Do These Things Worry Me? You Bet!

Saving Money Today had a link to a great article about seven things that worry the middle class.  Click here to read the post. 

I thought this was great and thought I’d comment on how I feel about each of these worrisome things, since I consider our family in the middle class:

  1. Falling Income – Last year our company gave no raises and they also cut the match to our 401(k) plan.  Both of these were presented as temporary, but just how long this temporary situation lasts is anybody’s guess.
  2. Reduced Savings / Net Worth – When we bought our home, the value had already dropped 15% or so from when the prior owners had purchased it.  We thought we had swooped in at the right time.  Unfortunately, the decline continued and it’s lost another 20% or so, pretty much erasing our down payment.  Although our net worth in non-home categories has increased, our overall net worth is lower than it was a few years ago because of the anchor that is real estate.  Luckily, we don’t have any plans to move nor do we consider our home an ‘asset’ in the sense of borrowing against it, but it’s still disheartening.
  3. Higher healthcare costs – These definitely worry me.  One upside from our employer is that we have pretty good healthcare, and the out-of-pocket cost increase from 2009 to 2010 was minimal.  Still, costs are increasing and with the new health care legislation, I can’t see this trend stopping anytime soon.
  4. Child Care / Elder Care expenses – My wife stays home with Baby Beagle, so we don’t have the child care costs yet.  Still, pre-school and other costs are bound to be expensive, and that will come up quick.  Our parents are in good health both medically and financially and I’m going to hold on to the thought that this will continue for a long, long time, so the elder care hasn’t come into play yet.
  5. College costs – This is certainly something we’re worried about.  We have started saving for Baby Beagle’s college fund, but if costs rise at the pace that they have for the last twenty years, it’s going to be pretty tough to imagine being able to pay for college at the current rate of savings, especially when you consider that we’d like to have a bigger family.
  6. Housing costs – We’re not moving so this isn’t a factor.  Still, you never know what might happen within a neighborhood or with a job situation, so this is something that could come up and become an issue in pretty quick time.
  7. False expectations – I’m well educated, motivated, and have been told that I’m good at what I do.  It used to be that these things would almost assure you a job and a good wage.  While I have both of those now, I know enough people and have read enough stories who have the same traits but are suffering.  It seems there are fewer and fewer opportunities and more people looking for them, and this wasn’ the way it used to be.

I am not so naive to think that generations before mine did not have the same concerns.  I think it’s natural to worry about money and finance related issues.  Still, I hope that our future allows for people to avoid being crippled by these and other worries.

Weekly Blog Roundup: March 26, 2010

As part of the Yakezie Challenge, I’ve come across a whole slew of great new blogs.  Here are three great articles I came across with other members in this group who have taken on the similar challenge of improving their Alexa website rating:

  •  Personal Finance Ninja – 700 Pennies: How To Stay Motivated And Reach Your Goals – It’s always a good lesson to have something that keeps your eye on the bigger picture. As I say at the bottom of each of my posts, “It’s a great day to be alive!” and this sort of ties in with that.
  • PT MoneyThe Ultimate Guide to Saving Money On Coffee – I drink coffee just about every day.  I am not a coffee snob, but that’s mostly because I force myself not to be in order to not get sucked into drinking expensive coffee.  If you’ve already lost that battle, here are a few ways to fight back or at least minimize the damage.
  • Canadian Personal Finance BlogYou Know It’s A Bad Day When…. – This is another reminder to make sure to find a good, reputable financial adviser, and to make sure that he/she stays that way.  Even then, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket!

Another great read by one of my favorite bloggers who isn’t in the challenge:

  • Funny About Money – Sure You Want To Go On That Cruise? – I have never been on a cruise and have no desire to, and this gives me one more reason to know that I’m comfortable with my choice to keep my vacation time on solid ground!

Check them out (but don’t forget to come back!) and enjoy some great reads by other bloggers who have unique perspectives into personal blogging.

How To Unclog A Sink Using A Plunger

One of the items on my Spring To Do-List was to unclog our bathroom sink, which was draining slow.

mb-201002plungerThis past weekend, I set out to clear it up and was able to do so with the use of just a few items.

What I used:
Small plunger (not one to unclog a toilet, that was too big for the small bathroom sink)
Drano Max Gel Clog Remover
Spray Cleaner
Rags

Background:
The drain has been running slow for quite some time.  It never got fully clogged but didn’t seem to drain really fast.  Every couple of months, I would use some Drano Max Gel remover, and that would clear things up a bit, but I could tell it never fully did the trick.  Plus, each application seemed to buy less and less time between usage, so I knew it was time to tackle the problem head on.

