Tag Archives: Money

How I Shop The Ads

How I Shop The Ads

I have 3 main goals when I look through the ads.

  1. Find ingredients that I need for the meals I came up with from my inventory sheet.
  2. Check for staples we always have around the house that may be on sale. Things like salsa, bread, certain produce my kids love, etc.
  3. Look for great deals that can contribute to a meal. This might be meat at a great price, produce on sale that we will eat as a side, or other components like rice and tortillas.

Other tips:

I almost always “settle” for an ad item. What I mean by this is instead of eating broccoli as a side, we will have asparagus because it’s on sale cheaper than the broccoli.

Don’t buy an item just because it’s on sale. Buy it if it’s cheaper than the store brand and you actually NEED it or will USE IT for a meal.

Color code the stores as you make your list. You will be able to see which store has the best deals at a glance, then decide if it’s worth going to that store.


If there are only 2-3 items in an ad that you need, will use, and is cheaper than store brand, it’s not worth going to the store. I only go to the store if there is a significant amount of sale items.

If you’re new to ad shopping, I suggest starting a price sheet just to start seeing what good prices are. This opened my eyes a ton to seeing what is actually a great sale price. You can read about how I did that here.

Download my Ad Shopping sheet below!

_Ad Shopping

How You Need A Budget Changed My Life

“I’m on a budget.”

How many times have I said that and not ACTUALLY been on a budget?  Countless.

I didn’t even really know what a budget was. What I meant was “I know I shouldn’t spend this money because I have other things I should be paying for.”

Until You Need A Budget came into my life.  Basically, it changed the way I looked at and spent money.  The word “budget” can be scary, but the philosophy is that you can spend your money however you want, but you HAVE TO know where your money is going.  Spending is all based on what is important to you.

Each month, I assign my dollars to do “jobs” for me.  Important jobs like pay the mortgage, electric bill, daycare – money that I know exactly how much and when it’s due.

Then there are the jobs for things we know are going to happen but we don’t know when. THIS is what I was missing in my so-called fake “budget”.  Things like auto repairs or medical bills. We put in a little money each month to save just incase.

Next, we budget for things that will happen in the future, such as my daughter’s birthday, Christmas gifts, or summer camps. Saving a little every month rather than paying it all at once and hoping we have enough money for the rest…now that was a huge, positive change for us.

Can’t forget about paying down that debt!  Because I know where all of my money is going, I know exactly how much EXTRA I can pay towards my debt.

Lastly,  FUN MONEY! Dollars that are spent however we want, no questions asked.  This is a wonderful solution for couples who question purchases. He can buy shoes and I can buy clothes, no questions asked, as long as it’s within our Fun Money budget.

One thing that was a big change for me was actually assigning jobs to my savings account. I knew how much money we had in savings, but it was always “just incase”. Well, now we are already budgeting for those (see above), so this is truly saving for fun things like carpet (me) and a boat (John)!

After using it for almost 18 months, I have no clue how I knew what my money was doing before! I can’t count how many times I have NOT purchased something because either 1)I knew I didn’t have money for it or 2)If I wanted to buy it, I would have to take money out of my Carpet or Boat fund, making us that much farther away from buying either of those things.

There are so many other great things I won’t go into detail about like goals, age of money, graphs showing net worth, quick budgeting, and an app for on-the-go tracking. You can read about all of those on their website!

(Ok, I will give one sneak peak of one of the reports because I love them so much and think you will too!)

I highly recommend giving it a try if you’re stuck in a money rut or if you’re “budgeting” like I was 18 months ago.  They offer a 34-day trial so you don’t have to pay up front!

Click here to check it out!