Friday, January 27, 2012

Saving Money

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As the month winds down, I find myself reflecting on our spending for the month. Let me be blunt and upfront- I have by no means calculated how much we have spent this month, not including our typical bills. But, I will tell you that it feels significantly less than previous months, and I think that is due to a variety of reasons.

1- I am subbing for the time being, but haven't had that many jobs. So, my traveling has been cut down significantly. This means that I have not had to get gas as much because I am either home most of the day and don't have to drive anywhere, or I walk around town to run my errands (the ones that are in walking distance). [this has been a side effect of a situation- not something intentional]

2- Hubby and I have not gone out to stores, just to walk around much, if at all. This has eliminated the impulse purchases that we tend to have. I will say that this has been harder for me than for him. What can I say- I'm a girl! I haven't gone to craft stores just to get inspiration (then ending up buying something!), nor have I made any trips to random other favorite stores. When we were testing amounts of time to leave the pup at home alone without her crate, I had to leave the house for hours at a time. I did go to stores at those times, but, I didn't buy anything, unless it was on my grocery list for the week and I found a great deal!

3- Back to those impulse purchases: The times I have gone to stores to try the pup home alone, I would pick up something that I wanted at the store and put it in my cart. But, I took my time walking through, thinking about my upcoming purchase. I always ended up deciding that I was going to hold off on the purchase- because it wasn't something that I needed. I am going to say it- I am proud of myself for this, because it doesn't tend to happen this way! Also, as far as craft stores go- I have more than enough supplies at home to hold me over. It's like food- my eyes are bigger than my budget. I have been working on things I already have the supplies for, repurposing items, and reusing what I already have!

4- Last year, in preparation for me to be student teaching and unemployed, I started. couponing. This has helped, especially in the toiletries department. We stocked up on shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotions, toothpastes, etc. We haven't had to buy those in months, and are still set to go for quite a while more.

5- I have used the same coupon process for groceries, but have not been quite as successful- but that's ok. With growing my own vegetables last year, I was able to put up a lot, which has offset the cost of many staple items in our house. Also, we have been cooking meals from items we have at already, instead of having to make "impulse" grocery trips.

6- Eating at home. The hubby and I enjoy eating out. It's nice to not have to cook (which is a new experience for me anyway), and the food is more "enjoyable" because it isn't our typical menu. However, this month, I think we only ate out once, and only order pizza once (unheard of for us)! This has also been great for my New Year's Resolution of eating healthier!

I'm sure there are numerous other ways that we have tried to cut spending. I am hopeful that this will continue, even after I start to get busier with work and classes. It has been a test of my mind and impulses, but I am up for the challenge!

What are some ways that you have cut spending?

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