  1. I used a couple of the rags to plug up the overflow holes at the top of the sink as you want to create a vacuum seal with the plunger.  I wet the rags first before plugging them to give a better seal.
  2. Run the water – I first attempted to use the plunger with a dry sink.  All this did was pull the sink drain closed.  Running water prevented this from happening.
  3. Create a seal with the plunger over the sink drain.  I did not find it necessary to remove the drain stopper (see step above).  I’ve seen other sites recommend putting a little petroleum jelly around your plunger if you can’t get a good seal, but I didn’t need to do this as the small plunger I purchased for $2.50 fit perfectly.
  4. Push up and down on the plunger at least ten or twenty times with strong force.
  5. Prepare to be disgusted!  Some of the stuff that flowed back up into the sink was disgusting.  It was obvious that the grime and stuff lining the pipes had been accumulating for awhile.
  6. At this point, there was so much grime and who knows what else raised that it actually fully clogged the sink.  My guess is that it probably pulled so much grime which then settled in the drain trap that it created a full clog.  Further plunging and rinsing did nothing to reduce the water level or the mess that had now been brought forth into the sink.
  7. I decided to try the Drano Max Gel to see if it could clear things up.  Even though there was water and gunk in the sink, I attempted to pour it lined up with the drain so that it could get down in the drain and start working.  Sure enough, I could see the water level dropping slowly and then suddenly it broke through and drained fast.Note: The bottle of Drano makes it very clear that if the clog doesn’t go away, you are not to use the plunger anymore afterward since this could result in splashback of the Drano product, which could result in burned skin and other bad things.  So, if you get to this step and the Drano does not remove it, STOP!  You will then need to remove your drain trap from underneath the sink.  Here is a link that shows how to do that, but I won’t get into details since I didn’t actually need to do this step.
  8. After the Drano Max Gel did it’s work, I ran hot water down for a couple of minutes to remove all signs of the Drano Max.
  9. I wanted to make sure that everything was cleared, so I went back up to step 2, and re-ran steps 2-6.  There was still some gunk that came loose that I was able to pull loose and rinse down, though it wasn’t enough to clog the sink again.  After a couple of more rounds, the plunger didn’t backwash anything nasty into the sink.
  10. I kept the hot water running to make sure to let everything flow all the way down the line.
  11. I noted that my sink now cleared water at an astonishing rate!
  12. I thoroughly cleaned the sink using the rags I had previously used to stop the overflow drink since it needed a cleaning to make sure all the nasty stuff that had backed into it were gone.  Once all traces were removed, I put everything back to normal!

The whole job took about 15 minutes from start to finish.  I had been afraid that I would need to open the drain trap which could take a lot longer and be a lot more messy, but luckily I was able to avoid that.

A plumber would have probably charged $100 to do the same work, so I felt pretty pleased with my work and my results!

Recycling Has Paid: Here’s A Breakdown So Far

Our community participates in a unique recycling program where your recycling is weighed during pickup (the scale is on the truck) every week, and you get ‘points’ that you can ‘spend’ on coupons and products at local and online retailers.  When the program was introduced about a year ago, it fell in conjunction with a new city trash collection program that lowered our trash bills about 50% and offered recycling opportunities on many items.

We can now recycle plastics 1-7, glass, all paper, cardboard, and other items.  The city provided all residents new garbage and recycling containers.  They’re both very big, and we’ve found that since the program kicked off, our recycling bucket is full more often than not, where we’ve never even filled up one quarter of our garbage bucket.

I thought I’d take a look back at how we’ve redeemed some of our ‘rewards’ and how, in addition to the 50% lower bills, how recycling has paid off (not that we need an incentive to recycle and be green, but saving green is always an added bonus!)

July 2009

  • Bed Bath & Beyond – $10 off $30 purchase (Qty: 1) – We always get 20% off coupons, but this amounted to a 33% off coupon if you bought an item priced $30.  I’m not sure what we used it for, but I know we kept it as close to $30 as we could.

August 2009

  • Coca-Cola Products – $1 off any size (Qty: 5) – At the time, the number of points they charged was next to nothing.  The maximum you could get at one time was ten.  I only ‘bought’ five because I actually thought there would be a catch, that it was such a good deal.  We waited until they were on sale for $1 per two-liter bottle, so we got some soda for free just in time for my son’s baptism party!

