Well it's been almost a month since I did a big grocery shop and again, I am SOOOO excited!! Today I saved $147.59!!! SAFEWAY now offers a way for you to put savings from Foodland and Times grocery stores onto your Safeway card. That enables you to get their sale prices while shopping at Safeway!!! I LOVE this (and I told them today) because now I don't have to travel outside my neighborhood and use gas that is going up every day!!! We should be getting our next HECO bill this week and it will be fun to see if it's still as low as it was last month.

While surfing the internet I've found so many places that are great for info or coupons. I'll try to put a link in the sidebar when I run across a good one. I also wanted to let you know that if you have an ipod or an iphone there are apps out there that provide coupons that you can load right on your device. And they are for places found on Oahu!!! So be sure to check out itunes app store!!!

This may seem to be a strange topic for a 'how to save money' theme, but when you get right down to it, it's really the basis of surviving financially. For years now Rick and I have practiced Biblical tithing. What is that you say? It's giving the first 10% of your income to God. We do this not our of obligation or tradition, but because through obedience, we have a more personal relationship with our Father. Remember when you were a child and you did something that you knew your parents wanted you to do but you did it without asking? Remember how happy they were? Well, that's what we 'get out of doing this'. Because God says that when you give, He will give back pressed down and overflowing. Now don't even ask me how this works, but it DOES!!! Money goes farther, blessings are received, and prayers are answered. Since I'm the one who really takes care of our bills, (and I'm the wife ;)) I try to follow Jesus' statement "34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Jesus went on to say "those who do these things to the least of the brothern, do them unto me" So, when I give I try to give in the following areas:
  1. Salvation (bringing Christ to those who don't know Him)
  2. Hunger
  3. Thirst
  4. Stranger in need
  5. Clothing
  6. Sick
  7. Prison ministry
  8. Orphans
  9. Widows
  10. Bring the Word of God to the nations
In doing this, I can honestly say that all of our 'other' needs are always taken care of. If you trust God for your salvation/for your eternal life, why not trust Him to provide for your daily needs by giving. IT REALLY DOES WORK!!!
This week has been a really BIG savings week!!! I saved $65+ at Safeway and our HECO (electric bill) went from $204 (Dec '11) TO $133 (Jan '11)!!!!  THAT'S A $71 DOLLAR SAVINGS!!! That's $40 below what I had budgeted for our electric!!! How did I do it?
  1. Turning off the computers at night
  2. unplugging things we don't use daily
  3. stopped using the dishwasher
  4. set temp for freezer at 'normal' instead of 'colder'
  5. only used the dryer for towels, and underwear. I hung up all our shirts, shorts and tees. And did the laundry on days when we had strong 'breezes'. Since we live in a condo, without a yard, I hang the clothes on hangers in the bathroom.
  6. before going to bed I turn off all tvs and the cable box, vcr, phone chargers, 
  7. only charge electronic devices when they are completely uncharged
Now I need to look at other areas in our life where I can save! I hope to be posting photos of some of these things so you can see for yourselves the savings. :)
Over the past week, I've read everything I could find on how to set up a Coupon Binder and how to make it my own. after watching endless videos on You Tube, I thought... this can't be that hard. This is the result... My Own Coupon Binder. I've tried to put a little note on each picture explaining why I've included each item.

For those of you who are in Hawaii, I got everything at Office Max. I tried to find everything at my local Walmarts, Kmarts, and Target, but found that they cost the least at Office Max. The baseball inserts and plastic sheets were on sale... buy 2, get 1 free. And according to prices else where, they were about the same or lower. To put the binder together it did cost $42. which is about $5 more than if I purchased one that is ready made found on the internet. BUT I didn't have to pay shipping which I would estimate to be a lot more than $5.

I did want to share with you some of the 'INFO' sheets with you because I think they are very helpful. These are what I've included in this area of the binder:
1)Safeway personalized shopping price list. If you go to safeway.com you can join their saving program and will be able to personalize a list of items that will ring up at saving prices AS LONG AS YOU SWIP YOUR SAVINGS CARD
2)Internet coupons that I've printed but need to be cut and filed
3)Plastic sheets
4)oversized dividers from Office Max. I love these because they are wider than the usual dividers. They make it easier to see with the coupon sheets are in the binder. These are from Avery and you can even go online and use a template to print out your own tabs.
5) A generic GROCERY LIST I found many different kinds that are free to print.. just do a search on "grocery list"
6)MENU PLANNERS are the same... you can find them any where on the internet or you can make your own.
7)YEARLY AND MONTHLY CALENDAR. Again, I found these on the 'net' just by doing a simple search.
8)WEEKLY MENUS These make meal planning and creating a shopping list easier
9)LOCAL PRICE LOG from what I've read, this is an important tool to help you recognize trends in sale prices in the stores where you do your usual shopping
10)I've included some printout that I found on getting started couponing and how to spot a real sale.
I'll go into a more in depth look at some of these at a later time. I'll also make them available to you for downlading OR will give a link to where you can do it yourself :)
Living in Hawaii can be such a blessing, but it can also be very expensive. That's why I wanted to share what I've learned on being frugal in paradise. If these steps work here, in one of the US's highest costing communities, then I'm sure they will work any where.