Wednesday, November 07, 2007

13 Ways We Cut Costs

For today's Thursday Thirteen. :)
(thanks to Write from Karen for the graphic!)

1. We only have one car. (cheaper insurance, repairs, gas-HUGE savings!) It's not nearly as inconvenient as people assume. I know. We've been using only one car for about 2 years now.
2. Breastfeeding. (Not for all moms, I know.) I've exclusively nursed my almost 7 month old, and that alone has saved us over $2,000 in formula/feeding costs.
3. Frugal shopping! I'm a bargain hunter. We find great deals for the boys at Once Upon a Child. We actually bought both of their winter coats there-totaling $16! And Brennan's is Columbia brand!
4. When we have the heat on, it's set low. Usually around 63.
5. Along with #4: we layer up! Slippers on the feet. Sweatshirt over the shirt.
6. If we're not in a room, that room is dark. No lights on unless we're in there. (unless I'm home alone)
7. Buy generics. Even with clipping coupons, usually the store/generic brand is still cheaper than national brand with coupon.
8. Take advantage of library used book sales! Great for your own collection, and gifts, too. Our library lets you buy a bag & stuff it. We've bought nearly 20 books before for a few bucks.
9. Menu planning. Plan meals out in advance, stick to the list. No eating out last minute because you already know what to prepare for dinner.
10. Going off #9: incorporate meatless meals. Plenty healthy options, using vegetarian meals, beans, etc. Good for the waist, good for the budget. Win-win.
11. We don't use sandwich bags on a regular basis. For a sandwich on-the-go, we bought one sandwich-sized container (similar to these) at Ikea for 99 cents. We've used it many times, for far less than the cost of Ziplocs.
12. Date nights are at home. Though this one isn't 100% by choice, it does save $ and we've found many enjoyable dates at home. :)
13. Invest in a Health Savings Account. This depends on your employer, but if it's an option, look into it! We saved some nice chunks of (pre-taxed) change with our HSA.

*Bonus* This post wouldn't be complete without mentioning Dave Ramsey. Dave's the man. He knows his [financial] stuff. We're trying to follow his suggestions, with "gazelle intensity". We're learning to cut costs even more thanks to Dave Ramsey. (Check out the Baby Steps here)

37 comments:

Holly said...

Good post and ideas to cut costs. And to help save energy by shutting off lights when not in a room - so that one is BETTER than just cutting costs.

delilah said...

Great TT. I just gave a little talk to a group about being frugal. I think I used every tip you mentioned! Have a great day!

ellen b said...

Great job cutting corners!

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Excellent list of to dos. We all could learn from this. You are not just talking about money, but waste of resources. Have a great TT. :)

Yuriko said...

Very good advice! I would also take advantage of swapping books by mail....

greatfullivin said...

Dave Ramsey is the MAN! Not only are you saving so much but you are being responsible to use less. Using less is good for our earth. Less waste to deal with. Hats off to you! Happy TT.

Nicholas said...

We only have one car (compact) and iam always turning lights out.

Tink said...

That's a great TT! You're cutting costs and being environmentally aware at the same time!
I've been out of TT for a few weeks, but I'm back with 13 symbols I like!

impworks said...

Good ways of cutting costs. Did you know wearing footwear, like slippers, to keep your feet warm even in an over heated house reduces the number of colds you get?

Great TT :-)

Michelle Davis Petelinz said...

Excellent list, and a green one, too!
Happy TT

Raggedy said...

Great Ideas!
Have a wonderful day!
Happy TT'ing!

busy91 said...

I love the Library, I get not only my books but most of my DVDs from there.

Courtney said...

I miss having an HSA -- That was one of the best health plans we've had.

Janet said...

some great ideas there...not only for cutting costs, but for recycling, as well! Bravo!

A Juggling Mum said...

Great list, thanks for sharing it with us:)

Rachel xxx
A Juggling Mum

Heather said...

I am with you on everything but number 9--but with the whole family at home all day and my husband eating as he sees fit, when he gets hungry--that isn't happening. I do know exactly what and how much of each item we eat in a month and buy accordingly--which works pretty well.

journeywoman said...

Good post.

Happy TT

Lori said...

Love #8. Library book sales are the best. Also, the remainders table at bookstores.

jenn said...

Great ideas. Happy tt!

Lori said...

What great ideas...you can never go wrong saving money. Especially this time of year. Happy TT.

Joyismygoal said...

sounds thrifty and smart

SJ Reidhead said...

Frugal - moi? NEVER!

LOL!
The Pink Flamingo

Yen said...

Great TT on cutting back costs:) TFS!

Mine is up here;
Thursday Thirteen
Happy TT!

Cher said...

GGRRREEAAAAT List! (as Tony the Tiger would say). I should get you to post on my Simply Natural blog LOL.

Bloggers said...

Great ideas. I love being frugal and this is a great time for this post with gas being over 3 dollars a gallon again and christmas on the way!!

my 13 is up on working at home mom.

Infinity Goods said...

Great tips. We use the library all the time. You can also get movies, music, books on tape/DVD, and broadband internet access. A few loan children's toys and computer games.

Secret Agent Mama said...

I do a lot of that, too, and we only have one vehicle; it really does "pay off".

Great list!!!

Andrea said...

Great post Sharon. We do quite a few things, but nothing like this. I'm going to show this to the hubby.

maryt said...

You're saving the planet all by yourself! Happy TT!

Come visit me at
Answers to the Questions

Patti said...

This is a great post!! I'm definitely going to incorporate some of these!! Except the breastfeeding ... my boys are 14 and 8 now! ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for some good tips. I am frugal in a lot of ways but a spender in other's.
Maribeth
www.marnini.wordpress.com

YummY! said...

We do alot of those ourself. Our heat is also set on 63. I buy generic (even if my husband refuses to). I don't even buy books from the library (I never learn about the sales until after the fact) but check out everything I read with a few exceptions.

As for #6...you just reminded me to go turn off the kitchen light.

Colleen said...

wish we could get rid of one of our cars (i.e. the one we still owe on and uses the most gas), but since we both work, kind of hard. :(
But those are GREAT ideas...one question, though, how do you keep your little guy warm enough at night with the heat set so low? Ours is set at 68 at night and even with a blanket sleeper, the sleep sack, a hat, and a warm blanket, my 4-month old has icy hands (and often kicks off the blanket).
my T13 is posted as well: http://www.wineplz.com/2007/11/08/thursday-13adventures-in-breastfeeding/

Sleeping Mommy said...

Really great suggestions. Number one would never work for our house though. My husband is too into cars and its actually a big part of how he earns a living too. So we will never be a one car family.

Thanks for visiting my TT today:

http://sleepingmommy.com/?p=408

Jill said...

I think the only one I do is the container thing, instead of ziploc or plastic wrap, but I don't do it every time!!

Sharon said...

Colleen asked: one question, though, how do you keep your little guy warm enough at night with the heat set so low?

Great question. I think our sleeping arrangements contribute a lot for warmth. lol We co-sleep. My 6 month old is next to me, if not in the crook of my arm. Body heat contributes a lot, as well as I do cover him up since he is right next to me. I sleep w/ one of my arms out of the covers and on his belly, so I stop the covers from going over his face or on his neck.

Aside from that, he sleeps in a onesie, heavy footed pjs, and sometimes a sleepsac over that, too.

I'm sure if we weren't co-sleeping, the heat would be on by now!

darcee said...

Thanks for all the ideas.

We too have only one car. This saves us so much both in insurance and maintance.