I have been reading Precious' blog, Frugal Makes Sense, for quite some time and decided to join in on the frugal challenge. We are still diligently working towards debt-freedom, but need to put a savings plan into place. Here are a few ways I plan to reduce expenses in order to do that:
~ No magazine purchases except for All You because of the coupons.
~ Cleaners will be homemade except for Pine-sol and bleach.
~ Meals and treats will be homemade. No fast food. Dining out will only be for special occasions, preferably with coupon or gift card.
~ Detail my car myself. I do a much better job than the automatic car wash anyway!
~ We do our own lawn-care.
~ I will not buy any books unless from the thrift store for $1 and then it has to be one I want to keep. Otherwise I plan to make liberal use of the library for my reading pleasure.
~ Since we no longer have Netflix or Blockbuster, we will rent the occasional new release from Redbox for $1.32.
~ We don't play bingo or buy lottery tickets.
~ Only movies seen at the theater will be the free movies for children shown during summer and we will bring our own treats.
~ Stop throwing away leftovers! We will eat them or freeze for future use.
~ Keep thermostat lower in winter & higher in summer.
~ Conserve water by not letting the tap run. Save the cold water while I'm waiting for the hot water in a pitcher to use to water plants, etc.
~ Have Alfred install a clothesline so I can line-dry clothes outside for free and thus reduce the electricity bill.
~ Check thrift & consignment shops and yard sales for clothing and household needs first before buying new - then I will buy at the lowest price for highest quality I possibly can.
~ Begin container gardening this Spring/Summer for our fresh produce needs.
~ Learn how to do the "drugstore game" properly and most cost-effectively.
~ Stockpile using sales combined with coupons.
~ Call the electric company to find out when off-peak rates are & be more mindful to use energy then.
~ Remind our children to keep lights, tv, etc. turned off when not in use.
~ Maintain our vehicles with proper maintenance.
~ I only buy perennials for the flower garden and usually from the discount rack at Lowe's.
~ Use it up, wear it out, and make do.
~ Conserve gas by combining errands one day a week and plan those trips so I'm not running back & forth across town.
~ We will not buy on credit. Cash only!
~ Find free or low-cost activities to enjoy with our children. Day trips to the beach in Summer is by far the most favorite. Winter month activities will be more challenging.
~ Track our spending by using a notebook kept in the car for that exact purpose. Don't forget the pen! :)
So those are a few ways I intend to save money in the new year. Please share your favorite money-saving tip in the comments or a way to save that I have not thought of. I look forward to hearing from you!