Thursday, November 13, 2008

Frugal Fridays 11-14-08

While the economy has not really affected our family personally yet, we are trying to tighten up the reins so to speak to ride this out for however long it may last. Thankfully we have no debt other than our home. However, with one in college, three in high school that has its own challenges.

There are just some things that you can't cut out as a parent. For instance the cost to attend football and basketball games when your child is playing. Each week there was a jr. varsity and varsity football games. That means for our family to attend the entrance fees 20.00 for the jr. varsity and about the same amount for the varsity games. That is around 40.00 a week to watch your child play their sport! This can really add up when there is around nine weeks of football and now they are in the playoffs!

We have been trying to limit the meals out and all the running around. In my mind, I am still trying to act like gas is almost 4.00 a gallon instead of the 1.81 I saw today.

I have been taking my lunch to work and eating there instead of driving the mile or so home to eat. I started this when the gas prices skyrocketed and while some days it is really hard to stay at work all that time I know there are people that commute in and they do not have the luxury of going home for lunch. I have tried to stay out of the shops around campus and have spent my time working on my coupons during the lunch hour.

We have also not turned on our heat yet. We need to probably this coming week but for now we have just added another blanket on the beds. We have not used the air conditioner either since September. Our home has not been hot so that has not been a problem. Our bill this month showed a significant savings.

The next thing we are considering getting rid of is our cable...or at least go back to basic cable. This is something I am still toying with right now.

I have stepped up my coupon usage and get quite excited about the savings we have been experiencing. My college age son has jumped on the coupon bandwagon and for that I am grateful. I guess that proves the more is caught than taught theory.

Here are a few more things we are doing to conserve and sock money away:
We are not buying magazines anymore. We read them at the library or enjoy sitting at Barnes and Noble.

I check out each week to see which coupons will be in the local paper so I know how many papers to buy. Just two weeks ago I knew we needed to buy at least five papers because inside there were two coupons worth 1.50 each off our favorite soy milk. Those coupons paid for the papers and besides there were numerous other coupons we use each week.

We are vigilant about turning off our lights and making sure the kids unplug their phone chargers and the like. I did not realize how much electricity they truly pull when left plugged into the socket.

After Christmas we are implementing a no spend month (or two) with some set boundaries in order to sock away more cash.

I am working on my black friday plan to finish up Christmas and buy any gifts that are needed in the first six months of next year. You can check out all the Black Friday ads at Gotta Deal look for the Black Friday button.

We are setting aside money to use for the after Christmas sales to replenish our gift closet. If we need to replace Christmas lights or decorations I never do it before Christmas. I plan for the next year and buy them afterwards.

For more frugal ideas check out Frugal Fridays at Biblical Womanhood.

1 comment:

Mom2fur said...

Speaking of electrity bills, if you haven't replaced any appliances in recent years, you might want to start saving up towards a new fridge, washer or whatever. Why? Because today's 'big toys' are so much more energy efficient than those of yesterday. When we got a new fridge, we were using the old one for extra storage. But then we got rid of it and replaced it with a chest freezer. Do you electricity bill dropped $60 a month? What we saved there more than paid for the freezer. We only paid $150 for it, but it's a great place to store good buys from the grocery!
I buy 'new' Christmas goodies after the holidays, too! Then, next year, I find all kinds of surprises stored away!