March 27, 2008 1:30pm CST
Saving money can be a hard thing to do. The majority of our bills are due either on the 1st of the month or around the 20th of the month. I try to plan grocery shopping and the like for the weeks in between. Unforseen expenses usually pop up at the worst of times, often on the weeks that all the bills are due. For instance, around the first of this month, when the mortgage, phone bill, credit cards and a few other misc bills became due, my husband's brakes went out on his truck, and we had to have them fixed. He drives eighteen miles one way to work, there was no way this could wait a week to be taken care of. Lucky for us, my husband is handy, so all we had to buy was the parts, he did his own brakes. I started thinking about the ways we could be saving money for those unforseen expenses, so that panic doesn't set in every time something happens. 1. Stop stopping at the store. It has become a habit for me to stop at the corner store for a Diet Mt. Dew on my way to work. I usually add a snack to that, and it usually costs me around $3 every time I stop. While I don't do this every day, maybe 4 times a week, that's $12. 2.stop making frequent trips to run errands. Combining errands so that gas isn't wasted would save a substantial ammount, over running seperate errands on a daily basis. Not to mention the fact that going to pick up a few things when I have nothing else to run errands for leads me to linger in the stores longer and buy more things I don't need. 3 Recycle, Recycle, recycle. Finding new uses for stuff can be a great way to save money. For instance, I found a great pattern for baby shoes online. Instead of spending money on new materials (that I realllly wanted to do!!!), I went through my closets and found some old clothing that would make excellent material for the shoes, some jeans for the soles, a great fade red Denim for the insides, and a red and white striped denim fabric for the outsides. They are going to be super cute, I am almost finished with them. Other things that can be recycled are metals, like aluminum, copper wiring, stainless steel. You can usually get cash back for taking these in, which is additional savings. 4. Coupons. Normally I don't use coupons, unless it's a really good deal, because most coupons are for things I wouldn't buy anyway, like name brand dinner mixes and things like that. The store brand price is usually cheaper than the name brand plus the coupon. But not always, so I clip them and then watch for sales. 5. Get a discount card!!!! I have one of these and the savings are awesome. I can use it at 175,000 stores, get cash back if I shop online at over 600 stores, and get grocery coupons too. This has been an incredible savings tool for me. Not only that, but you can earn a great deal of money by being a member too, so it's like double savings. If anyone wants any info on this, send me a PM and I will get you the link. You can sign for free to see if it would work for you. 6. I have breastfed for as long as I could, but with working at a place where I don't have time to pump, 3 nights a week, my milk supply has just about dried up. I am still B'feeding at night, but we are having to use formula a lot during the day. I buy the store brand formula, since it is HALF the price of the name brand, and the quality is exactly the same. 7. I also make my own baby food. This is really really easy, and saves a fortune!! Just steam the fruits and veggies until they are really soft, being careful not to let the pot run out of water. Put the food in a blender and puree, then mash through a strainer to make sure there are no lumps or seeds. You can freeze it in ice cube trays and then pop the cubes into a big ziplock bag. You always have preportioned food ready. $2 worth of sweet potatoes will make about 30 cubes, and you only need a couple of cubes a meal. I steam my fruits whole, then let them cool, remove the peel, and strain out the seeds. Bananas are even easier. Just mash one up with the back of a fork, or put it in the blender (I don't freeze these). If it's too thick, just add a little water. With steamed stuff I add the water from the pot it was steamed in, to put any nutrients that might have steamed out back in to the food. AS they get older, you can puree whatever you are having for dinner, instead of buying all those jars of food. I hope these suggestions help somebody!! What are some ways that some of you save money on everyday expenses?
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Mar 08
Sounds like you have come up with some good ideas to save money. One thing that you haven't mentioned is turning the heat down. I have done this for the past couple of months and can see a difference in my gas and electric bills. If you can just adjust it 2 degrees it will make a difference. If you can adjust it 5 degrees it will make 21 percent difference according to the experts.
27 Mar 08
Living in southern Alabama, right now, we aren't running our heat, except at night, I run two space heaters on low instead of the central heat. One in the kids room, and one in our room. During the day, the windows are opened. A few times we have had to turn on our a/c this month. Our power bills are always around $300 in the summer, but we can't live without a/c here. We don't have gas, just electric. We have switched almost all our light bulbs out to CF lights. One of our big things that I need to start doing is turning off the power strips on things when we aren't using. We have way too many electronic things plugged in.