There are 3 ways you can save money by incorporating the following. Combine errands, visit your local library, and reverse menu planning.
First off, I always plan a day to run errands. With 3 small children at home, this is critical because I know I have to drag them along... The closest big town is about 40 minutes one way, so to save gas I make a list of every place I need to go and hit those spots. I never run in to town for something minor, this would burn too much gas and cost me more in the end.
For example, my daughter's guitar needed 2 strings replaced. The closest music store is 40 minutes away, so I put the guitar in my van and kept it there so that the next time when I headed that way I would replace the strings. Last week when I put my computer in the shop I made the 40 minute trip worth my while. I dropped off my computer, got the guitar fixed, made a drop off at the library on the way, picked up information from parks and recreation, and carried out 3 other errands while I was out. We made a day out of it and it was worth my while. Having a list made it possible to remember all the stops and complete my tasks.
Next, we live in the library. We use the library to not only borrow books but also to borrow movies. We do not have cable or the monthly charge that comes with it, nor do I run out and buy expensive dvd's. I am not in the business of giving money away, at least not consumer debt. Borrowing movies is much cheaper than paying a cable bill every single month or shelling out $20 for a new dvd.
Also it makes my life easier to go to the library and choose what the children will watch, cable is just too much work. With borrowed dvd's I can control what goes in to my children's ears and eyes. I don't want my daughter to have a distorted image of beauty (this is another blog) and even the children's networks have inappropriate themes at times. Why pay for all of this when I can borrow (free of charge) wholesome movies we can all watch.
Finally, reverse menu planning, I love it! Typically with menu planning you plan your meals and then you make your list and get shopping. With reverse menu planning you use what you already have and save the grocery trip for another time.
So this is what I do. I look in my pantry and fridge, make a list of what I have, and then plan my menu around my list. Living on ONE income with a family of FIVE, you learn how to save money and not run to the grocery store every other day. I'll blog about this later.
Whatever I have on hand is what I fix. I started this because I noticed that food will get pushed back into the pantry and never be used, the same with the fridge. Just this week I did inventory and found 6 dozen eggs, that's right 6 dozen eggs! Two of them are about to expire. It's only 5 of us and we don't need that many eggs. Now I won't say who brought all of these eggs in order to protect HIS identity...
What will I do with 6 dozen eggs? Let's see, egg salad, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, egg sandwiches, omelets. I will consult google to get egg recipes, I suppose this will be an "eggceptional" week! The point is to use what I have already and save money. Doing this can foster creativity as well as eliminate waste.
I hope some of this will help you keep some hard earned money in your pocket as there is much competition to take it out. Please share your tips on saving money, it will be greatly appreciated!
Remember, those pennies saved add up.
everyday talk for everyday women