Friday, May 20, 2011

Easy ways I trimmed my budget.

  • I keep track of what I spend. You may think "well how is that trimming your budget?" Try it. And you'll know. Once you see how much is spent unnecessarily, You'll be inspired to stop. 
  • We have one T.V. with cable. We have VERY basic cable and not the fastest internet. No DVR, no movie channels, nothing extra.
  • We don't have a house phone. 
  • I turned the thermostat from 73 to 78 and watched my electric bill go from $400 a month to $111. no joke.
  • I try to limit my driving. If I know I have to go to the other side of town for something I try to do everything I need to do or will need to do on that side of town in one day instead of driving there twice.
  • I don't buy pre packaged snack foods. It saves tons to make the kids healthy snacks. Like fruits and veggies.
  • We don't eat out hardly at all. And when we do go, we usually have a gift card or something. But try ordering your meal from the kids menu. It's way cheaper and it's plenty of food. Mike and I usually get out of Outback steakhouse for $20. tip included. Mike gets a bacon cheeseburger, I get a kids chicken breast, and we eat tons of free bread! And free water! LOL. {Ashlar I know your laughing at this.} Mike and I embarrass people because we're so cheap sometimes.  I don't care. One night we went to Capital Grill not knowing how expensive it was and I told Mike nothing even looked good on the menu and he said then lets go. This was after they had brought our water and bread. We hadn't eaten any, and got up and left. Mike and I both had the feeling that we either get up and feel bad/ dumb leaving, or we could feel bad/dumb about spending $100 on one meal. So we left and opted for wendys or chick fil a, I can't remember.  Which brings me to my next point.
  • Be honest with yourself, and with others. If someone invites you to dinner or another activity with them and you don't have the money to spend on it, just say so. Shoot, even if you do have the money and just don't want to spend it. Don't feel obligated...ever.
  • Give up something you think you can't live without. Mike has learned to live without fast food.
  • Set a budget and stick to it. Use cash and you'll soon learn to determine needs from wants.
  • I know this might sound mean, but we took our kids extra activities out. No Karate, no dance, no swim lessons. My kids are small, so this is do-able. If they were bigger I would maybe just make them pick one, instead of 2 or 3 per kid. 
  • Lower your car payment. Get a cheaper car. I'm sure Mike would LOVE his truck back, but the payments were more, and the gas was insane.
  • Buy second hand. SAY WHAT???? Yep. Try it. Just be picky, don't buy stuff that looks worn out, I get really lucky at kids consignment shops for clothes, shoes, toys, and all the other junk kids come along with. Besides, the day after you get it brand new the kids destroy it anyways.
  • I cut Mikes and the kids hair. And I color my own, Using hair dye or bleach for highlights that I've gotten super cheap or free with coupons.
  • We don't go to the dry cleaners hardly ever anymore. Invest in a home dry cleaning product instead. That way your taking just a few things every once in a while. Like suits.
  • WE don't have video games or blue ray. Heck we still have a VHS. Yes we have a dvd player too, but we have a lot of movies on vhs and the kids dont care if its high def.
  • Try couponing. But don't make the mistake of buying things you'll never use, Because you'll end up spending $300 and only saving $25 in coupon. Do the research and do it right.
  • Use cash, and bigger bills (20s and up). It’s a mind thing… ninety dollars on your debit card isn’t a big deal, but breaking a 100 bill and only getting nine dollars? Yeah, you’ll rethink that purchase!
 How do y'all pinch pennies? I'm all about new ways to save some more money!


  1. I love these types of ideas! I just made a posting not too long ago about how to stretch things in the household to save money. It started with me patting myself on the back for thinking to cut my facial wipes in half so they would last twice as long. I love the Aveeno Positively Radiant which is already about $6 at Wal-Mart, and then I just cut them in half! Easy peesy....and I hardly have to buy them. Then a friend told me that if you get the foaming soap pumps you just fill them up with a third of soap and the rest with water and that is how you get the foamy soap. I had no idea! I was buying my refills for the regular soap and since my kids LOVE playing with the soap I am constantly running out. Now I have a way to make it last a lot longer. And we don't have cable or satellite at all. We got Netflix which is $8 a month and an antennae for local channels. We watch our shows through the computer most of the time anyway. Thanks for your ideas!

  2. Kara I love that Idea! I gave up face wipes because they are so expensive! I wonder what else I could cut in half...