Tuesday, February 8, 2011

THE WHOLE THING

Since I am really big into saving money even more now that we are living on Social Security, I've had a few want to know how we're doing it. I made a list, this is all of it, changes have been made, but this is the original plan.

Things we are doing to save money.....goal was to cut living expenses by 50% or more.

=Shave necks between hair cuts. Barbers cut lady hair, too. A friend's husband highlights her hair! Use a kit and a cap, pull hair thru. Congratulations, you're a blonde.
=Dry clean at cleaners that charges $2.39 per item; even cheaper on Sr Citizen Discount Day.
=Couponing for groceries, household needs, health and beauty items, eatting out.
=Mystery shop assignment paid for our carpet cleaning, whole house.
=Redecorate with stuff we have, do it according to color. Walk thru the house and gather all green things, presto new decorations.
=Pack away the stuff you're not using for next season or move to a different room, decorate in that color in that room.
=Sell cans at the local recycle center, aluminium and tin, plus anything else that might be metal and you don't use. Brass, copper, etc.
=Ask for a Sr Discount. You've earned it.
=Sign up on websites. Companies will send you coupons to eat at their restaurants, BOGO free, free birthday dinners, $5 off $15, etc. Dairy Queen will send BOGO free Blizzards. yum
=Shop the drug stores that have discount clubs and extra bucks. You can get all kinds of things. I just purchased new dishtowels and clothes, 1/2 off.
I now have more kitchen towels than I've ever had in my life. Pretty colors, too.
=We bought brand new towels at WM for only $3. They are spa like, white, fluffy, plush with a band of color to match the bath. Other colors can be switched out when we want a change.
=Switch from cable to DishNetwork. It has a DVR, too. We love skipping thru commercials. (We have switched back to Cable since Dish was up. Charter 'wanted us back'.)
=Always piggy back trips out, saving gas and time.
=I spend only paper money, drop the change in my purse. When the purse is too heavey, empty it, put change in jar or bank. I recently filled up my bank, a jar and a second jar. When it was finally counted, over $104 in our pockets for fun money. (This is no longer fun money but vacation money.)
=Streamline your phone bill. Drop LD service, call people on your cell, ask them to call you because they have free LD. :) (Charter bundles all 3 and we have LD again.)
=Considering dropping landline all together and use cell phone only. Bill keeps going up!
=Determine to cut all expenses by 50% or paying them off completely. It can be done.
=Open the steps to the attic, cools the attic.
=Unplug everything electrical that is not being used. We sleep by a fan and unplug it when we get up. Electricity is running thru the wire even if it is off.
=Share your extra coupons. Help others. Help your kids.
=Angel Food Ministries for food, if it is the food you like.
=Use cloth for cleaning. Stop buying paper towels. Keep a roll for mirrors, glass but don't just grab one everytime.
=Buy a deli chicken, eat it for a meal, debone and freeze the leftover meat for soup.
=Switch to free checking with free ATM cards and no fees. We have a free checking account that pays interest.
=Buy a water bottle that is BH (?) free. Use it instead of buying bottled water.
=Our Master bedroom is now our guest room. The comforter is washable. I was taking it to the laundry, paying $9 each time to wash it. Now, I take it off the bed, fold it and company sleeps under sheets and blanket only, both washable at the house.
=Use only small size rugs that can be washed at home. Hang them in the garage, saving on drying electricity.
=The Hubbie cleans the dryer vent. There is a crook in the line so he cleans it out as much as he cans, brings the leaf blower in the house, blows the rest thru to the outside. The dryer works like new for months after he does the cleaning.
=Keep the filter to the air conditioner/heater changed and clean.
=Wrap the hot water heater in a 'blanket' to keep the heating temp steady.
=Use ceiling fans, turn up the AC.
=We eat out on The Hubbie's day off, one meal, cereal for supper.
