Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Everyone has "2 cents", don't they?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am ALL about Pinterest. I love it! Not only does it keep me up to date on the latest fashions, but there are fun DIY crafting projects and money saving ideas.

When I searched for "budget, saving money, finances, frugality" I ran across several different PINS that were quite helpful. One thing I have learned while spending the last three years of my life really trying hard to save, plan for my financial future, get out of debt, etc... is that EVERYONE has their "2 Cents". I find myself getting super excited when I see a PIN titled "500 ways to save money!" I feel like its Christmas morning! :) then I open it and begin reading and I feel let down... 500 ways to save money and only 3 apply to me. BOO!!

In my blog I try to be very SPECIFIC. I get so tired of hearing that I can save money by only going to Starbucks 3 times a week instead of 7. If you are doing that then you OBVIOUSLY are not trying to save money! (Not trying to be harsh, just being real)

Let's go over some very basic ways to save money. They may not ALL apply to you are looking for post that says "ways to lower your 3.5 million dollar mortgage" you have come to the WRONG place.

1. Downgrade your cable. Notice I didn't say CANCEL your cable. Some bloggers and financial advisers will tell you to do that. I just can't tell you to do that. I can't do it myself. If you are in a place in your life where you are cutting back on EVERYTHING to save money, then taking away your cable is like taking away your entertainment. Just because you want to save money doesn't mean you should sit in a dark house and stare at each other. Awkard. Just downgrade it. Look at the package options. There HAS to be one that's lower that will still give you enjoyable channels.

2. Downgrade your cell package. Do you need unlimited? Or are you texting me than you are on the phone? If so, try to lower your minutes. Are you paying for features that you do NOT use? Then get rid of them.

3. GROCERY BILL. Ugh. Sigh. Barf. I get SO tired of trying to find ways to shave money at the grocery store. For the first time in a LONG time my husband went with me to the store Friday night. He nearly fainted when we checked out. Keep in mind, I only go to the store ONCE a month. So yes, it is more than the person that goes every week or even bi-weekly. when we got home and were putting things up I said "I HATE spending so much money at the grocery store!" So we started looking at everything we bought. We really HAD done well with what we spent and the quality/quantity of food we had. It's hard to save at the Grocery store without being a crazy couponer. And even then--is it necessary? Do you need 37 cans of green beans? If you do and you can get them cheap then YOU GO GIRL! But if you don't, then what was the point? I guess my advice would be this... coupon when you CAN and when it makes sense. AND WHEN ITS A BETTER DEAL THAN THE OFFBRAND! It took forever at the store the other night and my poor hubs was bored to tears--BUT, I had a good amount of coupons to compare with the regular store brands/current specials. I don't want to spend 20 cents more than I have to. ADVICE: go to the store when you have AMPLE time and when you have JUST eaten. If you try to do it quick you are more likely to buy things that you don't really need. Look up specials and match them with coupons. ALSO, if you plan a month ahead it's easier to know what you will need in the coming weeks. So if it's on sale, STOCK UP!

4. FREEZE. Along the same lines as saving on grocery bill... FREEZE THINGS. EX: 1 month ago at Kroger strawberries were 3.89. YIKES. Friday night they were $1.49. Buy them when they are cheap, take them home and clean them, shave off anything like a steam, seeds, etc, (Depending on the fruit or vegetable) and then freeze it. I eat a LOT of salads. And I HAVE TO HAVE carrots on them. I love carrots. But when I buy a bag of carrots (usually around 2.39-2.99) I can never eat them all before it's time to throw them out. Not anymore! I came home from the store and kept out enough for me to use for that week and froze the rest. Saving where I can.

5. MAKE WHAT YOU CAN. I have a fabulous recipe for homemade detergent. If you want it, email me. (cararoxanne02@aol.com) It's pretty lengthy to put on here but I would love to share it. For a year supply of detergent (based on a fam of 4) it costs around 10 dollars to make. MAKE YOUR OWN COOKING SPRAY. (1 part oil-either olive, canola, etc-, 5 parts water) use a spray bottle. Shake it and TA-DA. There ya go. It's better for the environment, it's better for ingesting, and it's better for the pocket book.

6. PLAN. Not crazy planning, but plan. Plan meals ahead of time. Plan for birthdays. Plan for those things that come up ocassionally. We have a propane tank that fuels are heat for our home. It's EXPENSIVE to fill because it's all at once, there is no monthly bill where you are taking small bites at a time. No, we eat the WHOLE rhino at once. And it's pricey. So I keep up with it. I put money away in an envelope so that it doesn't feel like we are hit with a huge bill. PLAN AHEAD.

this is by no means a brilliant or brand-new idea list, but there are practical ways to save money.

Can you add to this list?

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