Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saving Money

Everybody is worried these days. Seems like each of us knows some one who has been laid off. The days of living high on the hog and buying whatever we want are over. Spending a lot of money is a bad idea any time, unless you have all you need, no debt and a surplus; and those people are best at budgeting.

I have been reading and catching up on some of my favorite posts and it seems that a lot of young women are really working at learning to be frugal, and being good home makers. In fact I just found a new blog "Paint Splashes," she is a precious young mother and a good writer, go visit her and see what you think.

Other women really encourage me. I used to be very diligent in making food from scratch and either buying second hand or sewing. It seems like you either have time and no money, or money and no time. I had big plans to bake bread today and make some granola but I didn't do anything. My brain was so fizzled that all I wanted to do was, absolutely nothing. Maybe tomorrow.

We really can live on less. I don't buy soda. Most of the time I don't buy any mixes or pre made foods except for lasagna because that is so expensive to make, I think it's a wash. We don't eat out. We don't buy fast food. I avoid the sodium nitrates and am working on the high fructose corn syrup which is in cotton pickin everything! If fresh veggies are too high, I get frozen not canned. I cook and we eat salads. I love to bake which is a big downfall. We ate like pigs over the holidays. The next step is to get off of sugar. If I didn't live in a subdivision it would be fun to have some chickens. In the south where I live it's almost pointless to garden for food. It becomes a bug fest and I'm not into sprays. We also have great produce stands. My husband has convinced me that it's really not economical to try and grow food here. Up north where his relatives are, it does pay off. They have cattle which supply endless amounts of manure to amend this soil with, and a garden for them is a small farming operation. Once it's grown it has to be canned or frozen. I'll stick to the produce stands.

Tackling the big sugar addiction and portion control are big on my list of priorities this year. I'm just plain too heavy. There is a time to enjoy, and a time to tighten your belt. I think it would be fun for everybody to share a couple of their most successful money saving tips. Do you buy nice toilet paper or the cheap stuff? How do some people manage to get their utility bills down? How about phone bills? My husband and I were saying today that if he could just get football we wouldn't have any cable. We spend too much on the TV, cellphones, Internet, all this stuff we think we can't live without. Does anybody use Vonage or something else that works just as well as regular phone service? I use a lot of long distance minutes so I keep a land line. I think it could be fun to see just how little we actually have to purchase. Hang onto your hats and buckle your belts, and share your best secrets, please.

PS I bought men's undershirts to wear under my scrubs. Still thinking on that.


Michelle said...

We grow a garden in the summer and do have some chickens. However, the kids love the chickens, so it will only be eggs from the coop. My husband gets his cell phone from work, so we do save with that. And, we do heat with wood, so there is some savings there. But, a lot of work. We do check out movies from our library. I sometimes think of of giving up our satellite dish ( we live too far out for cable) but there would be much protesting from the troops.

Becky said...

We are cutting back, too. No mor dish. No more paper. No more food. Oh wait, that one will have to stay. ;-)

Flea said...

Good idea on the men's undershirts!

We've always been fairly frugal. No soda. No cable TV. No newspaper. Phone bill is set, with free long distance. Cell phone is set, and we're careful not go over our minutes. No cell phones for the kids. Our vehicles are old and paid for. Now my husband fixes them himself when he can.

It's not the most fun, but I do love a challenge.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

I do a lot of the things you already mentioned...not eating out is a huge money saver, even the fast food adds up.

I do try to pick a couple of days a week where I do not spend any money. It curbs my bad habit of running out to the grocery store "just for one thing" but returning with just two bags of stuff that I didn't really need.

Also, I have severely curbed going into Wal-Mutant for just the same reason. If I go in just for cat food, I spend $125 and walk out with a cart loaded down with stuff. Stuff I didn't really need but couldn't pass up. So, no more Wal-Mutant except for maybe once a month.

I find that just those two things alone have really helped me.

It definitely is a challenge, but in these times it is a necessity.

Angela said...

Great post Karen, thanks for sharing that lady's blog!!

Laura ~Peach~ said...

we took out the land line and tried vonage ... and HATE it. we no longer havbe a house phone we have only cell phones and we have altell so we do use the my circle and that saves because the people who are long distance (all my family) are considered local calls on my circe.

we dont eat out (much, maybe twice a month at the chinese buffet) we do drink sodas once in a while but not often I buy generic on most things and I do shop at sams once a month and buy in bulk.

I dont ride around like I love to do and go see the lake for fun or ride to some little town just for fun anymore I only drive when i need to. we buy clothing and many things on clearance and the dollar tree (everything in the store is a dollar or less)

we buy used on just about everything and dont allow credit cards to get out of hand (did that in the past took 10 years to pay them off)

Yesterday I went with Stephanie and her mom for a baby regestry IT IS NUTSSSSSSSS all the things people buy and have for a baby things you dont need and wont use, and the prices OH MY!

When I was pregnant with cory I was so thrilled to have a bassinet given to me, I had clothig given and the only things i ended up buying was bottles for when I was unable to breast feed and diapers because cloth diapers are NOT practical (i used them for 6 weeks)

Stephaine had over 4 thousand dollars worth of stuff on her wish list in a matter of a couple hours... INSANE as we walked through the store he mom and I woudl tell her ways to do things that are much less expencive but at the same time told her put what ever she wishes on her wish list and go from there.

I told her that when you have nothing it is insanely expensive to get things CAR SEATS OH MY !!! Play pens (not called that anymore) cribs GOOD LORD... changing tables HAVE MERCY not to mention diapers formula (she is breast feeding:) breast pumps...

anyway we found really great stuff on clearance ... baby blankets 1.98 we got several to have around for gifts later, sleep sets 3 dollars, pants and shirt sets 5 dollars (at babys R us no less) I love good clearance sales! crib sheets 5 dollars

Anyway thats what we do and we always maintian tithing and small percent into savings.

sorry for the book :)
Have a wonderful sunday

Karen Deborah said...

Don't mind the book Peach, and CBW I think staying out of Walmart except once a month is the best idea yet. I do the same thing.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I'm still trying to get my hands on containers to put sandwiches in for the kids-- I refuse to pay £2 per lunch for each of three kids per day. I also use a pay-a-you-go phone-- keeps me off of it :-)
I could get rid of the satellite, but not the broadband-- it's my link to the hubby.

Rosie_Kate said...

Aw, shucks! Thanks for the mention! :-) I'll enjoy reading through your archives, too!

I've been thinking about doing a post on grocery-budgeting. I'll have to get that in the works soon.

Linda said...

I use coupons for the grocery. You can get them online. My store, Kroger, has a website. It also has a link where you can load some corporate coupons right on your Kroger card so you don't have to clip, but I still do that as well. They have the sale paper online and you can make a shopping list from the things that are on sale, as well as print out in-store coupons that you can get anywhere else. I love it!