Thursday, August 5, 2010

Revisiting and updating an Old Post: Finding More Ways to Save and Scrimp

This was originally posted October 6th, 2008.

We don't have a lot of extras that we can cut loose but we can:

Cancel our subscription to the local paper and try to find a cheap or free resource for my coupons saving us about $9 a month.
I canceled our subscription in July. I haven't missed it one bit.

Take our aluminum cans to the recycling center instead of throwing them in the recycling bin.
We'd make about $3-$5 a month. Is it even worth the gas money?
Still haven't decided if it's worth it or not. We're still putting them out with the normal recycling.

Taking shorter showers. I've started getting wet and turning the water off to soap up.
I still do this some of the time but need to start doing it all the time again.

Hang dry our clothes. I'm hesitant to do this because it is extra work, it's against our home owner's association rules (grr) and I don't like how line dried clothes feel. But, we could do this and save a few dollars a month.
Totally fell off the horse with this one. Our outside line is pretty crumby and dirty. Aldi has drying racks on sale this week so I'm thinking about buying a few.

Put Little Guy back in cloth diapers. This will happen sooner than later as we're running out of disposables and I'm not buying anymore. Great for potty training anyway.
We're down to one nighttime disposable diaper a night. Our cloth diapers are in the garage waiting for our next garage sale.

Keep the a/c off and postpone turning on the heat. I've been opening the windows for a cool breeze. And I put flannel sheets and thicker blankets on our beds for those chilly nights.
Oh my goodness, It's been in the upper 90s so much lately turning off the idea is a crazy thought.

Refuse to buy things that I don't really need. I really like the More Time Moms Family Organizer calendar. I buy one every year. This year I'm going to fix a pocket onto a free calendar and use that. I won't like it as much but it will be free.
I did not like using a jimmy rigged calendar at all. Some things are definitely worth the money.

Returning my Library materials on time. I haven't incurred any overdue fees this month. For me that's a big thing. And every bit counts.
I'm doing much better at this. I try to get to the library once a week and always do a sweep for any returns and have them ready to go.

Shopping the sales at the grocery store. I normally just go to Save-A-Lot or Aldi without looking through the fliers for other grocery stores. If I cherry pick and use coupons I can save us a lot more and pick up some extras for the food pantry donation.
I'm too busy right now to deal with coupons or sale shopping. I've been grocery shopping about once a week and don't even want to go more than that.

Finding a better way to organize my coupons. After my little cardboard accordion coupon wallet from the dollar store fell from my cart and spilled onto the store floor I knew it was time to find another method. The challenge will be to not spend any money on it.
I still don't have a perfect way to organize coupons. It is better now that I have two files: one for food and one for everything else.

Harvesting the last little garden goody before it frosts. We have a ton of tiny green tomatoes on our vines. If I forget them then we waste money. What a relief it was to walk by the starchy tasteless grocery store tomatoes and know that we had some at home.
Critters have been at my tomatoes and my zucchini and I rarely get a vegetable to harvest for my family. But, I do plan on picking every last tomato before the last frost.

Using less of what we already have in the pantry and cupboards- less dishwashing liquid, less shampoo, less ketchup, less body wash, less sugar etc.
I'd forgotten about doing this. We have so much extra to use up I haven't considered it much lately. I'm working now on getting rid of bottles by using them up. No more personal care clutter.

Buying less or just not buying what we don't absolutely have to have. Are paper towels really necessary when you can use cloth napkins?
We're still using paper towels but with much less frequency. I have a clean stack of cloth napkins always ready to use.

Does anyone else have any ideas? What are you doing to economize? What have I overlooked?


Rhonda said...

Mine are pretty simple
cook all meals from scratch as much as possible
staying home
using things at home instead of buying them - I already have a craft room full of "stuff"

it is hot here too. But I did a report on obesity and they said central heat and air were making us too comfortable and fatter.

So, do I really want to be thin by turnin off the AC when it is 105?

twelvedaysold said...

Why is it against your homeownership to hang dry clothes?

Also, does your grocery store have a can return (sorry if this is a stupid question and you've already thought of it)? I take my cans in right before I walk into go grocery shopping, but I don't know if that is available to you.