Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Saving Money 

While I am extremely blessed to have a husband who has an amazing work ethic and a very good job, we have been feeling the effects of a depressed economy. Food and gas are not luxury items, but they might as well be for the prices we are paying for them! I have, over the years, looked for and implemented a variety of ways to save some green, and have decided it's time to do that again. I think we have become a little too relaxed about our spending and have slipped into some less than frugal habits. I want to start with a few simple goals, and once those are in place, move on from there. 

Recently, I purchased Crystal Paine's book, The Money Saving Mom's Budget. I love her practical, encouraging and simple advice. She also blogs at The Money Saving Mom where she shares frugal ideas and inspiration for making your money go farther. I have begun to implement some of her ideas, including some serious decluttering (which has already saved me money when I located some True Value Rewards coupons which I was able to put toward some hardward purchases), as well as getting great ideas about created a food budget. So, I have come up with these goals for the next few weeks and then will  evaluate what to do next when I have checked these off:

  1. Finalize food budget and successfully implement for three months.
  2. Downgrade Netflix to streaming only.
  3. Transition to once a month shopping (except for fresh purchases like produce - these must be cash purchases and budgeted for).
  4. Commit to cash-only spending for three months.
  5. Research getting rid of satellite and replacing with Netflix, Hulu, etc.
  6. Get organized and make a plan for making regular freezer meals.
  7. Add four raised beds to grow more of our own fruits and veggies.
  8. Make improvements to chicken coop and implement a routine for egg collection and cleaning to ramp up egg production.
  9. Eliminate at least one car trip a week (combine trips, carpool, etc...)
  10. Start hanging out several loads of laundry a week.
Hopefully these goals will be easy to achieve. I think with commitment, some organization and planning we be able to save money! How do you hang on to your hard earned dollars?

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