The Inexpensively Network connects individuals from around the country to provide families with the most up to date and accurate savings tools in their own communities. They compile weekly lists for grocery store deals, suggest ideas on living your life for less, offer tips on finding the best savings and encourage our community to be charitable even on a budget. Meet our team each week as we feature one of our contributors, in her own words.
I am a mom to two boys; my oldest is three and my youngest is one. I am a native Californian but married an east coast man. When we decided to have children, we settled on moving back east for the more affordable living. I want to spend as much time as possible with my boys. I knew that living in California would not give me the opportunity to work part time. Thus, Virginia is where we landed. I do work part time as a Registered Dental Hygienist. The balance is quite nice; I get to spend a majority of my time with my boys but I also get the adult interaction I need.
I have always been a coupon user. While growing up, I can remember using coupons or bargain hunting with my mom. I was taught to never pay full price and to shop at consignment shops. Hitting garage sales is a favorite past time for my mom and I. The tradition has been carried on with my boys. My three year old knows all about shopping sales. It is not uncommon to hear him ask, “Mom, did you get his on sale?” or “did you use a coupon?”.
It wasn’t until a year ago that I started “extreme couponing”, as I call it. So why did I start extreme couponing? Well, a CVS opened a few miles from my house. I heard some friends from my mom’s group talking about how they were making money by buying items at CVS. I am never one to miss a bargain, so I looked into it. What a whole new world for me! I use to shop at Sam’s Club for our household goods. I have since learned that I can often find those items cheaper using coupons and a good sale. I have also learned to stop paying for toothpaste, razors, soap, air fresheners, etc. Learning how to play the CVS “game” has saved my family thousands of dollars.
About the time I discovered CVS, my husband’s job had slowed down a bit. He installs and refinishes hardwood floors. I decided to see how we could cut our budget to prepare for the slow down. It took me some time, but I have now cut our weekly spending to under $100. Now, that figure accounts for all of our household needs, food, diapers, toiletries, makeup, etc. Some weeks I don’t even spend the $100. For my grocery bill, I usually save anywhere from 50-80%. I have become good at stockpiling and figuring out the rock bottom deal for an item. For most things, I am not brand loyal. I know what my family will eat and I plan my menu around what is on sale for the week and what we have in our stockpile.
In April, Amee approached me about starting a blog. I had wanted to blog for some time but I felt that I didn’t have the time to invest to make it successful. We decided that a partnership would help us both. Madame Deals was born mid April and we have been full speed since then. We have held several successful coupon workshops and we have many more in the works. Madame Deals has also developed the MD Coupon Solution—an organizational system for all of your couponing needs.
Madame Deals is a blog dedicated to finding the rock bottom deals on groceries, household goods and fashion. You will also find information on how to coupon, recipes, budgeting, frugal living tips and much more. Madame Deals is pleased to be a part of Inexpensively Network!