Recently, I’ve been thinking about ways that I am saving money this year. I’m still doing many of the same things I have done in the past – shopping sales, clipping coupons, requesting freebies, reading frugal books and websites – but I want to do more. Isn’t that what we all want? Simple ways to save a bit more. It seems there is always something more we can do, and that is exactly what I have been pondering.
I took a careful look at our lives and thought about some of the things I am doing differently this year. Maybe you can make some of these changes or maybe you can think of different changes to make. The point I want to make is that there are always easy ways to save a little bit more. Here’s what I am doing.
1. We set our thermostat down to 60 degrees at night and while we are gone during the day. For awhile, we set it down to 58 but then winter struck in full force and we raised it up a bit. An energy article I recently read explained that we will save 5 to 15% (possibly more) on heating bill for doing so. We’ve added an extra blanket to our bed and find that we actually sleep better when it’s cooler at night. It’s an easy way to save money while we sleep! As it gets closer to summer with the change of temperatures, we are going to try to do the opposite.
2. I’m (trying) not to go to the grocery store as often. Please note the key word on this one – trying. There are weeks when I completely skip the grocery store, but to be honest, there are weeks when I still go to several stores. I do all my shopping on one day to minimize gas costs. I still shop the sales whenever I go and use my list. I also work really hard at planning ahead. Because of that, it saves me money (and time) to skip the stores when I already have groceries on hand and the sales are not too exciting.
3. We stopped subscribing to the Sunday newspaper…and resubscribed only for a great deal. Let me explain. The Sunday paper costs $2 now in Fort Wayne. For a year, that adds up to $104. We stopped subscribing because it was going to cost us more than that to have the paper delivered. I decided to pick the paper up myself at the nearby gas station and save the money. After two months of that, the newspaper called and offered to deliver our paper for the $104 – plus give us a $25 gift to the grocery store. I wouldn’t have done it without the added bonus of the Meijer gift card. It just goes to show that a little bit of patience can yield good money saving results!
4. We added our cell phones to my in-law’s family plan. We did this awhile ago and I am so thankful that we did! Thanks to my mother-in-law’s work discount, our cell phone bill for the past year was cut almost in half! We even paid to up the family minutes, but we are still paying substantially less. It’s a win-win because while my in-laws don’t pay any more, we pay a lot less! My husband simply gets online once a month and pays our portion of the cell phone bill. This has been a dramatic source of easy savings.
5. I’m baking our bread. There are several reasons for this one. First, it is simple to do, especially since I have a Kitchen Aid Mixer (that I bought for $60 through our neighborhood want ads years ago), and a bread machine (that I bought for $2 at a church rummage sale). Second, our bread is healthier with no added preservatives. Finally, my homemade bread is much cheaper than store bought because I buy my flour for under $0.35/pound at our bulk food store and my yeast in bulk there, too. The savings taste so good!
What are some of the ways you are saving money this year? Have you thought about that recently?