Recession Mama

{June 19, 2009}   I Really Should Have Learned This a LONG Time Ago…

–By Carla


I love to learn. I may not have been the best student in high school/the early years, but I really thrived in college and continue to be fascinated with new things, new ideas and new people. A few weeks ago, I told you that I had enlisted the help of the fabu moms in my fabu mom’s group, asking them how they budget and save (since I’m such an obvious idiot in that department). I loved what Erin wrote. She’s passionate about saving money, “I love to save money!”. See? I told you. She says when she became a stay-at-home mom after her (adorable!) daughter was born, she started to look for ways to cut back since they were going to start living off of just one income.

Erin says, “At first it was challenging, but before I knew it I was addicted! I would save my receipts so I could see how much money I had saved over a month’s time. I know, total dork, but it worked! I can’t believe how much money we were wasting!”

Erin is on-top of her family’s finances and she does so by using Quicken Online, which is free, to set up her budget. “It links to your accounts (banks, credit cards, loans etc) and categorizes each transaction, so you know where every penny is going, and tracks your income. You can set an over all budget, and budgets within each category. I know when I’m over spending in one area or where I’m saving the most.”

Ok, that part does seem a little daunting, especially for a girl who still has yet to master the computer, but I have managed to pay everything online thanks to repeated prodding from Heather a few years back (thanks, mama!!). I am officially adding that step to my financial “to-do” list just as soon as Baby Boy is weened. (TMI, right? Sorry)


I honestly do enjoy bragging about saving money at the grocery store. (This, from the same woman who used to toss coupons in the trash) And just a couple of weeks ago,  you could have seen my gigantic smile from Mars when the checkout dude told me, “Ma’am (and please stop calling me that), you saved $27 today.” Twenty seven dollars? I saved that much just now? Oh how times have changed, but man that was huge for me.  

There was a major theme that kept coming up over and over when asking my fellow moms about tips on savings: Menu planning. Erin writes, “Couponing can be a little tricky and time consuming, but when I considered I cut my grocery bill by 60% it was worth it for me. I plan my weekly meals around the items I am getting discounts on, and we eat the same things we always have for a lot less money!”

Did I mention that I saved $27 at the store the other day? Ok, just wanted to make sure I got that out there. NOT the biggest deal in the world for most people, but hey, baby steps for this Recession Mama. Yes!


recessionmama says:

From Heather: It is such a thrill to save money. So I can understand why your friend is addicted to it. Just think Carla that $27 savings could go towards a “date” night with your husband. Every little bit helps.

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Katy says:

Congratulations, Carla! $27 is a big deal. Since reading Sarah’s guest post, I’ve been using more coupons. I also signed up for a Ralph’s (SoCal grocery store) card. The guy behind the register thought I was weird that I didn’t have one. He was like…have you ever shopped here before?? I know, dude. It was BEFORE I learned how to use coupons from my friend, Sarah!

Heather B says:

At the risk of sounding horribly spoiled… I’ve been sending my babysitter to the grocery store. I give her a certain amount of money and a list. I can’t be trusted.This has saved us tons of money on groceries and kept us from wasting so much food.When I grocery shop I suddenly think I would like to cook elaborate meals. So I buy too much.I’m not a great cook y’all.

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