Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Your Questions Answered

For the record, I LOVE getting your questions. They make me think harder about what I'm doing, why I'm doing it, and if it's really worth it. So never be worried about asking something.
I also had lots of questions about buying from the bulk bins which just happened to be the topic of the newspaper article I wrote this week. You can see it here.

If you had your choice, would you prefer to shop every week or every two weeks?

I've tried shopping every week, every two weeks, and once a month and the one that works best for me is once a week. My first reason is that if I stretch my shopping out then inevitably some unplanned event comes up that I need to prepare food for and I've already spent all my money. Second, if there is more in the house we consume more. We don't pace ourselves and can eat through two weeks of food in one week easily. With the bellyache to prove it. And third, when I shop only once or twice a month I STILL have to make trips to the store to stock back up on milk and produce so I'm at the grocery store even more.

Is there anything that you will splurge on? I know most people have certain items that they feel they HAVE to have. Whats yours?

The list of things that I thought I HAD to have has grown smaller over the years. When we first started our business and our new budget my list had things like bottles of flavored water, $15 bottles of brand name hair gel, Lysol sanitizing wipes, boneless skinless chicken breasts, and huge bags of shredded cheese. I thought I couldn't live without some of that stuff. But now my list has very few "must have" splurges on it. Aussie sprunch spray for my curly hair is a splurge but I can find it at one of my outlet stores marked down to $1.99 which fits into my budget. I'm still not sure if I could live without it. And sometimes if the budget allows I'll by Top Ramen, Mac & cheese or a bag of chips as a treat for the family.

If you've asked a question and you don't see it here don't worry. I've got a file full of questions that I'll be trying to get to in the next few days.


Heidi said...

Thank you for the all of the $$ saving inspiration Gayle ~ I really enjoy reading your blog!!

Mrs. Querido said...

Amen to your article! We buy a lot more out of the bulk bins than we used to. Oatmeal is tons cheaper in bulk...and as you stated, so are peanuts! Great tips!

Danielsen5 said...

I'm the one who asked about how often to shop, thanks for answering. I was pretty much thinking along those same lines you are. This is my first week, and it's scary! I don't want to let anyone down, mainly my DH. He works hard and I don't want to fail at this.

Blessings, Beth

Duckygirl said...

I shop once every two weeks and week two is usually slimmer than the first week. You nailed it when you said if it's there it'll get eaten :)

Now I need to hunt for a store here that sells in bulk!


Halfmoon Girl said...

Another great article. I used to shop bulk, but since we have a severe life threatening nut allergy in the house now, that is no longer something we can do. Just today, while shopping, I was wondering why you do once a week, so thanks for answering the question I never asked!

proudmommy777 said...

Hey Gayle, a thought for ya. You said you can't live without your Aussie sprunch spray for your curly hair... I've got waist length, dark, very-curly hair also, and the best products I've found for my hair also happen to be the cheapest! I get the biggest, cheapest bottle of gel I can find... usually less than 2.00 and lasts around 4 months between my daughter and me. And, I buy Rave hairspray number 4. The jumbo size can is 1.88. The gel doesn't work without the hairspray and the hairspray doesn't work without the gel, I've learned you gotta have em both, haha! And even though they cost more than 1.99, they last for several months; if I weren't sharing with my daughter (who overdoes EVERYTHING) it'd last me at least 8 months... probably several more than that!

So, you might want to give that a try, but I know it was hard for me to let go of my sprunch spray! I'm glad I did, though! This combo doesn't seem to dry my hair out as much as the sprunch spray did.

Best of wishes! You're an inspiration!

gail said...

our budget has gone down significantly, first 6 years ago, and then recently its gone down again since august. i wholeheartedly agree that you find less and less things that you can't do without. i splurged today on a 12 pack of flavored sparkling water! woo hoo!

i buy many things inthe bulk bins at winco too and i make many things from scratch. we used to eat lamb often (its better than the yummiest steak) but at 4.99 a pound now we have it for a special occasion.

good stuff here!
gail in idaho

Anonymous said...

Great insight and price break downs!

Do you have any frugal secrets for your homeschool? (This question should probably have been asked on your other site.)
I've never purchased a total curriculum of anything. I have an education degree so I know how to meet the requirements without investing hundreds of dollars. Of course the library, internet, consignment shops and the like are great places to find cheap educational stuff.
I'm just curious what clever ideas you might have up your sleeve.....since you have impressed me greatly with your grocery cart challenge tips.

Cathy said...

I love visiting and reading all your tips! Thanks for doing this! I gave you a bloggy award on my blog!

Monkey Momma said...

LOVE your article! Thanks for the breakdowns. If nothing else, it will make me LOOK at our local bulk bins, which for me is a start.

noahandlylasmommi said...

Oh I love lylol wipes. lol but your right, I dont need them. I also prefer to shop every week or sometimes every other week. I cannot imagine grocery shopping once a month. I am not even close to being that organized.

Maddy said...

I always learn things from your blog. Very inspiring! Thanks.

Andrea said...

Thanks for your answers, Gayle. (It's almost like watching Jon&Kate Plus8..when we read those):)
If hairgel is your biggest vice, you have some awesome willpower!

Andrea said...

Gayle, let me change "vice" to splurge, okay!! Don't want to imply anything negative there, oops.

Anonymous said...

Another homeschool inquisition.....

I know you have 4 kiddos. How do you decide what classes/lessons to sign them up for? We live in an area where basically the sky is the limit with the amount of choices in this department. My approach is that if it is beneficial and/or tailors to a strong interest or talent/ability I will sign them up but limit it to one per season. Also, each can be counted as a part of school, too.

I have 2 kiddos and the youngest is just getting old enough for these extra enrichment activities. So I was wondering how you manage with 4?

Sports(including swimming lessons) and music are the main classes, lessons or team activities that dip into our budget. Oh yeah, sports in our area cost about $150 per kid to participate! OUCH!