How To Save $2000 a Year

It has dawned on me that being frugal is boring. I know that sometimes I think its exciting to go recycling on Monday nights (Yeah! DH went with me last night too), and writing about coupon cost saving shopping trips, but y'all probably just skip the post after the first sentence, or even after the title. Today though is another boring tip that you probably already do, but maybe you didn't realize how much money you are saving by doing it. Its really simple. Brown Bag it. Yup, bring your lunch to work. It will save you thousands of dollars a year. But its boring because we do the same frugal lunch most days.

DH & I have been having homemade salads for lunch at work for over seven years, I've been doing it longer -close to ten years. And I'm not bored with it. Its really convenient to just grab it out of the fridge and eat, no waiting in line for the microwave, heating time or assembly. More on that some other day, we do have an assembly line when we make our salads on Sundays. Anyway, to avoid boredom with our lunch, we change the salad to Olive Garden greek salads, or BBQ pork salads, or Taco Salads, but mainly its grilled chicken salads.

There are always the comments in the lunch room as we get our salads, "Oh another salad day, how exciting!", Or "Gee what kind of salad today?", or "You're going to turn into a rabbit eating salads like that everyday". But we make GR8 salads that are easy and healthy. Sure we put meat and cheese on it, but you've got to have some fat in your diet. We portion the salad dressing into snack size ziplocs and put a bag in each bowl so its easy to bite off a corner and squirt it on and toss the bag - easy to clean up too.

But one of the best things about bringing a lunch everyday is that it saves us over $2000 a year. It's even cheaper now that we use coupons, and when we get our garden producing, it will cut the costs by another third. A typical lunch purchased at the Deli would cost about $6/day or $1440/year. Our salads cost $1.51/day or $362/year each, so thats about $724 total household cost, compared to $2880 cost of Deli lunches for both of us.

I know its boring, but VERY satisfying to save money. I've attached a yummy picture of my salad for today, and cost analysis (CLICK TO ENLARGE) so you can figure out how YOU can save money by packing your lunch and using coupons.

My Publix trip - Rainchecks Make It Happen

This is actually the combined total of 4 transactions at two stores since most Publix in Tampa have the usual limits on coupons. Two of the transactions were simply to use the  $2/2 PQs- 6 muller yogurts paid a dollar, and the Pam cooking spray plus two travel size dressings paid $0.68.

I lucked out and found razors at both stores to use my raincheck. I had them rewrite it for remaining content when I only got partial quantities. I also used my Naturally Fresh raincheck since it expires soon. These both gave a lot of overage which I spent on socks, water and pottery my husband wanted. We still got paid, even though I just figured out the cashier missed 3 coupons for $4. My fault for talking to the curious lady behind me and not paying full attention to the checkout.

In total we saved $218, and got paid $2.41 (should have been -$6.40). See breakout Iin the chart below.