October 2009

  • More Coca-Cola Products – $1 off any size (Qty:10) – Now that I knew there was no catch, I loaded up on as many as we could and this batch lasted us through the holidays.
  • Simply Juice – $1 off any size (Qty: 1) – We usually buy juice from concentrate but decided to look for a sale along with this coupon, and got a very cheap, tasty bottle of juice!
  • Kraft Salad Dressing – $2 off (Qty: 1) – We were able to find salad dressing on sale for $2 so we got a free salad dressing!
  • Local Restaurant – $5 off $25 (Qty:1) – One of our favorite places for breakfast offered this coupon.  Their prices are pretty reasonable as it is, and we like supporting local establishments.  We haven’t used this yet only because we would need a couple of extra people to join us to reach a $25 total, but we have it and are excited to use it soon!

January 2010

  • Even More Coca-Cola Products – $1 off any size (Qty:10) – We just used the coupons on these and got free soda for Baby Beagle’s first birthday party.  Note: They raised the ‘point’ cost on these to double what they had previously been.  Still a pretty good bargain.
  • Huggies – Buy one get one free – We got a free jumbo pack of diapers, and we were able to use a coupon on the pack we paid for.  Ka-ching!
  • Simply Juice – $1 off any size (Qty: 2) – We haven’t redeemed these yet but will make sure to do so before they expire!

February 2010

  • Local Plant & Flower Nursery – $10 off $50 (Qty: 2) – We have purchased our flowers for the past couple of years at a local establishment.  By the time we buy a few flats, a hanging basket, soil, and other various needs, we usually spend around $125.  This will allow us to knock $20 off that!
  • Bed Bath & Beyond – $10 off $30 purchase (Qty: 2) – We were able to buy items off a wedding registry and save some bucks along the way!

I can’t remember what the diapers cost, but I think that the added up savings from all this is just about $100.  That’s not bad for doing something that we were planning on doing anyways, and the items are all items that we were going to buy anyways.  Plus, we still have a ‘balance’ that we can use to purchase coupons that we find may be useful to us.

Overall, I’d say that recycling has really paid off!

Spring To-Do List

I created a list of things to do around the house that I want to get done sometime in the spring.  Here’s a rundown of each one and where it stands:

  1. Basement Cleaning and Reorganization – Over the winter, I kicked off a project to clean up and organize the basement.  This involved setting up some additional shelving, re-organizing and discarding lots of old computer equipment, books, and other items, many of which were never properly dealt with when we moved into the house in 2007.  I’m proud to say that I worked on this one right off the bat and that this is DONE
  2. Replace backup sump pump battery – We have a sump pump that runs a lot in the springtime and during heavy rains.  There’s a battery driven backup system.  I noted that it no longer works, so I took the battery out and need to purchase, install, and test a new marine battery for the backup system.  IN PROCESS
  3. Repair and repaint bathroom ceiling – Some of the paint was peeling after twelve years of showers and steam (and a not very well located exhaust fan).  In order to avoid potential mold damage or drywall failure, I’m patching areas, re-priming and re-painting the ceiling in the master bath.  I’ve been working through this and expect to be done soon.  IN PROCESS
  4. Repair and repaint damaged bathroom wall – A towel bar was never installed properly and when I attempted to repair it by moving the anchor holes over, it didn’t work and created a hole in the wall instead.  I’m installing a hook on the bathroom door in lieu of the towel rack, and have worked on repairing the hole, and am planning on priming and re-painting at the same time as the ceiling work.  IN PROCESS


