Girls with Coupons

http://www.girlswithcoupons.com

Girls with Coupons is a value centric blog focusing on helping families stretch their dollar with; money saving articles, coupons, deals, free samples, product reviews and giveaways.

Kourtenay is a winner of Top 25 Money Saving Blogs by Moms - 2012

What's the single best decision about money you've made?

The best decision I ever made about money was to pay attention to it - knowing exactly what comes in and what goes out. Without that information, the money we worked so hard for was slipping through our fingers like water through a tin horn. It was easy to nickle and dime ourselves, spending more than we thought we were. Once I had a pulse on our spending, I created a budget.
This is imperative when you have a family and it's not as daunting as you think.

Once I set a budget, I stuck to it. I didn't want to be a slave to money, I wanted to be the master! After a while, it became somewhat of a game to find different ways to save money.

Does your child receive an allowance? If so, how much? (Please share how old your child is.)

My youngest son is 8 years old. We give him an allowance of $5 a week if he completes his chores. From ages 4-6 we gave him $1, then when he got older we bumped it up slowly to $2, then $3. Chores consist of taking out the trash, keeping his room clean, putting his dirty clothes in the laundry and helping with dishes each night. He usually does them since he knows we will deduct $1 for each task that wasn't completed. He hates loosing any money..lol. Once he is paid, $2.50 goes into a savings jar, $1.50 is for spending and $1 goes into the charity jar. This way he learns how to save, how to make good decisions when spending and also giving to others! Once he's old enough to cut the grass, he'll get more, although we'll have to wait to see if his teenage brother (who does that job now) appreciates that or not...lol.

What's an easy way moms can trim their family food budget?

I would be remiss if I didn't suggest using coupons to save on food. However, that's not the only way to save. Here are a few ways I save on food for my family.

*Check the meat counters early in the morning. This is when most stores reduce meat prices before they expire.
*Our local Dillons discounts sandwich bread before it expires to $.35 a loaf. That's when I buy several and freeze them!
*Be sure to scour your store's clearance section if they have one. I find awesome deals there!
*Don't be brand loyal. Off brands are often cheaper than name brands with coupons.
*While at the store, keep your eyes open for close-out prices. There are times that a brand will discontinue an item or revamp their labels. In many cases, you can purchase two or three of an item for the same price as a single item was originally priced.This is a great time to stock up!
*Additionally, just because an item is on sale or you have a coupon doesn't make it a good deal if you'll never use it. Only focus on deals for items you know you'll use.

What's your best budget tip for shopping for back-to-school necessities like school supplies, backpacks, uniforms, labels and lunchboxes? Include a link to a photo if you have one!

Kourtenay Main

Don't wait until the last minute. If you do, most things like backpacks and lunch boxes your child may want are picked over. Get your supply list early!. If you see coupons, promotions and special sales, you'll know what to buy and what you really don't need. When you see items like crayons, glue etc priced super cheap (like $.25 ea) grab several. That way, you have extra at home for them to use. Plus, when they get worn out mid year, you have back-ups! Starting this first week in August, many states offer a tax free exemption on back-to-school supplies. Here's the link to my list of those states:
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