· If you are paying for extra cable channels AND a service like Netflicks, perhaps you are paying twice for the same enjoyment. Consider getting rid of one (or more if you are really indulgent). If it were up to me, I’d ditch cable altogether and watch things on youtube and hulu.com. I find enough to keep me busy at the latter which is an ad-supported streaming video of TV shows and movies from NBC, FOX and many other networks and studios.
· One frugal thing I do is buy clothes that can be washed by me—I hate paying money to a dry cleaners. I handwash delicates and have even washed my husband’s suits and pressed them myself –although I DO generally pay for suits and coats to be cleaned. I do know I’ve saved tons over the years on this one item
· Speaking of clothes, I am terrible about staining the front (ok, sides, back, sleeves) of my clothes. I keep a lot of white and beige tops that go with anything in my mix and match wardrobe, but It’s hard to find these. When I see white or beige tops on sale I buy four.
· I bought small fancy flavored coffee grounds for holiday gifts and saved back a few for me. I add a couple tablespoons to my sale coffee and spread the luxury a little.
· The FDIC has a nice publication called Practical Advice for Everyone on How to Save and Manage Money
· Gardenweb has many great forums, but my favorite is the frugal gardening forum. Here is a link to what these folks think are their best frugal gardening tips.
· I’ve had good experiences buying contact lenses online with http://www.1800contacts.com/ While my eye doctor’s office has rebates, they are a hassle and nowhere near the savings I get online. The online service beats *mart prices even.
· One of the ways that I have saved money over the years is to have a homesteading mindset. You can do this in the middle of the city and on a little acreage. I could say more but there are some nice explanations and links here:
· Even if you live in a first floor apartment with a patio you can have a garden.
Related to my last post “Be Your Own Bank,” is Dave Ramsey’s concept of “ debt snowballing.” The idea is to pay off a small debt balance, then roll that money that would be going to that debt to the next largest debt. In our case, we went after the highest interest debt we had and continued from there…
This way of living has had tremendous benefits. From Amy Dacyczyn’s The Complete Tightwad Gazette, I learned to apply savings to areas that would create greater savings. This is deliberate living that requires you to be financially self-aware at all times.
I guess this last concept is more like a “savings snowball.” In the past, I started by having a yardsale that gave me the money to spend on garden tools and seeds. The money saved by growing our own food (we included the cost of gas and wear and tear on our vehicles to to to the grocery store) was then invested in canning equipment and dehydrators.
Each year at this time, we make a list of what we are going to put our savings into. Some of what we will do this year are invest in more chicks (for eggs and meat). While feed has increased, we have started freeranging our hens and realized some savings there. Even though we pay for feed, we get a lot of garden vegetables from the compost made from the deep litter we use in the coop (for another post–we compost all paper products, junk mail, etc…) But I digress….
I’d really like to take some snowball savings and invest in some miniature milk goats that I could use for (at least) cheese and maybe milk and yogurt. So far, I haven’t convinced anyone else that this is a good idea. I’ll let you know….
Every year, we take some of our savings and invest in more edible landscaping. By retirement, we should have enough fruit and nut trees and bushes to support ourselves without needing to use a grocery store. In my mind, the ability to feed yourself is insurance. It’s one thing to be poor, it’s entirely another to be poor and hungry. No one need be hungry, even in the city (but more on that in later post…)
In the meantime, I’d love to hear some of the reader’s lists for what to invest their savings snowball in to help them save MORE money….
How’s that for a nifty (thrifty) title!
I think it’s a good idea to keep track of what you are doing to get ahead. There are many ways, but here is a little tracking method I learned from Justice Desserts Blog:
Let’s see what I can come up with using her formula:
Planting: I’m putting the 1/4 inch root part of every onion I cut for cooking back into the garden for future onions (yes it works!) Also, planting the eyes off every potato I cut up for cooking back into the garden. Yes! They will make FREE potatoes. I jog out there, making it a little exercise routine as well.
Harvesting: swiss chard, green onions, cabbage, rhubarb, ground cherries,
Preserving:ground cherries, hickory nuts from the woods
Prep something: Cooking sale turkeys and putting the extra meat in the freezer for future quick casserole dinners after long days at school.
Manage Reserves: Going through what is left of last year’s canning extravaganza to see what needs to be eaten up. Rotation, rotation, rotation!
Saw this on another frugal blog:
Office Depot has a 15% off your entire order code. Valid through Nov. 22, 2008 on-line and over the phone. Enter code 19574436.
You may also enter code 32776683 (on-line only) if you are spending $100 or more to receive a free Coby CD Radio Boombox.