Post # 1
Or wedding is inching closer and while looking over our finances we are going to be cutting it tight. The truth is, even though we’ve been working our butts off to save money for our big day, working two jobs that aren’t providing that much money is not really helping. We’ll make it, but it’s going to be tough.
So far, I’ve been able to cut my car insurance in half. I’m not sure how I was paying so much, but today I switched to a reputable company, and got more benefits for much much less.
We tried to cut the phone bill down but the company we tried out for a week didn’t give us coverage in our basement. Our phone company is insisting that $108 isn’t that much for only 750 minutes and unlimited texting. I went over to my current phone company and told them what another company was offering but he played stupid and acted like I was wrong.
Luckily both of our cars are paid off. And we are living rent free with relatives right now. We don’t go out to eat (really really try) and we don’t have any other real bills accept for groceries. I’m trying to talk to my aunt about coupons but I’m definitely new at that. I feel like I’m spending an arm and a leg on things (even though we try to spend at little as possible and only buy necessities–no sweets and little little junk).
So, anyone have suggestions on how to cut back on toiletries and groceries? We are going to use the points we’ve gotten for using our debit card (our bank offered points for each dollar spent) towards gas to help with that, too.
Post # 3
Check out hip2save – she runs a great blog and teaches you how to coupon plus does deal matchups for each week sale items with coupons!
Post # 4
I feel the day inching closer too 😉
Okay so what is your biggest expense right now? Gas? Food? Cable/internet/phones?
I see you have rent taken care of which is awesome and your cars are paid off. You cut your insurance in half which is amazing.
Post # 5
This website is really great for beginning couponers: http://thekrazycouponlady.com/
It takes awhile to get into the swing of couponing, because you don’t want to buy stuff not on sale, but sometimes you have to wait longer than you want to. Once you’ve been at it for a few months and start to build a “stockpile” you’ll never want to spend retail on toothpaste or shampoo again! I’m not an extreme couponer by any means (I only do toiletries, and my stockpile all fits under the bathroom sink), but it was an adjustment for my husband when he moved in and I would tell him I couldn’t buy something because it wasn’t on sale yet. For me, CVS is where I get the best deals (getting a subscription to the Sunday paper is key…trust me, you pay off the $1.50 the subscription costs if you just use two or three coupons in a given week).
To save money, we’ve been really trying to cut back on our car trips. I only drive to the grocery store once a week; any other trips have to be on my way home from work, or I walk. Whenever I have to go run errands, I wait until I have a few and can do them all in the same trip. It sounds stupid, but if you drive 5 miles round trip on each errand, and do one a day instead of doing them all together, you are driving 35 miles versus 5; that’s a gallon of gas right there.
Post # 6
@Eva Peron:I’m going to say the biggest expense is tied between the phones and the groceries. I, for a split second, thought of seeing if we could cut back on texting but I’m the major texting and I don’t think that would work at all. I’ve been realllly trying to cook more at home so I’ll buy a big bag of boneless chicken breasts, some pork chops, and a few sides (like green bean casserole) and spread it out throughout the week. Our family makes extra food if they cook at home and offer it to us so that helps too!
We don’t have to pay for internet or cable either so that’s good.
Post # 7
We save money by not paying for cable. We just get the free channels and watch shows on-line.
To save money on groceries, which a big exense for a family of four. We write out our meals each week and buy foor just for those meals. Like we will get 3lbs of hamburger, it usually goes on sale for 3+ lbs, and have tacos one night anad then hamburgers the next. Planning meals out means we don’t have food spoiling and we don’t feel ruched to throw a meal together-much kess likely to eat out.
Meals made of noodles with vegtable and small bites of meal and a side of bead is really cheap compared to a meat based meal. Left overs for lunch also cuts down on the grocery bill.
Post # 8
This isn’t super helpful for your present day – but more for the future. We were in a similar boat saving for the wedding. I started doing comparison shopping on groceries and eliminating things that were costing us a lot of money.
The other thing I would do is figure out where the bulk of your money is going and see what you can cut out or switch to no-name brands that cost less.
For us, the REAL problem was that we needed to earn more not spend less. I mean – you can only cut out SO much. It seems like you may know this – but, when it finally dawned on me – it was a really freeing realization (vs. being something oppressive).
Post # 9
@SweetRose2011: since groceries are the biggest thing – maybe work out a system with the family – so you can all share grocery expenses. Would that help? I know that when I lived with other people we ended up sharing and splitting up grocery costs and it really cut things down.
Post # 10
@SweetRose2011: What company did you try for your cell phone? There are devices that can plug into a cable moden (if you have highspeed internet at home) that is supposed to help boost the signal. I’m with Sprint and just got one from them for free by telling them I dont get good reception at home.
Post # 11
@SweetRose2011: You could try cutting back on meat – a meal based around beans/chickpeas/lentils/etc and grains is cheaper (and healthier) than a meal based around meat.
You may already do this, but pack a lunch for work instead of buying it out.
Post # 12
@SweetRose2011: Cell phones can be the devil! So do you each work two jobs or is it just you? How far are your commutes?
Can you guys get prepaid phones with the minutes, does that help or is a legit plan more economical?
Seems like you have it pretty good bill wise just working hard at jobs that pay little so it really makes it rough. Do these jobs help pay for your wedding or is that taken care of and now you just are having trouble scraping buy with the bills due to the wedding?
Post # 13
@oracle:That sounds like a wonderful idea but the other members of the family eat completely different. His brother is trying to body build right now so he’s eating strictly protein diet and his parents are super picky eaters. I’ve tried cooking and offering them food before and she said it sounded gross.
@pinkshoes: We tried t-mobile. We had returned the phones saying we weren’t getting reception and they didn’t mention this idea.
@Eva Peron:We are currently still paying for the wedding. I think what is the hardest thing with our jobs right now is that without having bachelors degrees, and the economy where we live being awful, we’re struggling. We’ve tried to keep things that we don’t need need as low cost as possible. We’re both only working one job. We’ve talking about getting a second but with his schedule that wouldn’t work out (he only works part time at a bank. The bank offered him more hours by working at two locations but they couldn’t work it out.) I won’t be able to start the new job until December.
Post # 14
I started buying less expensive toiletries all together and try to make them last longer. I used to use brands like origins, kiehls, kerastase, aveda, etc. but now all of my personal care products can be purchased at CVS. And I make an effort to actually use every last drop before replacing it. That has helped a lot with both the total amount spent on personal care and the frequency of purchases.
Post # 15
I save, on average, about $75 bucks on every grocery trip just by couponing. Start small, see if there are any free couponing classes in your area. It takes a little time, but I’m really getting into it and love racking up the savings!
Post # 16
We went from two cars, to one car and that was major, but a big expense cutter right there. And we are more efficient with our shopping habits. I plan out our menu for the week, and watch the ads, and coupon religiously. When we grocery shop we stick to a list. One trip to the grocery store a week-no exceptions. Just this rule cut way down on impulse spending. Instead of a night out, we will invite friends or family over for cards or boardgames, and potluck it. We have cut going out way, way down. Usually if we go out to eat, we utilize an entertainment coupon (our entertainment book has paid for itself several times over.) I go a few extra weeks between haircuts, and I started trimming my Fiance hair (after I watched several hair cutting tutorials on YouTube!). I color my own hair, too. At the moment we live in an apartment, so we normally have to pay to do laundry. We worked out a deal with my FIs parents to cut their lawn in return for letting us do laundry at their house. That works for everyone.