23 November 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008 - 6 comments

In these times

With the state of the economy today it's tough to find ways to save money and not watch our hard earned money be wasted. Since we are essentially a one income family, my income solely pays for our health insurance, I am always looking for ways to spend less and continue to stay above water. My obsession, yes it's become an obsession now, began when gas prices started rising oh so long ago and have now turned into a habit.

On Sundays I put together a meal plan (using this great site) for our week and on Monday afternoon I grab my shopping list and my reusable bags and I'm off to the grocery store. I do all my shopping on Mondays and am sure to incorporate all stops in the area of my grocer on that day as well. Our store is about 10 miles from the house so I make sure if there are other places in that area I may have to go to that week, I'll only go when I'm there on Mondays. Before gas and food prices went up I only shopped at a local organic store but have since had to switch to the next closest thing, Tr@der Joe's. I'm still able to get the organic stuff we eat but have cut the costs considerably. Although now that food costs may be coming down I'm sure I'll be back to my local store for all our needs again soon. Sticking to my shopping list has made a huge difference in our food costs and saves me the headache of thinking when I'm in the store, I get in and get out!

As I've said before, Jacob takes the bus home from school now which has saved a little bit of the gas cost and gets one less car on the road during that time. It as you know, has also made us get some much needed exercise. We are even planning on continuing our walk home during the winter, we will see how long that lasts.

One of my favorite things we started was using those coupon books that schools sell for fundraisers. Thanks to my mom for giving us one some months back! We use it constantly! The books or cards usually sell for $10 and have coupons for EVERYTHING in your area including movies, arcades, and of course restaurants. Most of the coupons are buy one get one, but if it's gonna take off a few bucks it's so worth it. Last night we went to get sundaes from DQ and we only paid $2.91 for two. A few weeks back Jake and I went to a fast food joint for a rare treat and we both ate lunch for under 7 bucks. Sweet! Our books also include hotels, sporting events and much more.

A few more of my favorite money saving ideas....

Purchasing our eggs direct from the farm. I pay $3 for 2 dozen large free range eggs instead of $3.50 for one dozen at the store. Our local chicken farm is on the way to school so I make sure I get them when I'm in the area. Our ranch even has a fun vending machine that has a changing window of dancing chickens to go with the season.

Sharing dinner with the neighbors once a week. We each take turns at each others house and the host will do the main dish, while the guest brings a salad. Nothing fancy, just a regular week night dinner with friends.

Using my reusable bags for EVERYTHING. All stores give some kind of discount for using them from three cents per bag at Safeway to a chance to get a $25 gift card at TJ's, which I got last week!!! My favorite local store donates 5 cents to 6 preselected local charities and you choose which one you'd like to donate to as you drop your coupons in the boxes on your way out the door.

Scour the paper, local store websites for special sales or events. Our local library has a huge sale twice a year when they offer books at $1 a pound or $5 a bag of books. Last time I went we must have walked out of there with $150 worth of books for under 20 bucks. Another one of my favorites is the yearly warehouse sales that happen here in December. There is a candle shop that has candles that retail for big bucks but once a year you can go in their warehouse and spend a quarter of the cost. If you're anywhere in the area you must spend the day at this GREAT event!

Okay I've gone on and on! What are some of your best money saving ideas?


great post. Love that website.


good ideas.. I am in need of really cutting back in my spending. any suggestions I would love!!

All great ideas....every little bit helps these days!!

Thanks for sharing your ideas!!

Hope you had a great weekend!


Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips..
Have a Great Week..
Hugs girly..

I too need to cut back on spending but gee... I have a nice camera lens I really need... hehehe
Happy Thanksgiving and take care

Good job on the saving. Everyone has to make concessions during these hard times. The coupon thing is what we use the most. I take the bus to work and Shawn works from home so transportation costs are next to nothing.

Good luck on the saving!