Meet The Nat Pack!

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The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Brave New World

I'm the kind of person that likes to start a project, and finish the project, without having other projects that are half completed.

My current life? So not like that right now. And it drives me crazy. I have a bunch of half-way, kind of started, PROJECT projects laying about. Like, big humongous, can't tackle in one sitting kind of projects.

For instance, I've started in on my genealogy. That's not just a one hour, or one day, or one week project. It's actually kind of an ongoing thing.

Or painting. Sure, I got Ivy's room done, but I have a huge 5-gallon thing of paint, sitting in my kitchen, just waiting. Waiting for me to clean walls and fix dings and move furniture and cover up carpet in my downstairs family room, and get kids out from under my feet so I can paint the dang white walls a beautiful blue already.

Scrapbooking. Neverending. About, oh, two plus years behind on that now.

Anyway, because I'm crazy, or JUST NOT BUSY ENOUGH, I've taken up a new "hobby", if you will.


Week after week, I'd go grocery shopping. And week after week, I'd get more and more frustrated at the prices of the items that I'd be buying, and my grand total.

I had heard the whole schpeal before: get coupons, hit the sales, yadda yadda. But I had never put forth the effort. Then my cousin and his wife came up not too long ago, and my cousin starts bragging to my dad about his wife's mad shopping skills, how she can literally come home from the grocery store with a car full of groceries, having not spent a single dime. And I got all jealous, and motivated, and thinking, maybe I can do that too.

So I started. And it sucks.

Don't get me wrong. It's good. And I'm still very motivated. But that first Sunday, when I sat down with 5 newspapers, attempting to separate ads and coupons and all that, it took me hours upon hours to get through it all. That was two weeks ago. Last week was better. It didn't take me as long, and I actually found some things that I knew were a good price, and was able to actually match up a coupon with a sale. (Yes, singular. But hey, I'm still just starting out.)

I figure if I can save even $25 a week on groceries, that's $100 a month. That's my starting goal. The first week, I spent just as much on groceries, but I got a ton of frozen chicken (it would normally have cost me $60 to get the amount of chicken that I spent $28 on). Last week I spent about $20 less than I normally would have. And this last shopping trip, I spent $103 but saved $100. YAY! I also got hot dogs, which normally I'd spend $1 on a package, but each package was 38 cents instead. So, thus far, I'm shooting about 50% off on 50% of my grocery needs. That's not too bad. Not too good, either, but I'm just starting out.

I've realized that this new "project"/way of life is going to be slow going. That I'm sure I'll get frustrated. And, I hate shopping, and making several stops. I know that there will be a big learning curve. But, I love saving money. I love that I feel smarter with my money. I know that there are a lot of ladies out there that know the system, and can help me out. I know I'll get better at it. And even if I can't hit $0, at least I'll be spending less than what I was.

Coupon world, here I come!


Rachel said...

Good for you Natalie, I agree it is a pain in the butt. I also want to do this, but it seems like so much effort. But I am going to start doing it too!

Automobile Birdsinger said...

As always, I am impressed. It makes me want to start cutting coupons.

Karlenn said...

Dude, is it just me, or were there NO manufacturer's coupons in today's paper? No Red Plum, no Smart Source... am I blind??? I'm glad you and I can be partners in crime with this. You've helped me a ton. I'm not sure if I've helped you at all... Together, we are going to become like Angie one day. I can feel it.

CHELZERS said...

I try and meal plan around what things are on sale for the week. It's nothing big, but I guess it makes a {small} dent :) I save stacks of coupons and forget to bring them. (sometimes, even when i bring them, i foget to give them to the cashier....doh!) Then they end up just going in the garbage after they've expired. I will be better someday! :)

Valerie said...

Nat, my friend does a local couponing blog where she posts all the local deals and coupons and stuff. It doesn't make much sense to me, since I am nt a "couponer" yet, but I think most people find it really helpful!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Nat!! I've tried couponing a few times, but it's just so time consuming! I don't know if I'm that motivated tosave money. LOL

Jessica said...

I say good job! It is slow starting, but when you get the hang of it you will be so glad you did it and are saving your family so much money.

And FYI there was no coupons in this weeks paper because of the holiday.

Mindy H. said...

I don't know how you manage to do everything that you do! Nice work on the coupon thing. I am far to lazy to do all that work, but perhaps your example will inspire me..... or maybe I will take a nap.

Either way, you still ROCK!

Janae -- Thoughts in Vinyl said...

Nat, that is awesome. I want to start couponing too, but I don't even know where to begin. I feel like everything else around me is a big to do list and I don't know if I can handle one more thing. One day though...