  5.  Unclog master bath sink drain – The drain from the sink has been running slow pretty much since we moved in.  Drano helps but only for a little bit of time.  I need to unclog the line or replace the drain.
  6. Clean window blinds – We have fifteen windows with standard horizontal blinds that haven’t been thoroughly cleaned since we moved in and the dustings and quick wipes are no longer cutting it.  I need to take them down and clean them.  Any suggestions on the best way would be appreciated.
  7. Clean inside windows – While the blinds are down, I want to clean the windows with non-streak glass cleaner.  The outsides are professionally done.
  8. Re-paint shutters – I painted the shutters two years ago and I guess I have my answer on how often they should be re-painted.
  9. Re-paint front door / garage entry door – The front door is painted the same color as the shutters and has actually suffered the majority of the fading since it gets lots of afternoon sun so I’ll do this in conjunction with the shutters.
  10. Assemble swing set – My in-laws had a neighbor that was losing her house last year, and had a swing set only a couple of years old that her kids had played with.  She offered it to us via my in-laws, saying all we had to do was disassemble it.  It’s currently in pieces on my in-laws patio, so we want to put it together and paint it so that Baby Beagle has a swing set to play on, which will be nice especially when he gets older.
  11. Clean deck – I want to thoroughly wash our deck to remove some of the grime that has appeared since I painted it last year, as I’ve been advised that washing it will extend the life of the paint job.
  12. Clean garage – I do a re-org and cleanup every spring and fall (at the minimum), so it’ll be time to do that soon!
  13. Clean out dryer line – Good thing to do to prevent dryer fires.
  14. Hang clock – My grandmother had an old antique clock that I’ve always cherished.  I have to mount this on the wall and put a couple of pieces back together….and then remember to wind it regularly!

It’s quite a list, but I’ve already got a head start on some of the bigger items, and some (like the clock and the cleaning of the deck and garage) can be knocked out pretty quickly.  I’ll keep an update of how things are going.

How Did Our Painted Deck Hold Up After A Winter?

Probably my biggest around-the-house project in the summer of 2009 was stripping and repainting our deck.

We have a fairly large wooden deck, probably around 400-500 square feet.

When we moved into our house in 2007, the painted deck was beginning to flake. 2008 showed some definite wear, and I probably should have done the re-finish project then, but I put it off another year.

In 2009, I set forth to strip off the flaking paint and re-paint it.

I used a power washer to pull up most of the paint and dirt that had accumulated.  A few days of dry weather allowed things to settle down.

I purchased Cabot Paint specifically blended for exterior use.  I had done some homework and found some reviews that suggested that Cabot was durable and that many people were quite satisfied.  I had read quite a few negative reviews about Behr paint on decks, which I discovered (from a couple of cans tucked away in the garage) was what had previously been used.

The project went well.  It took two coats.  Our biggest surprise was that, unbeknownst to me, I had picked out a color that had a slight red hue, and it was quite bright after the painting.  Luckily, within a couple of weeks, the color dulled a bit and it actually turned out to be quite a nice color.  I wanted something other than plain brown, and because it had been painted in the past, the idea of applying stain or sealer was pretty much out the window.

Things looked good throughout the summer but I was really concerned to see how the deck held up after a winter.  My research during buying had shown that most of the problems that people had with decks beginning to flake took place after a full winter.  So, while things held up for the summer, I knew the first test would be after a fall and spring.

One of the things I did was to keep the deck fairly clear of leaves during the fall.  We’re lucky enough to have quite a few trees in our backyard, but that means leaves everywhere.  I had read that leaves breaking down (especially after getting wet) is pretty bad for decks, so I made sure to use my leaf blower a couple of times a week during the fall to keep the deck cleared off.

We didn’t have a lot of snow this winter, but we did have a few small snowfalls and a couple of major snowfalls which left snow cover for weeks afterward.

While I know we could get more snow, I am happy to say that everything with the deck looks pretty good so far!  I did a basic inspection and didn’t see any spots of flaking.

When I did my research for Cabot, some people said that they got an extra year in between refinishes (the average time is two or three years, and many people reported three or four years as their timeframe).  If I could get three years between significant breakdown, that would make my next repainting effort in 2012, and I’d be fine with that.  2013 would be even better!

Considering A Membership To The Zoo

Up until a couple of years ago, I hadn’t been to the zoo in years.  We’ve gone a couple of times over the past couple of years, but the other day my wife brought up the idea of purchasing an annual membership.

When I looked at the cost, it makes sense.

We first both agreed that we thought it would make sense based on the fact that we now have Baby Beagle.  Even though he’ll be too young to fully understand, we want to build his awareness of things and expose him to different things.  Plus, he loves to be out and to look around.

We’re thinking that on days that we’re looking for something to do or just want to get out of the house, the zoo would be a great place to go.  It’s only a twenty minute drive from our house, and the cost breakdown is pretty favorable.

Each trip, without a membership, would cost us $27.  This includes $11 each for my wife and I plus $5 parking.  Baby Beagle is free since he’s under two.

A one year membership runs $69 and includes access for my wife and I as well as our kids.  It also includes parking!

So, the ‘payback’ for purchasing the membership is three visits.  With the third visit, we’d be ahead $12 and each one after that would save us additional money.

