Monday, November 10, 2008

Cutting Back

Now that I'm a SAHM we've had to find ways to save money/cut expenses. Here's a few things that we've done. We've managed to cut over $800 from our monthly budget. Every little penny helps right now, especially when staying at home. I'd love more ideas. Feel free to leave ideas as comments.

  1. We had an extra vehicle for Chuck to pick up the kids in (my mom provided most of the childcare while I was a work. I love my family!) This was because his car is not big enough for three car seats. We bought an old used van to do the trick. It wansn't great on gas but it worked. With me at home we don't need it. We put it out at the road for sale and had two people interested. It sold within a week for what we paid for it. Yeah!
  2. One less car = cheaper car insurance.
  3. Me not driving 20+ miles(one way) to work six days a week saves a lot of gas money and allows my car to be listed as for pleasure on our car insurance, which lowers it again.
  4. This may be old fashioned and more work, but I've gone to hanging our laundry to dry. We have a nice basement that allows me to do this.
  5. Unplugging appliances and miscelaneous items that you don't use on a regular basis, like our TV and stereo in the basement. Unplug your cell phone charger when not using it too!
  6. Our light bulbs are energy saving bulbs. Most of ours were already. If they burn out let the manufacturer know and they will replace them. Note, our generic bulbs were much easier to get replaced than our name brand ones.
  7. Shop for sales. If something is on sale for a really good price and is either non perishable or can be frozen, buy up! We got canned veggies for 25 cents a can. That's a good price around here. We bought enough to last a few months since the store didn't have a limit.
  8. Shop at the cheapest store. I used to shop at a local grocery store that I grew up shopping at. Lately the produce is getting worse and the prices are getting higher. Now I do most of my shopping at Super Walmart (one stop for everything is much easier when you have three kids). I do go to other stores for items that are on really good sales.
  9. Turn off what you're not using. Lights and TVs don't need to be on in empty rooms. Remember to turn off your computer, printer, and monitor when not in use.
  10. Open the blinds and let some natural light in!
  11. Eat at home. It really is cheaper and healthier. Plus cooking usually yields left overs.
  12. Get creative with what you can make at home. Like this recipe.
  13. Consider transfering loans to credit unions if possible. They usually have cheaper rates and typically do not charge early termination fees.
  14. Review your cell phone policy. We've gone to one now that I'm at home since Chuck needs it at night and I need it during the day.
  15. Programable thermostat. Keep it cooler at night (you sleep better when it's cooler) and when you're not at home.
  16. Turn down your thermostat. A couple of degrees can make a big difference. Plus why do you need it to be almost 70 when you're wearing winter clothes?
  17. Make a grocery list and stick to it as much as possible and don't shop when you're hungry.
  18. Buy generic when possible. Try generic. It doesn't hurt to try it once. Not all generic items are as good, you have to try them to find out.
  19. Use coupons when buying name brand items. There are a lot of coupon sites out there. Some people love them, but I'm not a huge fan. Plus not all stores accept them (check ahead of time). We get most of our coupons from the Sunday paper, which we don't subscribe to. We get them from relatives or Chuck's work since no one else uses them.
  20. Watch for free after rebate or bogo items. Even if you don't need it right now, wouldn't it be nice not to have to run out and buy a tube of toothpaste next time you run out or some cold medicine next time you need it? Coupons are also great for bogo items. Rite Aid tends to do a lot of free after rebate and bogo items.
  21. Grow your own veggies and fruit if possible. We haven't had much of a garden in two years, but plan on giving it another try next year. I hope to grow some fresh veggies and enough tomatoes that I can freeze most of what we'll need for the year. I would love to have some more fruit trees. We have two apple trees, one is sadly dying, and the other isn't big enough to produce yet. My mother has some pear trees and gave us some pears, pearsauce, and pear jelly this year.

4 comments: said...

Great simple tips. Thanks alot!

Cathy said...

So many great tips! Did you like the crock pot yogurt? We are huge yogurt lovers at my house. I can't imagine them eating it, but I have to give it a try! Thank you!

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

Great tips! We have been cutting back quite a bit too...I am still working but took a long leave after our daughter was born - now I want to stay home at least part time in the near future.

carrie said...

Thank you! Great tips we can all use!