Post # 1
Ok ladies. So, we all know weddings are expensive, we are still paying on ours, along with our other bills. We have some wonderful money saving techniques, but we are wondering where else we can save?….like obvious places. And I mean in the grocery frame of mind. What I want to know are your top 3 money saving ideas. Ours are:
#1 Mixing the regular laundry detergent witht the cheap stuff, 3 parts reg to 1 part cheap
#2 Mixing cheap lotion (like the store version of Aveeno) with cortizone instead of using an expensive lotion or a bottle or cortizone a week….. p.s., I have itchy skin
#3 Never ever ever buying a case of diet drinks without them being on a sale of buy 2 get 3 free. These sales come every 6 weeks and rotate with our local stores, we stock up. We drink about a case a week between us and friends on the weekends.
Those are my 3, I’m wondering what yours are so I can incorperate them. Sometimes I just have a feeling that I’m missing obvious savings, like the 3 above (and without using coupons, I got that part down to a science )
Post # 3
1) Don’t buy convenient food (microwave rice, parboiled pasta, ground meat products, dressings…) – buying basic ingredients is cheaper and often much healthier way to cook/eat.
2) Do change your meal plans based on what is available – if you are craving a broccoli soup and they have a fresh, lovely and cheaper cauliflower twice as big as the three days old broccoli – buy the cauliflower! Make cauliflower soup, cauliflower stir fry and cauliflower mash with it – you will end up with more meals for less.
3) Portion control! You would be amazed how little is needed to provide all the nutrition we need – by eating according to the recomended portion sizes, you are not only doing your health a huge favor, you are also going to save a surprisingly large amount of money 😉
Post # 4
I buy Fresh herbs, wash them, chop them up and freeze them – I was spending 3 euros a week on herbs which I would end up throwing away because they’d go soggy – now 3 euros a month max?
DVD Nights no longer mean DVD Rental – We swap with friends, a saving of 2 Euros a week.
Bread – again we are only 2 people and a loaf would end up going stale before we finish it. I buy one, cut it in half and freeze it.
When washing dishes by hand, use a quarter of the soap you’d usually use and add vinegar – it makes a little soap go a very, very long way.
Go grocery shopping with a list – before going sit down and think of the week ahead and plan meals – you cut out a lot of crap.
Also plan ahead with cooking – I know it’s hard to find time to cook every evening, but if you cook 2 different meals, and enough for every 4 days, and using as much fresh products as you can you will see a big saving. I find that fresh products work out a hell of a lot cheaper in the long run.
If you don’t have far to go – walk (Fuel here is VERY expensive, but since Christmas because we avoid using the car we’ve only put in 70 Euros)
Limit how many times a week you eat meat – again a massive saving!
Change your bulbs to energy saving ones.
Only switch the hot water on when you want a shower – no point having it boiling away without reason.
And that’s some of the things that lead to me being called Mrs Stingy.
Post # 5
Decide what is really needed vs what is wanted. Purchase only hwat is needed.
The lotion for your itchy skin is needed. The soda is only wanted. None of us needs soda- water will quench just as well- better actually.
It may seem like these are small savings, but they do add up.
Post # 6
1. Coupon for what you need (not what you want or crap foods). I have probably saved close to $2000 by “stockpiling” a 6 month supply of toilet paper, laundry soap, shampoos, shaving cream, razors, paper towels, coffee, dish soap, etc by combining sales with coupons. Am I a crazy couponer? No! But I usually use 2-3 coupons when I shop.
2. Stock up on what’s on sale and figure out what freezes well. I freeze cheese, onions (chopped), milk and more. It’s awesome! I buy about 2 months worth of the item when it’s on sale and, “tada!” free money in my pocket when I don’t have to buy cheese at $9 later on because we ran out.
3. You only need 1/2 – 1/4 of the laundry soap that companies suggest. I not only promise this is true, and will get your clothes clean, but it will actually let you have TWICE as many loads per bottle. I swear 😉
4. UNPLUG unused electronics. They did a study around here a long time ago and I clearly remember that a video game machine that was not turned on (just plugged into the wall) was costing the homeowners close to $30 a year in electricity. Every electronic that is plugged in draws SOME current, and some (like video games that cannot fully shut down without losing scores, etc) draw a lot more. If you unplug that tv in the basement that you use once a month until you need it, or unplug that weird lamp no one touches, you might see energy savings.
Post # 7
@takemyhand: To build on that, place all your electronics on a power bar. Shut it off when you are done. Yes, it takes a minute to power up or reprogram the TV when you turn it of, but that is nothing.
Phantom power is the term that covers all the electricity used in a household by appliances and electronics that are not in use. All those glowing red buttons are using electricity. Our electric company states that you can save 15% a year on your electric bill using this method alone.
Post # 8
Meat free Wednesday- or stretch it to two or three days if you can live with it- meat is an expensive part of the grocery bill. Try a meat free stirfry or substitute meat for lentils in a sheperds/cottage pie.
Make your own cleaning products- Eucalyptus is a great disinfectant as well as tee tree oil, bi-carb soda, metholated spirits are all good cleaning tools. There is this British show called how clean is your house and they have some great more natural home cleaning ideas on their website.