Down the road, when Baby Beagle turns two, this becomes even more of a bargain as he would normally be charged an additional $7 without the membership.  By that point, two visits would probably make it equal out.

I think a zoo membership is definitely in our future this year.  What we’re planning on doing is purchasing it at the next time we go.  The reason for this is that it gives you one year from the time you purchase it, so we might as well start the clock ticking right when we need it, and can enjoy it for the next year.

If you have a zoo in your area and are looking for some family fun, give a thought to a visit or even a membership.

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How I Maximize What Our Library Has To Offer

I love going to the library.  Even as a little kid, I loved to read books, and the library was a great place for me to go and browse and find new things.

I still love to read and I still love to go to the library.  Our city is lucky enough to have a pretty great library, and in the couple of years I’ve lived here, my wife and I have found a few resources (and tricks) that have made the library an increasingly valuable asset to us.  And, since a good chunk of our property tax bill goes to funding the library, we’re paying for it anyways, right?

Check these ideas out:

  • Going beyond books – Our library has a great book selection but they also have lots and lots of CDs and DVDs, many of which you normally pay.  I get CDs all the time, and we’ve gotten a couple of DVDs as well.  I’m not ready to drop our Netflix subscription, simply because many of the popular titles that the library has are three-day only rentals (as opposed to one-week rentals) and since we only average one trip a week to the library, we’ve found that this is something to supplement our Netflix subscription rather than replace it.
  • RSS feeds – When browsing our library website, I stumbled upon a ‘new releases’ section and found that you could subscribe to RSS feeds for new fiction, new DVDs, and new CDs.  So, anytime something comes in, I automatically know that it’s there.  They also have other categories for kids and teens books, which hopefully will come in handy for Baby Beagle someday!
  • Holds – If an item is reserved, you can place a hold on it.  When the item comes back in, the next person in line gets it placed on hold for them and has up to five days to pick it up.  Once I see an item is in stock, especially if it’s a popular item, I can place a hold on it and wait.  You cal also suspend and re-activate holds at your leisure, so that if you’ve already got a few books checked out or you’re not going to be at the library for awhile, it will pass you up (but still keep your place in line, which is awesome!)
  • Linked accounts – My wife and I both have cards.  Since I read more than my wife, but my wife goes to the library more than I do (see below), we inquired and were able to link our accounts so that she can check out an item that I’ve placed on hold.  So, often I’ll see something come in via my RSS feed, log in and place a hold on it, get it reserved, and have my wife pick it up, bring it home, and later on return it for me.  It doesn’t get much easier than that!
  • Kids programs – My wife takes Baby Beagle to a once per week story time program that she found in the library newsletter.  He isn’t really ‘into’ it yet, as he’d much rather crawl around and explore, but we agree that it’s setting a good foundation for him nonetheless to get used to going to the library.

I have also seen that there are other resources that I’m not even using (yet).  Namely, our city is part of a county / state system where we have access to electronic resources, including eBooks and the like.  There’s also a feature where, if I want a particular book and my library doesn’t have it, you can search within other libraries across the state, and they can send it over to my library for me to loan.  How sweet is that?  Right now, I’ve been keeping plenty busy with the books and such from my own library where I haven’t had to use either of these features, but it’s great to know that they are there.

All in all, I think I’ve found some pretty great tricks that have helped me make the most out of our library and have gotten many hours of entertainment and enjoyment at the same time.  If you regularly use resources that your library offers, take a look and see if any of these (or other) ideas might help.  You can save some significant money in the process by borrowing instead of buying!

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What’s In Your Wallet?

I decided to take a quick peek at the items in my wallet.  Looking through it, I’m not sure that I would qualify for moving towards a money clip, which I know is what a lot of people do, but I don’t think I’m to the point of George Costanza, who as you may remember in Seinfeld, developed a back problem (and a tilt) as a result of an overstuffed wallet.

