cost cutting ideas, I determined that even with downsizing, buying generic and getting rid of “non essentials”, we still were not capitalizing on our maximum savings potential.

We took a couponing class and suddenly our eyes were opened to the potential of ethical couponing & freebie shopping. After putting the things we learned into practice, we saved over $10k in household expenses in the past year. That's where Grace Saved comes in, I decided it was time to share those valuable tips with you. The beauty is that it does not matter if you are unemployed, underemployed or if you have a great paying job, the savings are available to everyone. So stop by often and learn tips on how to shop savvy, save and share.

Thank you for being apart of Grace Saved and for your wonderful support.

God Bless you & yours,


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