Friday, September 5, 2008

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15 Ways that we save money.

With gas prices soaring, an increase in food costs and our growing family we have to cut back and adjust our living style to save as much money as possible. Here are a few ways we do that...

1. Adjust the temperature. Now that I am no longer pregnant and constantly on fire we have set the temperature back to a normal setting. We use fans to circulate the air and open the windows whenever possible.

2. Only do laundry once a week. I know most people think that babies generate alot of dirty laundry but all their clothing is tiny so even if they do dirty twice as many clothes it's still only half the space. I do laundry once a week , with the exception of the diapers which we do every other day, and wash everything in cold water. I'm hoping to get a clothes line up soon to help reduce the cost of drying. But even when we do have to use the dryer I always clean out the lint filter to ensure a solid performance from the dryer.

3. Clip Coupons and value shop. I print coupons from the computer, get coupons from the paper and compare prices at the store. When something is on sale I try to stock up on the essentials. Joe is great about breaking down price per unit costs. And we buy mostly store brand products, they taste the same and are sometimes half the price.

4. Use cloth... diapers, napkins, towels to clean. Obviously we use cloth diapers and it saves us hundreds of dollars. I've probably invested around $200 total for Jude's diapers that we will use for the better part of a year... when using disposable will run at least twice as much. Granted the money up front is a bit more but in the long run it counts. Also using cloth napkins cuts back on buying paper products. I try to use the old hand towel to clean of the bathroom surfaces before I throw it in the wash. I use a sponge or dish cloth to wash the kitchen counters, vastly reducing the use of paper towels.

5. Recycle. How does this save you money? Well if you're throwing the majority of your trash in the recycle bin you're not throwing it in the trash can... therefore you aren't using as many trash bags. Small savings you might think but the additional benefits of helping preserve the planet is pretty awesome. Also, if you have composting capabilities that will save garbage bag space too. Also, we use plastic Target bags to line the trashcans in bathrooms.

6. Take a walk. If you're stuck in the house and just itching to get out, rather than driving somewhere in the car get out and take a walk. If your fortune enough to live in a city where you have places nearby enjoy the exercise. I stay at home with Jude and sometimes we just need to get out of the house so sometimes we just go for a walk and when we're done being at home in the AC is greatly welcomed.

7. Learn to entertain yourself for cheap. Use Netflix to watch movies at home. Go to the $1.50 theater. Go to a regular price movie for the matinee. Join the Regal Crown Rewards Club... you get free movies after you spend so much money and $1 candy on monday and free popcorn on other days.

8. Use coupons for meals out. Most of the time we go to a resturant we use a coupon, usually cutting our bill in half. We also join resturant e-clubs where you get special offers in your email or a punch card where you can get free food.

9. Cook at home and try to be a vegetarian. Meat is expensive but you can have a hearty meal with no meat. Granted fresh vegetables are pricey too but the health benefits are rewards. Also, you can incorporate frozen or canned vegetables into your recipe if needed. Be sure to incorporate plenty of high protein foods like legumes, nuts, dairy.

10. Pay your bills online. Stamp prices are contsantly increasing and by paying the majority of your bills online not only do you save a few dollars on postage but you can keep a close eye on your accounts.

11. Review your payment plans. Make sure you are using all of you cell phone minutes or switch to a plan with less mintues. Make sure you aren't being charged incorrectly for a service you don't have or want. I found several errors on our Time Warner Internet bill which would have been overlooked had I not been paying attention.

12. Breastfeed your baby. Not only is it better for the baby but formula is one of the largest expensise of having a baby.

13. Break out your library card. The Wake County Public Library has an online catalogue where you can look up, request, and pick up books at your local library. No Cost!

14. Open the blinds and let the sun shine in... save your lightbulbs for night time.

15. Shop the clearance racks. I'm addicted to Target's clearance sections. I can find organic food for half price, clothes for Jude for $2, and other great deals. Just be sure you don't buy things you don't really need. Put it in your cart and reasses your purchase before you check out... you can always put it back.

What are ways that you save money?


Amy said...

We do a lot of the same things (such as recycling and we'll use cloth diapers and breastfeed). Others are:

- Got rid of cable. It also saves us a lot of time! We can watch anything we REALLY want to online or at a friend's.

- Never use the drier, or only rarely. We line dry everything.

- Plant a garden.

- Get a rain barrel, a low flow showerhead, and don't flush unless you need to.

- We actually sold a car and were a 1 vehicle family for a while. We will need to buy a new one soon, but until we "needed" it, we live close enough to work that Mike bikes on the days I need the truck to go to work.

- Buy things on Craigslist. I don't need a new crib - that $65 one from CL is good enough!

- I'm sewing slings ($15 for a ring sling) and diapers ($5 for a pocket diaper).

Kim said...

1. sell your blood plasma
2. steal things
3. open up a credit card in your neighbors name
4. panhandle
yep that pretty much sums it up.

seriously though, you're money saving mindset has inspired me

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