Post # 9
Only drink water!!
You don’t need alcohol or soda. You can get by perfectly well on water and it’s free! (or rather it is for me as I drink from the tap!)
Use white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda for cleaning. So much cheaper and works exactly the same.
Use a bottle of cheap nasty coke to clean your toilet! i know this sounds strange, but coke takes away everything.
Do you have an iPhone? download a free Spend-O-Meter. it’s amazing how much a few pounds here and there really adds up.
Spend Sunday making your meals for the week. Never buy convenience meals and never buy lunch at work.
Stop snacking – again, food that isn’t essential.
Remember that some cheap things are a false economy and cheap washing up liquid doesn’t last as long as the more expensive stuff.
If you think something’s cheaper because you get more for your money – ask yourself if you really need it. toothpaste? yes. olives? no. go for the cheaper olives even if there are less in the jar. are you really going to eat the whole jar? or will you just eat it because you bought it?
Take a look at local websites to find free events that are going on during the weekend. Go on long walks and pack a picnic or a hot flask of tea. All free things to do to keep you entertained 🙂
Post # 10
These are awesome ladies Thanks for starting this, it will be definitely usefull for me and I’m sure for many other Bees.
Post # 11
I second the person who said meal planning! We make up our menu with leftovers in mind so we have as little waste as possible. If we have Panini’s on Monday the leftover french bread becomes garlic bread for manicotti the next night. We also buy stuff in bulk when it’s cheaper, like the big can of oatmeal instead of packets.
Check to see if there is an Aldi store near you. They are very inexpensive, last weekend they had eggs on sale for .69 and strawberries were .49/pint. They also have cheap milk. If you can find a store like that near you buy whatever you can there and then go to the grocery store to pick up the other things on your list.
Carpool if possible. Fiance and I live in the same apt complex and work near each other so this is really convenient for us. His car is currently getting 8mpg (going to the shop this weekend). This saves about $60/week or the cost to fill up his jeep.
Set a grocery budget and challenge yourself to stick to it! Our is $50/week, you’d be surprised at how far you can stretch it with sales and coupons!
Post # 12
1) Coupon cutting. I hate doing it, but love the little thing at the bottom of my grocery bill that says “You’ve saved…$XX.XX!”
2) Our piggy banks. We both have one. Fiance puts all quarters in his and I put all change besides pennies in mine. We use it as little gifts for ourselves (ie. I’m planning on buying my wedding shoes with mine. I’m currently up to $85. My last batch got up to $180) but it could just as easily be used for random bills or household costs that come up.
3) Cheap, cheap clothing. Yup. I buy $10 shirts and spending over $40 on jeans makes me want to cry. Does it save us a ton in the long run? No, but when I have to go shopping I probably spend about $150 compared to the $500 I could spend on the same type of stuff at higher end department stores.
Post # 13
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
The buy two get three free sale on carbonated beverages is my favorite 🙂 But, we started just buying one 2-liter. It’s healther, and still cheaper.
Our biggest saving technique is living on cash- your debit card is not the same. (we’ve just started, though. we had a bit of fun lately…) We withdraw our grocery money (it’s the most we spend), fun money, eating out money, and stupid spending money, and we put it all in separate envelopes. That way, when the cash is gone, we’re done! It actually makes you spend even less because you don’t want to run out.
And yes, meal planning is essential. Every Sunday we decide our meals and to the grocery together. We spend so much less since we know what we need. Also, we have a list of “cheap meals.” We pull one meal from that each week, and sometimes, if we have a lot of fun planned, we’ll have a “cheap week,” filled with those meals. I don’t mean Ramen, but we’ll have tacos or soup and even grilled cheese with apple slices. We spend the most on food, so we’re focusing on cutting those costs– as grocery prices continue to rise.
Post # 14
@SunnyBunny: Aldi is the BEST.STORE.EVER!!! You can’t get everything there, but I always go there first, and only go to the regular grocery store for things Aldi doesn’t have. Everything is SO CHEAP and the food is actually just as good or better than at the regular store. Also, there sales and specials are crazy. You never know what you are gonna find in there! I go all the time.
Post # 15
Groupon and Living Social! They have lots of great deals, if you’re not already registered.
Post # 16
I know I need to get better at this, I don’t use coupons or bargain products as much as I should, so I’m carefully reading each of your suggestions. I do sometimes make my own cleaning products, baking soda and white vinegar will clean about anything. I do try by doing the following things:
Meal planning and taking leftovers for lunch
Cutting out junk food, it’s expensive and unhealthy, double whammy
Pay myself first, i.e., automatic deposit to savings from every paycheck
We’ve cut back on going out every single Friday and Saturday night to around twice a month instead, saves gas and $$ on alcohol and food
Neither of us are huge eaters so sometimes we share food at a restaurant, less calories and $$
Walk or bike instead of drive, if possible
Take advantage of free/low cost entertainment such as parks, museums, arboretums, etc.
ETA: I have learned recently that some store brands of certain items are actually quite good!