Sunday, October 18, 2009

Piggy Banking

(Click image for source)
It doesn't matter where you turn or look, everyone to some degree has been affected by the economy. Many have lost their jobs, some have been forced to go back into the workplace to help make ends meet, budget belts have been cinched up tighter than before. Thankfully we have been blessed in our finances, however there is always room for improvement when it comes to being better stewards of what the LORD has blessed us with. So I thought it would be a good idea to gather each others money management strategies in order to help us all with the task of money saving.

Here's just a few of the things that we have done, which I'm sure some of you have done as well are...
Using coupons at the grocery store ~ I always try to get the best deal on things we need and use most often and look for coupons to match it. Shopping where coupons are doubled and tripled help out tremendously.

Line drying our wash ~ instead of using the drier I hang our clothes to dry outside. This cuts down on the electric bill.

Making my own laundry & cleaning products ~ the cost is so much cheaper. Since most of my homemade cleaners use some of the same ingredients, it's more cost effective to make them because I usually have the items on hand.

Cooking from scratch ~ I did this all along but it really does cut the grocery expense when you are not buying so many prepackaged food items.

Eat at home ~ While making our meals from scratch, we have healthier meals that cost less and reduces the expense of going out to eat.

Combine driving trips ~ if I know I have to go to the market a particular day, I try to combine that trip with running any other errands that may need to be taken care of. This saves not only gas, but wear and tear on your vehicle.

Drink water ~ ok I am not a fan of water but instead of buying sodas at the market, we have been drinking more water & tea. Ok, I can give up sodas with no problem but I still like my tea. Water is healthier for you and cost less. We have a filter on our water pitcher so we drink tap water. This reduces the expense of buying bottled water.

Entertaining ~ When guests come over, let them know in advance if you are not planning to serve a meal, that way they would know to eat before they came. Or if you do cook, ask that each guest bring something with them to help contribute. Try to let them know what to bring so you don't end up with them bringing napkins or drinks and then the meal or snack lands back in your pocketbook. This can really help cut down your entertaining budget.

If you aren't using it, turn it off ~ One of my pet peeves is someone turning on the lights in a room only to be in there for a moment and then walk out...leaving the light on. They don't return to the room until way later if at all. Instead of flipping the switch, during the daytime hours open the shades. Natural light cost much less than that light bulb.

Air Conditioning ~ our temperatures have been so nice the past few days, so instead of having the a/c running, we turned it off completely and opened the windows. The breeze blowing through the house not only saves money on cooling, it helps to air the house out as well.

Buying clothes ~ there are times that we all need to buy new clothing items, but instead of running to the mall or even Target for that matter, look at your local thrift shops. Many times you can find something there that won't cost you an arm and a leg, but is still in great condition and will serve it's purpose. In fact, my Mother & I went thrift store shopping yesterday and I picked up two more skirts. Both were name brand without the name brand price. One such was a linen skirt from Talbots. Now looking it up online the price for this particular skirt would have been anywhere from $129 to $159...but I only paid $3.00! It looks brand new too. So at $6.48 for these two skirts, I saved big time!!

Reduce your meats ~ instead of having meat at every meal, which can be costly...add more veggies instead. This past summer we were able to do this easily with the fresh produce from our garden.

Internet ~ have you been with your provider for so long now that you can't remember the last time you looked at other companies to see what they have to offer and the fees? Now might be a good time to check things out. You never know how much you might be able to save. We we're able to go from almost $768 a year to around $300 just by taking time to search for a better deal.

Newspaper/Magazine Subscriptions ~ do you really read all those periodicals that you subscribe to? Did you know that not all, but most of the artcles in the magazine can found online on their website? Take for instance the Taste of Home magazine, I can go online and find most of the current issue right there on the website. What about the newspaper that you have you really read through it page by page or do you scan and toss it? Do you only need it for the Sunday coupon section? Again, go online to the website of the paper and read the news there. If all you need are the coupons then consider canceling your subscription and buying the Sunday edition only at the store. Ok, yes you will have to go out and get one instead of having it delivered but that's an easy and quick stop on the way to Church in the morning.
I'm sure many of you have more ideas to help reduce your expenses while increasing your piggy bank. If you have any tips that you would like to share, please feel free to do so.

1 comment:

cranky grandma said...

Great ideas! It makes we wonder about those fluoroscent lightbulbs - do you use them? I wonder if they really save money?