Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saving Money

I have for a few weeks, been on a money saving mission. In light of the current economy, I have been scouring our budget trying to find ways to cut. Not because we are in dire straights, but because there is no reason to spend more that you have to. JM has been cautiously supportive of my efforts. Cautious mostly because he doesn't think I'll stick with it, not because he doesn't want to save. Here is what I have been doing so far to try and cut our expenses.

  1. Change TV service. We were paying WAY too much for TV. Well, way more than I wanted to be spending. So I shopped around and found a way to lower our bill. (On a side note: Why can't I only purchase the channels I watch?! I don't need 200 channels, just the 25 I actually watch. It's extortion.)

  2. Switch cell service. About a year ago, JM's work started paying for his cell phone. Good for us, but we were in a two year family contract. That contract just expired and we are going to get a cheaper plan with the same carrier as JM's phone. I also talked my mom into switching to the same carrier, so free mobile to mobile. Because really, the two people I talk to most is my husband, and my mom.

  3. Go after the grocery bill. This is a huge budget item for us. I signed up for CouponMom to print online coupons. They also have an introductory book that gives ideas on how to save. One of those ideas was to track the price of your staple items so you know what a good price is. This sounds like a no-brainer thing, but I honestly don't know how much some things cost. They are on my list, so I buy them. (If I am out of TP, I'm not going to wait for the best deal!) For three weeks now I have been tracking the price of about 30 items that we usually buy or like to have on hand. Since I usually shop at Wal-Mart, I didn't think the prices would fluctuate much (or at all), since Wal-Mart doesn't usually have sales. I have been surprised that some prices do fluctuate. Not everything, but maybe a third over the last three weeks. So now I have a better idea when to buy chicken stock and what a good price actually is. I am also printing their online coupons for things we buy. I haven't gotten into their newspaper coupon stuff yet, but I might. That would require us to buy the newspaper.

Does anyone else have any great money saving ideas? We are already doing the home energy saving stuff. We have a programmable thermostat and turn it down during the day. We use the energy saving light bulbs. Our W/D is the energy-saving kind. We turn off the water to brush our teeth. If only we could get BG potty trained, we could cut the cost of diapers and wipes!


Mary said...

I wish my husband was so enthusiastic...I am constantly walking behind him turning off lights & shutting the fridge door that he insists on leaving open while he makes a sandwich.

I do know that the microwave is more efficient than the I have microwave cookers that I got from pampered chef & use those to heat things up...and even cook hamburger meat!

Jay and Michelle Teerlink said...

One way we've saved money, especially on things like diapers, dishwasher soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, tp,and paper towels was to get a membership to costco and sams club and buy in bulk. It saves a lot of money in the long run. I have only had to buy the kids diapers about once a month and the soaps for the laundry and dishwasher go even longer than that. We just bought laundry detergent for the first time in a year thanks to going bulk. Buying in bulk like this really saves us some money. The other thing is look around for deals on food. We will sometimes get our groceries at 3 different stores so that we can save money and get the great deals at the time, especially on meat. I refuse to buy meat unless I can get it for under $2.00 and I've gotten great deals that way on really great meat.

Julie and Carlos said...

Hey let me know if that coupon sight works for you. I've tried clipping coupons in the past but they rarely are for what I need.

By the way - what's good price for chicken stock? Just bought some today. To bad you don't have a Stater Bros. out there. They have the best deals. Just bought cereal for $1.50 sweeeeeet.

the letter Bee said...

Ours was "stop buying cars". Well, to be more exact "stop buying trucks".

blueviolet said...

You're making some great starts. I think the cable company is drastically overpriced too! It's outrageous.

ukyankoz said...

I cut back in the food area, too, by buying store-brand instead of name-brand. I also did very well when I planned the weekly menu in advance and just got what I needed. We have a problem sometimes of over-buying, especially on fresh things that go bad and need to be thrown away.

You sound like you've made a great start, good luck finding new tricks! (And passing them on!)

Thalia said...

Shopping online with coupons has become very popular in America as we all are looking to save a little time and money.