=Ryan's has a Sr Club. We both eat the buffet, four hot lines, two salads, one dessert. Drinks included, $10.88 for both of us. Hot rolls plus coffee after the meal, too. Toothpicks on exit. Less tipping.
=No dripping faucets, saves.
=Buy clothes per season at end of season, basic pieces that are coordiated together making several outfits.
=Shoes make the outfit. My opinion. :)
=Sew.
=Craft, make gifts, stuff for your own use, house, office, etc.
=Remake things and use again. My sweet Grandmother did this all her life, long before the word recycle appeared.
=Need or want to change throw pillows, recover yourself. EZ. Sew a square, slip in the pillow, close opening, new pillow.
=Don't wear hose. (too hot in Dixie so the ladies here have given em up!)
=Do your own nails, toes and fingers.
=Buy one purse that goes with lots of different outfits.
=Use powdered milk for baking.
=Purex sheets, cut in thirds or half, use one per load wash and dry. Buy only with coupons, cheaper, stock up when on sale with coupons.
=Buy cheaper trash bags.
=Use foldover sandwich bags instead of more expensive zip ups.
=Use a double sheet of foil instead of a pan for marshmellows, cookies, bread, etc. No washing pan. Cooks faster, too.
=Grill. Keeps kitchen cool. Do several meats at one time, freeze rest, save on propane.
=Boil ground beef till brown. Drain off into plastic strainer, rinsing with HOT water. Goop rinses off meat. Swish pan with water, more goop gone. Put meat back in pan, continue cooking. Tastier. Less fat, etc.!!
=Buy deli meat by the number of slices to avoid meat going bad.
=Use mini shaver to trim eyebrows.
=Buy extra underwear. Less washing. Air dry things like bras, last longer, fewer things in the dryer.
=Do not turn on lights during the day.
=Use lamps instead of large over head lighting.
=Use rechargeable batteries.
=Shop clearance aisles and shelves. Coupons accepted on clearance items.
=Think....can't make it for that? Buy it if it's something you will use.
=Take out $10 per week for Christmas. Adds up to $520 per year painlessly without interest charges.
=Love having a pet? Make it a small one. They eat less and have smaller poop to clean up.
=Do not pay for free things like radio.
=Checkout the library for free programs, movies, books of course. Take everything back early to avoid fines.
=Stop renting from the local video store. Switch to RedBox, only $1 per night per movie. One movie at a time, return, rent another. More than one is paying for extra nights if you are not watching them all in 24 hours. Coupons available, too for free rentals.
=Stack coupons on sale items. Saves even more.
=Mow your own lawn.
=Wash your own car.
=Light fixture with multiple lights? Unscrew half, it's more than enough light, less electricity, too.
=Grow flowers from bulbs. They regrow, are more hardy, needing less watering, care. Cut flowers from your garden for the house.
=Change your own car oil. Leave the rest to the pros.
=Love hanging baskets? Buy bedding plants and pot them into the baskets for a fraction of the cost.
=Ebay stuff. Craigslist if you prefer, free.
=Got to go to that concert or ball game? Buy cheaper tickets and use binoculars.
=Register for contests and give aways. If you do, you have a chance at winning. If you don't, you have zero chance to win anything.
=If something doesn't work or is not what is advertised, take it back. Shop only stores that allow returns.
=Shop at the start of school for all the sales, buy enough supplies for the whole year. Why pay $2 for a pack of paper in Jan when it's .25 in August?
=Use plastic grocery bags to line inside trash cans.
=Add water to things like dishwashing soap and liquid handsoap. Makes one bottle into two. Shake before using. Works.
=Use a damp cloth to dust, follow by dry. Avoid buying speciality items that leave behind residue, cost money.
=Donate, donate, donate, get tax receipt, deduction.
=Do your own taxes online.
=Do not smoke, drink, overeat. None of it is good for you and all of it costs money.
=Buy diet drinks by the case at CVS, RiteAid. Both charge a fraction what WM does for same drink. Much cheaper than fountain drinks with ice.