Going through my wallet, here are the things I have:

  • Drivers license – Can’t get around much without that
  • PMI membership card – I’m a certified project manager, and this shows my credentials.  Not at all needed but I worked hard for the certification, so when I see it, I get reminded of the hard work I put into it.
  • Picture of my Baby Beagle
  • Proof of auto insurance – Another must have for driving
  • Citi Dividends credit card – Gas, groceries, etc. go on here
  • Bank debit card – Most regular purchases go on here
  • Credit union debit card – I could probably move this out and keep it at home.  We have the account open but don’t keep much money in here.
  • Kohls Credit Card – We shop at Kohls now and then, and in order to take advantage of their ‘extra 15%-20%-30%’ sales that come up almost weekly, you have to use your Kohls credit card.  So, that’s that.
  • Speedway Rewards Card – We buy a lot of our gas at Speedway as it’s generally one of the cheapest stations in the immediate area, so I swipe my rewards card.  Eventually, I’ll cash it in for a gas card or something.
  • Caribou Coffee Gift card – Amount: Probably less than $1.  I got this as a gift and I think I used it down to almost nothing when I was on a project where there was a Caribou Coffee in the building.  I’m not there anymore, so I have no use for it.  I should check this
  • Health Insurance Card – Always good to have 🙂
  • Costco Membership Card – Self-explanatory
  • Library Card – Used very regularly to get books, CDs and movies that save us bucks instead of purchasing said items
  • Vision Card – I don’t wear glasses but for some reason, I carry around the insurance card that ties to our vision insurance plan
  • Haircut Place Business Card – The lady I like to go to wrote her hours on the back, so I use this to remind me what days I should go in when I need a haircut
  • Auto Club Card – In case of any breakdowns or for places that give you a deal if you use AAA, I have the auto club card with the phone number and membership number.
  • PetSmart PetPerks Card – I’ve gotten many a savings from buying cat food and supplies at PetSmart.
  • AutoZone Rewards Card – I need to probably throw this in my glove box because my shopping trips here are pretty few and far between
  • Movie Theatre Rewards Card – Our favorite movie theatre gives you free snacks after so many purchases.  We don’t go too often but it’s still nice to have when we do.
  • DSW Shoes Rewards Card – I’ve bought a couple pairs of shoes from this store, and they do a program where you get some credit back.  I should check and see what this involves to ensure I need to keep it.
  • Various receipts – I usually stick restaurant receipts and the like in my wallet and clean it out every so often, once I’ve confirmed that the amount charged (with tips and all) matches what I wrote down.
  • Cash – I currently have $3 that I’ve had for over three weeks.

I could probably cut a couple of things out, but overall, I think my wallet is pretty clean.

So, what’s in your wallet?

When Saving Money On Groceries Isn’t Necessarily A Good Thing

I’m all for saving money at the grocery store.  We save money in our house by a multi-faceted strategy:

  1. Clip coupons – My wife is great at cutting out coupons and we also use some of the online coupons sites as well
  2. Shop for sales – We will buy things on sale that we need this week, or if it’s not immediately perishable, that we know we will use in future.  If we can combine the sale with a coupon, this is even better
  3. Buy what we can in bulk – We have a Costco membership and some things just make sense for us to buy in bulk: cans of mushroom, parmasean cheese, spaghetti sauce, granola bars and other snacks are all staples from Costco.  The key is to make sure we use everything up.

However, I think there’s cases where saving money on groceries might not always be the best.  How?  Well, if you’re spending excessively and buying things that you don’t need or won’t use.

The trigger for this article was actually a commercial that’s aired a number of times over the past few months for Kroger, a national grocery store with a big presence in our area.  In this commercial, Kroger lauds their low prices (editors note: not so much), and has actual customers talk about their savings.  Most of the customers are believable, but one stands out.

She says: “I save an average of $150 per week shopping at Kroger.”

Sounds great at first, but then you think, how much is she spending to save that much money?

I’ll use our most recent shopping trip to come up with some hypothetical numbers.  We didn’t shop at Kroger, but for the sake of argument, we’ll say that the numbers are within reason for comparison sake.

We spent $55 total.  Our savings, between buying things on sale and using coupons was $25.  Not as great as some people can get, but I think it was still pretty good.

If you multiply those numbers up, in order to save $150, you would have to spend $330.  That’s not $150 off of $330, that’s actually spending $330 after you took your savings.  Every week!

For a weekly grocery bill, that seems outrageous even for someone with a large family.

Those numbers would add up to annual out-of-pocket spending for groceries of $17,160.  To me, if you’re spending $17k and change on groceries in a year, I would have a hard time accepting that you’re really saving a lot.

Unless of course this was the Octomom or Kate Gosselin and I just didn’t recognize the person speaking.  But, somehow I doubt that was the case 🙂

Other great reads

Here are some additional posts I’ve read recently by other great, hard working bloggers.  Give them a read if you have a few minutes: