Showing posts with label saving money. Show all posts
Showing posts with label saving money. Show all posts

Sunday, July 14, 2013

How to Save $4360.88 a Year on Groceries

saving on groceries
Saving Money on Groceries
When my family began to suffer from random pollution related allergies and stomach problems we began making some lifestyle changes that resulted in dropping several items from our grocery list and miscellaneous spending. As it turns out, we not only began to make greener lifestyle choices but we realized we were saving money too. We didn’t completely cut out all of these items, some of them we found alternatives to and others we cut back on. The savings is astonishing either way! As I sat down to write this post I realized just how much money we have started saving and I hope you can benefit from making some changes too.

Disposable Razor Blades

Use a rechargeable electric razor. I have to admit I didn’t use an electric razor until my second child was born because back in the day they didn’t shave that close, but I was pleasantly surprised by the efficiency of the new model electric rechargeable which I purchased at Target for under $30. My hubby uses an electric shaver too on his beard and to touch up in between haircuts. You can save an average of $162.88 per year by cutting razors and razor blade refills off your grocery list.

Water bottles and Soda Cans

Buy a refillable water bottle of any kind for $5 to $10 and stop buying bottled water at the store for $5 per 24 packs and save $240 per year. Cut soda out of your diet all together and opt for water or herbal tea, save yet another $240 assuming your buying 12 packs on sale. If you can’t kick the soda habit, switch from cans to two liter bottles.

OTC Medications

Over the course of adding local honey to our diet we found we were quickly able to eliminate OTC medications like Claritin and Pepcid. We still need an occasional dose of Benadryl for a random reaction, maybe a week of Flonase during high peak times but overall we have been able to save a large amount of money over what we used to have to spend on OTCs. We have saved approximately $960 per year over antacids and OTC allergy medicines.

Laundry Soaps

Many people save by making their own laundry soap or switching from using a dry cleaner to using dry cleaner sheets. We are still working on this one because most homemade laundry soaps are either powder or complicated to use. However, if you are willing to try one of these very popular options, you could save upwards of $168 per year. I do have a new recipe I am getting ready to try and if it is great, I will be posting about it, so check back for updates.

Cleaning Products and Air Fresheners

We do make some of our own air fresheners, cleaning products and candles saving at least $160 per year. This isn’t complicated to do, by simply mixing baking soda, vinegar and Dr. Bonner’s soaps you can make fragrant lavender scented cleaning solution. We also purchase beeswax from the honey farmer for $3 per pound and use an old crockpot to make inexpensive jar candles.

Cosmetics

I suffered from severe acne and rosacea for years until I found Dr. Bonner’s Peppermint Soap. Believe me, I know how much you can spend on expensive skincare and until I found this soap I needed those expensive skincare lines just to curb the painful breakouts. I don’t have perfect skin now, but I can go without makeup without embarrassment and I have saved over $360 a year on skincare. Dr. Bonners, Alba and Burt’s Bees offer organic, money saving alternatives.

Meat

Cut back on your meat; buy your meat in bulk and package it in a Food saver just under a pound. So if you normally use 2 pounds of hamburger and two pounds of chicken each week then you will save about a pound a week roughly $60 and then go meatless with one meal a week that is another $60 producing a total yearly savings of $120 per year.

Disposables

Stop buying disposable products like cups and plates. We were spending $5 every two weeks on disposable cups, which comes to $120 per year. Paper plates are another $5 per stack every two weeks for another $120. That is a total of $240 a year on paper! I was shocked how much paper products added up to. Save paper products for special occasions. Keep your old towels for cleaning instead of using paper towels and use washable napkins.

Frozen Foods

Learn to make your own frozen convenience foods and avoid the frozen food isle all together. Waffles and pancakes can be made ahead and frozen in gallon size freezer bags for quick reheating. You can do the same thing with chicken nuggets and they are healthier too. We figured out that for every item we bought in bulk in the frozen food isle we could add on average $7.50 to our grocery bill that week. So if you can make your own frozen foods and eliminate two items per week that will save you $15 per week totaling $390 a year.

Carry Out Pizza

Save $1560 a year on carryout pizza by keeping a ready crust in the refrigerator. If you don’t cook that much, then you can pick up a Pillsbury crust on sale for under $3. I prefer to make my own in the bread maker and then I wrap it in plastic. It is ready for whatever night we crave a pizza. We keep shredded cheese and pepperoni on hand, but pizza is versatile so don’t be afraid to use whatever ingredients you have in your pantry. However you choose to do it, kicking the weekly pizza habit and saving it for a special occasion can save you over a thousand dollars a year.

Finally, if it isn’t on sale don’t buy it. Sales are cyclical that means that if it isn’t on sale this month chances are it will be on sale next month or even next week. You can save upwards of 25% just by waiting until next week and making sure your grocery card is up to date.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Teaching Kids to Be frugal

teaching kids to be frugal
Are Your Kids frugal?
Proud mama alert! My girl came home from camp last week for the second year in a row with money in her pocket, which she immediately and voluntarily handed over to my husband to put back in the family bank account. What a frugal and responsible young lady she has become. How did she come home with money in her wallet? By shopping wisely and saving money at camp! Yep, a 10 year old girl saving money. Can you believe it? For two years in a row she has saved $15 on the price of a camp t-shirt by choosing last years logo. She even came home with an extra for her little brother the first year. Her little brother who thinks the secret to reducing the nations credit card debt is at the Dollar Tree by the way. She also chooses to eat the snacks in her backpack and the food on her plate instead of spending all her money on candy and soda. She makes wise choices. I can't take full credit for this, God gifted her with a smart brain, but we have purposed to teach her wise and frugal spending and here is how...

We Teach Our Kids to Shop

We take our children to the grocery, the farmers market and the wholesaler with us, and while this may seem counter productive at first, it teaches them about cost of goods and how much we get for a dollar.

By taking them to the grocery with us, it gives us the opportunity to teach them to wait for items they want to go on sale or until we have a little extra to spend. It also helps them to understand their own wants and needs. If you get home and forget about that box of Teddy Grahams before you go back you probably didn't really want it to begin with.

We shop around for the best deal, even at Christmas and we include the kids in the process. I remember one year my daughter wanted an American Girl doll for Christmas and we seriously considered buying a real one, but as we shopped around on the web and she saw the difference in price between a real American Girl doll and a similar collectible doll, she voluntarily said, "I would rather have the lower priced one, it looks the same." We don't put our Christmas shopping on a credit card by the way, nor do we take out a loan. We set a budget and limit our spending with careful shopping and homemade gifts.

We Teach Our Kids About Value

We teach our children about product value. There are some products that are worth the extra money because they are well made and last longer. We talk about this.

We talk about ethical companies and marketing. Is that toy on the screen really going to do what the commercial says it will? Or will it be a waste of money? How does that company make their product and where do they spend the money?

Finally, although we don't give them a regular allowance, we do allow them to earn a few dollars here and there so they can learn how hard a dollar can be to earn and how quickly it can go.

In the end, I am proud to say that my kids are not only frugal but reserved. They don't ask for the same things that other kids do. Oh, they still ask for things on every isle, but in the end, when the dollar is in their wallet, they make wise choices.

One finale tip: Let kids get involved in planning their birthday party. You may even want to read frugal Birthday Parties.

You may also like, Teaching Kids Sustainability.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Repurposed TV Stand/Toy Kitchen

We finally did it! We repurposed an old TV stand into a toy kitchen and my kids are sooooo happy.

Toy Kitchen
Repurposed Kitchen

We simply saved money by using what we had. Old fabric, scrap paint and old DVDs. A permanent black marker for outline and toy kitchen supplies from the toy box. And it is so much fun!

Here is a closeup...
toy kitchen
The Inside




Saturday, January 7, 2012

Saving Money on Movies

Saving Money on Movies
Take Your Own Popcorn


There are lots of ways to #save money on movies; whether you like to watch at home or view in the theater, you can find discounts and even free movie tickets just about anywhere you look. What if I told you that you could get your movie fix for free?! Yes there are ways to #save money on movies as well as get them for free.
 
Gofobo

Preview new releases for free with tickets for movie premiers from Gofobo. The catch is, you have to go when they tell you and you have to be there early to wait in line but it is a great way to view for free and we have even previewed fancy dinner theaters with free dinner!

Build A Collection

Sometimes it is just as cheap to buy a movie as it is to rent it for a few days. We look for discounted movies at all the big retailers and we trade old movies for "new" ones at the used bookstore. Amazon also has reasonable prices on used copies of old favorites. 

Xbox Live

Most major video game consoles have started offering live video feed thru websites like Netflix and Hulu. While you may have to pay for a discounted service, you will still save money and can likely cut your cable bill to boot.

Library


Did you know that most public librarys carry the new releases as well as the classic movies?  You can get a library card for free and there is usually no extra charge to check out DVDs.  Our library lets us check out up to ten movies at a time.  We go online to reserve the more popular ones and the new releases.  The movies are right there waiting for us on Friday night; all ten for #free!

Dollar Theaters and Matinees

Most theaters have an early morning discounted matinee showing. Our local theater offers matinees before noon for $5 as opposed to $8. We also have a theater in our neighborhood where all movies are always $2.  They don't usually get new releases however. They show movies that are just about ready to be released on DVD.  Perhaps you can wait a couple more weeks and get them at the library for free, but the dollar theaters are still great for a budget night out. Pop your own popcorn and take your candy with you to save even more.

Ticket w/ Purchase

Pay attention to everything you buy. I have purchased everything from DVD's to pizza that had free movie ticket rebates attached. Take advantage of these coupons for discounted or #free movie tickets. You can also buy slightly discounted movie tickets at some wholesale retailers like Costco.


A final word on snacks. Movie popcorn and candy is not only high in fat and calories, it is also expensive. Sometimes more than the movie ticket itself. We purchased a Stir Crazy popcorn popper to make homemade movie style popcorn. We use olive oil and sea salt and it taste better and saves money. We also purchase our candy at the local grocery when we buy groceries.

You may also enjoy reading Saving Money on Groceries.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Surviving on Freebies


Surviving On Freebies
Survining a recession is easy if you take advantage of freebies. Become a freeloader! I am not suggesting that you free load off your friends and family or even the government. Businesses give away free stuff everyday. Free cosmetics, free kids meals, free meat, even free money!

Yes free money! My husband and I opened a new Chase personal bank account this weekend. Before we opened it we just happened to get these change of address packets at our local post office; you know those coupons and advertisements that you usually toss in the trash, don't through them away!!! Think of them as free money, sometimes lots of free money! Anyway, we had two coupons that came out of those packets. The coupons were for $125.00 a piece. That is $250.00 for opening a bank account that we had to open anyway!!! Chase deposited $250.00 in our bank account, no questions asked, no stipulations on how we spend it!

As if that were not enough that is not the only thing we freeloaded this weekend! Just so happens the windshield on our Jeep cracked, its ok, we have complete glass coverage. Sence we had to get the windshield replaced anyway, my husband shopped around town for the best deal. We had the insurance company fix our windshield at Speedy Glass and they gave us a gift certificate for Omaha Steaks! We are having a box of gourmet steaks and burgers delivered to our doorstep, for free!

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8