=Make lunch night before, put in bag, refrigerate, save money and time in the morning.
=Go to the Dr when you are sick.
=Go somewhere for vacation but make it a cheap somewhere.
=Chip in for a shower gift.
=Ask for ChikFilA calendar for small gift.
=Consider giving cash. Gift cards charge tax on card purchase and item purchases.
=Buy cheaper gas for the car.
=Turn off the motor when in line at the bank, drive thru, school pick up line. Motor running longer than 10 seconds? Takes that much gas to restart the engine.
=Buy sewing patterns only on sale, never ever pay full price for a sewing pattern. Sign up for mail out circular to get sales dates.
=Frequent buyer points are good.
=IF you can save more money than the cost of a membership, go for it. If you live too far away from that club, forget it.
=Some credit cards have a fee but can save more than the fee in a year. Better yet, use cash, no danger of late payments, no interest.
=Need stamps? Buy a book. Saves trips to PO.
=Run dishwasher full. After 9 PM, the rates are cheaper, I hear.
=Only wash full loads. Use cold water. Only dry full loads.
=Sell house, buy cheaper one. Too much house is not worth the upkeep or cost.
=Refinance, save thousands, if applicable.
=Reduce all ownings and clutter by half or more.
=Buy American.
=Switch to white towels. Bleach can be used to kill germs, smell fresh. Goes with all other colors.
=Print on back of pages to save paper.
=Only one coupon per page, cut page, use blank for next coupon.
=Spray paint works wonders to change a vase, candle stick, picture frame, flower pot, etc.
=Keep a small notebook in your purse for notes at drs, church, lists.
=Use shredder paper for packing.
=Google natural bug repellents. Use them.
=Cut cell phone bill by going on family plan with family.
=Reuse cardboard boxes.
=Decorate reused boxes for storage instead of buying plastic tubs.
=Stop going to garage sales. It's stuff we don't need with money we do.
=Dry off with towel, hang up, use again. Use washcloth to dry pits, feet, etc.
=Buy product from Sally's instead of beauty shop. Sign up for club, even cheaper.
=Use grocery card everytime.
=Shop on Sr Citizen day for 5% off on total purchase or more.
=Make it yourself. Clean it yourself. Cook it yourself.
=Cook more than one thing in oven.
=Use crockpot.
=Don't pick up the check but do pay for your own.
=Drink water unless drink comes with the meal.
=Send e-cards, e-mail, no postage.
=Go for the lesser internet service. Do not need highest speed anyway.
=WW is expensive. Go to TOPS.
=Do not pay more than $10 for takeout pizza.
=Cover shoes with fabric to match outifit.
=Use cloth instead of paper just about everything....napkins, hankies, towels.
=Shop the dollar store for party decorations. Cheaper than making your own.
=Go once a month, stock up on foil, soups, toilet paper, spices.
=Buy cereal on sale with coupons only. Stock up. No cereal is worth $6 a box.
=Eat bagels. Eat oatmeal.
=Vote for conservatives. No one wants more taxes. Or more government.
=Buy real butter. It's worth the cost. Yes, it goes on sale, lots. Margarine is chemicals.
=Organic can be expensive but frugal can save. Research it.
=Go to free things like small town festivals, car shows, craft displays, etc.
=Focus on saving but still enjoy life. Love saving money but hate being so cheap you are miserable.
=Got rebate, do it.
=Go by Farmer's market. Some things are cheaper. Everything is fresher.
=Heating the House....baking? Finished...open the oven door and leave it open, heating the kitchen. Got garage? Outside door, nope, close laundry room door to give additional insulation from the cold and heat.

2 comments:

dfish said...

In our home, we grew up doing a lot of these things automatically. As a result it has been no big thing to have less. Unfortunately few young people have ever done so, and it is hard for them to understand. If the economy continues to stagnate, the need to do these things will grow, and we need to be prepared to help the younger ones learn these things.

Carol said...

Yes, we did, too. It was a matter of have to do them growing up and in ministry years. Now being semi retired, it's back to the past. Live and learn. Thanks for the comment. So true.