Friday, March 16, 2012

How We Save Money

Photo found here

Since our self made "hard times " fell upon us, we have been trying to live a more frugal lifestyle to get back on track.  And while it has been tough at times to make certain sacrifices we have learned to actually over time enjoy our changes.  some of the changes that we have made include:

Getting rid of cable- this was a very hard one to do.  We are such movie buffs and we watched most if not all those wonderful channels.  Unfortunately we were paying $150 a month for cable, phone, and Internet at the time.  Once we got our new TV it came with all those extra HD channels for FREE!!!!   Also we got the cheapest membership to Netflix so that we could watch all those movies we love. All these changes made it  much easier to forget about our old cable box.  We are now going on four years without cable TV, and honestly even if we had the money I don't think we will ever go back, we have gotten so use to it.  And we only pay around $10 a month total for movie watching.

One vehicle- this was more of an accident and we did not intend on this happening, my husbands truck gave out on us leaving us with only my car, now we only have the one.  But we have lived this way for two years and have found it a lot cheaper for us.  For one we only have to pay repairs on one car, also the insurance cost us only $100 a month for full coverage, and the gas for one car is sooooo much better to pay for than the Gas on two cars.  This may be the hardest change for most people, but since I don't work at the moment, and since my husbands work schedule is so easy to work around, having one car just works well for us.

One cell phone for our home- this maybe another hard one for most  people but again since I'm home most of the day and Ryan only works every third day we just have the one phone.  Also ever since Apple has come up with face time, we can call and message anyone with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod.  When I had a cell phone we were paying $99 a month for service through Metro PCS, I still think once I start working then I will probably need my own phone, but till then I don't.

Eating out, not so much- I am so ashamed to admit this but we would eat out twice a day almost everyday .  Ryan and I never stayed home we were always out and about, this caused us to eat out A LOT.  And not just places like McDonald's but more like places like Red Lobster, and Chuck E Cheese.  These places would cost us around $70 or more each day.   One day, I decided to look at a bank statement for a month that we ate out like this just to get an idea of how much we were spending on eating out, and it was over $1,000 just on  food.  After that we stopped.  We still eat out just not nearly like that.  Now we eat out for a treat and we eat at home the rest of the time. 

Changing grocery stores-  We always shopped at Walmart, and we still do sometimes for certain things.  But most of our grocery's are bought at a store called Aldi's.  We save probably half of what we would from Walmart. 

Clipping coupons-  I'm still new to coupons but I have gotten a lot of great deals from using coupons.  Especially from stores like Walgreen's and CVS Pharmacy.  LOVE those stores.

Thrift stores-  I have always loved shopping at thrift stores and yard sells but now I love them even more. Last year for Heavenly's winter clothes I purchased five Abercrombie and Gap sweaters for $3 a piece.  All were in great shape.  And I was able to find her jeans for under five dollars.   I LOVE shopping at thrift stores. 

So there is our small but very effective list of things that we are doing to save on money around our house.  I would love to add to this list if anyone has any suggestions.  We're always looking for ways to save money.  And I can't wait until we buy a home and can do even more to save,  like plant a veggie garden :)   

All of these solutions are very obviously obvious I know, and I'm sure these are things people have said before,  but honestly we really have saved a ton of money, and while its been hard at times we have learned so much from this experience, and I know we will never go back to spending money the way we once did.

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