Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Saving Money Game

Of course, when Tom was laid-off, my task became 'pull out all those money saving hints you used to do constantly but had slacked off.'

So now I'm back to cooking from scratch. And turning off the oven or stove top five or ten minutes early (depending upon what I'm baking/cooking) since saving energy equals saving $. And baking more than one dish at a time.

And I'm doing laundry at off-peak hours and hanging it outside to dry or inside on my trusty rack (something I've never stopped doing since long ago we gave away our drier).

And I'm clipping Sunday's coupons, mostly just for household and cat-related stuff since we're eating less processed food. I'm stocking-up on sale items, combining them with coupons when I can and shopping more often at Aldi's.

I'm keeping better organized so we can see what we have rather than racing out to buy more of what was simply buried around here. I'm taking better care of what we own so that it will last longer.

I'm using our basement chest freezer, freezing my garden produce and extra bags of frozen vegetables and loaves of bread, etc. from Aldi-type stores. Keeping it full (so it runs more cheaply), keeping it ready for winter.

I'm making my own coffee and pouring it into a thermos before our weekend yard sale trips so to not be tempted to buy coffee. I'm aiming at making our own snacks ahead, before those trips, and am sometimes making crock pot meals before we head out of the house so we're not tempted to go out to eat, even at cheap places (which is one temptation we too often give into, though lately, because Tom has been selling much through Craig's List, we do 'celebrate' those deals with a take-out meal. But hey.).

I'm turning off lights and dvd's players and chargers (when I remember). And keeping the thermostat as low as I can, wearing extra clothing to keep from turning it on at all on these cool autumnal days.

I'm paying our bills on time so to avoid late charges.

I'm taking fewer supermarket shopping trips, making the most of when I do shop so that my chances of buying unnecessary things goes down with fewer trips. I'm totally avoiding 'window shopping' since who needs all that temptation?

I'm saving our spare change in a pickle jar. We call it vacation money, but I do grab a handful of quarters on weekends to take with me to yard sales.

I'm asking myself, "Do I really neeeed this?" before I buy just about anything. Though if it's an item at a yard sale, something my quarters will buy, something I love but is more a treat than a necessity--I'll go ahead and buy it. The worse thing one can do is to say No!No!No! to everything unnecessary and thus become a fearful, God-doubting penny-squeezer who always feels deprived.

I'm using more imagination than cash around the house.

I'm still making my own household cleaners, mostly from vinegar and baking soda, buying vinegar in huge jugs, but of course. Vinegar is still my favorite fabric softener for the washing machine.

And I'm having fun at saving money. Making it all a daily game at which I'm aiming to win.

(Shhh. That is the secret to winning the game!) :)



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Wondering when off-peak hours are for running your appliances? Here's a way to find out.

5 comments:

Tracy said...

Fabulous post!

How do find out when off-peak hours for doing laundry?

female, I shit you not! said...

You have two important things for success. .
Fortitude and a good outlook. :0)

Kim said...

Debra, I love vinegar, borax & Baking soda too. Have not used vinegar as as fabric softener.
Do you put it in the dispenser when washing clothes as you would the softener?

@Tracy, found this link:
http://www.bankrate.com/dls/news/pf/20090626_frugal_electricity_goel_a1.asp

I take advantage of the dishwasher's delayed wash feature and run it in the middle of the night.

A programmable thermostat will pay for itself very quickly; I was able to install it myself (That HAS to be easy!).

The equal pay option for gas & electric bills is helpful to me; I always know what the payment will be - no crazy surprises when it's been over 90 for a month!

Dapoppins said...

I am not very good at saving, economizing even though we desperately need to. It is quite a battle for me not to spend money especially when I know none will be coming in. But I have found, the easiest way to keep from spending is to not go shopping at all.

Jan said...

For some of us, this is not a game. This is our life. The bottom line however is this. God provides. He owns it all and gives graciously to His children. It is easier to think this way when there is plenty of money and a job, nonetheless, the true test of our faith is in the lean ti,es.