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Kate Gosselin: How I Save – So I Can Splurge!

Kate Gosselin loves a good bargain.

As moms, it seems as though all the money we bring in goes directly to our kids in some way – whether it’s the food we stock in the fridge, the shoes that get outgrown too quickly or the “Pleeeeeeeaasse, Mom?” treats that we buy in a softhearted moment. Buying nice things for ourselves seems extravagant – sometimes even guilt-inducing.

Kate Gosselin agrees. “The word ‘splurge’ reminds me of a time before I had kids,” she writes in this week’s installment of her CouponCabin blog. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t treat herself every so often. “[A]ll moms deserve to splurge once in a while, myself included!”

The trick to buying mom-treats without guilt, she adds, is to save (or “plan ahead,” as she puts it) through carefully chosen bargains and apps that help moms shop without busting the budget.

In Kate’s case, budgeting is especially important; when you’re a mother of eight, supplies get used up in an eyeblink. She’s an avid coupon user who also frequents discount stores and scans the circulars for good sales.

“Beyond that, I firmly believe in buying store brand products over the brand name when the value remains consistent,” she says. She likes Target’s store-brand OTC medications and kids’ fluoride rinse, in particular. However, there are some items – like paper towels and laundry detergent – where she prefers a particular brand, so she lays in a supply when the price is right. To find particular items on sale, Kate goes to the CouponCabin site, where you can type in the name of a particular store and bring up all the current coupons. Free shipping options are a godsend for a busy mom who doesn’t always have the time to load the kids in the car for another shopping trip.

But the former Kate Plus 8 star has come up with a couple of new ways to save, too.

First, she buys her organic products at discount grocers where she can get it dirt-cheap. “Sure, the expiration dates are moments away, but in our house, food only lasts moments, so that is never a worry,” Kate says.

Then she adds to her savings by making meals from scratch – including bread (think of all those sandwiches for school!). Kate enjoys it so much that she’s planning to try her hand at other favorites like yogurt and hummus.

So what does a reality-star mom splurge on once she’s saved all that money on detergent and apples? Jimmy Choos? Emerald earrings? The latest in iPhones?

No, no and no. Kate’s latest big-ticket purchase was a meat slicer – the professional kind you see at delis. She uses it to save even more money on the kids’ meals by slicing large cuts of meat she roasts at home.

Okay, so it’s not everyone’s idea of an exciting day at the mall. But as Kate says, “[M]y splurge that helps me save on lunch meat is the beginning of planning my next splurge.”

Maybe she’ll treat herself to something a little less practical next time.

What about you? What do you splurge on?

[Photo: via PacificCoastNews.com]

Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.

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