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Friday, March 6, 2009

Cash: An Experiment

I decided to try an experiment this month: using cash to pay for my groceries instead of a credit card. For years, I've heard the argument that people who use credit cards spend more than people who use cash. We pay off our credit card bill each month, though, so I hadn't paid much attention.

I like couponing and we already try to live pretty frugally and within our means, so I already keep our grocery bill pretty low. But if I am more intentional and use cash to pay for my purchases instead of just swiping the credit card (which is admittedly much easier!), would I pay even less?

A couple of years ago we went to "the envelope system" with our eating out money, and we've found that we spend a lot less and are more careful about how we spend it, now that we see how much physical cash is left in the envelope.

So this month I will use only cash to pay for all my grocery purchases. I will keep track of my spending and we'll see how it goes! I also want to keep track of how many and the types of coupons I use, especially at the grocery store (just because I'm curious!)

This week at the grocery store I spent $40.30 over two transactions. I used seven printable coupons and three peelies I found on products at the store to get them for free after doubling! I also went to CVS, but I didn't spend any money OOP because I used gift cards. There I used six printable coupons, three that came in the mail, one that I won online in a sweeps (and then got in the mail), and one from the newspaper; 11 total. I might still try to hit Walgreens this week, but we'll see.

What do you do for gorcery purchases? Do you use cash or credit? I know Money Saving Mom uses cash, and she stays really true to her budget each week, like within a dollar or two, so I thought I would try it! We'll see how it works out, and if I end up saving even more!


Unknown said...

I found out something interesting at our local grocery store - the one that doubles coupons on Wed.

I was in with only 2 coupons that could be doubled, but had others that stated 'do not double or triple'. I mentioned it to the cashier, and she said it didn't matter what the coupon said, the register automatically doubles the first 5 coupons. She scanned them and they worked!


La said...

Good luck! I'm interested to see if your spending changes. I've often thought of doing this because I put everything on a CC and pay it off at the end of the month. I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make for us at the gerocery store, but I'm pretty sure using cash would change our Target bill. I just can't help myself when ever I go into that store!

Busy Mama said...

We use cash (envelope system) for our groceries, personal items, fun money, gas, diapers, and babysitters each month. It has really worked well for us. It is a great challenge, but we know where we stand at least.

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