Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking ahead to 2012....

In case you missed my story on how my money saving journey began you can catch up here. In a nutshell through using coupons, price matching, diligently watching the flyers and stocking up on sale items, meal planning, learning about customer loyalty programs and joining Swagbucks I saved over $1000 in just 10 months. It was probably more than that since I lost track of the numbers a few times after my little one was born and when we moved into our new home but it was during those times that I put every trick and tip I had learned to the ultimate test.  

So now what?

Not only have I entirely changed my approach both to shopping and how we live but my hubby has even turned the corner! Now there is no way we can ever go back. Our goal for 2012 is to save $5000 through the use of coupons, stockpiling, customer loyalty programs and sites like Swagbucks. This will include not just savings on groceries, toiletries, and baby items but also items that we need for the house and all gifts (birthday, Christmas, etc) throughout the year. You will notice that I have added my countdown bar to the side of the blog so you can follow along in my savings quest. Additionally I have challenged myself to introduce to our lifestyle 1 new tip per month (12 total over the course of the year). Some will be just a one time thing (see February, although I hope to find a few projects over the year) and some things will become a part of the daily, weekly, monthly routine. Most of them are common sense but I think making the conscious effort to incorporate them into our routine will make a difference.This of course does not mean that we can't occasionally indulge, it just means that when we do its even sweeter! Here's my list of 12 tips for the year (the months might change a bit but this is the plan for now)

  • January: Learn to batch cook
  • February: Find new purpose for something around the house (ie. Redo a piece of furniture)
  • March: Destash, destash, destash. I have a TON of things to sort through and want to be able to destash AT LEAST 5 items a week.
  • April: Learn to BAKE something from scratch
  • May: WALK. Yes, I know, makes sense and we do actually do quite a bit of walking but at least once a week I want to challenge myself to walk when I would have normally driven.
  • June: Grow something edible (I think I'll try a couple tomato plants to start and see if they survive. Master Gardener I am not. Master Plant Killer I most certainly am.
  • July: Hang my laundry out to dry AT LEAST once a week (yes I know I should already do this every time but since I don't I am going to try to start with baby steps)
  • August: Learn to preserve something (jam ideally but maybe pickles or salsa too)
  • September: My oldest will be heading off to Kindergarten (yikes...picture crying mommy on Day 1) so I would like to add AT LEAST one meal a week done in the slow cooker to cut down on the chaos after we get home and so we can enjoy our time together instead of having to cook.
  • October: Spend no more than $30/week on groceries (hopefully my stockpile is A++ by then)
  • November: Have a minimalist day at least once a week (so after my oldest goes to school, no tv, lights, computer, stove, etc for the whole day)
  • December: To not spend ANY money out of pocket on Christmas gifts this month (using only Shopper's Optimum redemptions, other customer loyalty rewards, Swagbucks gift cards, handmade gifts and items previously budgeted and paid for throughout the year)


  1. I love your list!! I use coupons whenever I think of it (I need a much better system! lol).... I would like to use many more! I currently stockpile (if it's in the budget) for when things are on sale and/or I have coupons. One downside is I don't have a printer, so not able to take advantage of the printalbe coupons and deals found online.
    You mentioned in January you wanted to learn to batch cook.....check out the facebook page "Kindermusik with Lisa McCann" if you haven't already....she's starting monthyly parent nights and January's is about batch cooking (freezer meals) if I remember correctly.
    thanks so much for taking the time to put all this out here for us to read....I appreciate it :)

  2. Beckie:
    Thanks for posting! It's amazing how even using a few coupons at a time, or even when you think of it can add up to big savings!

    I just recently got a printer so I'm still learning the ropes as far as the printable coupons go and I'm upgrading to a coupon binder to keep better organized.
    I have the date for the Kindermusick parents night circled on the calender! Can't wait! So appreciative for the parents nights. Thanks Lisa!
    Last but not least thanks for following along! I hope that you too can reach your savings goals in the year ahead and I hope to bring readers lots more great bargains!