Saturday, April 9, 2011

Not out of the woods......yet

Just because we didn't go into a shut down, doesn't mean we're out of the woods. Personally, my family needs to learn to be more frugal. We've changed our spending habits a lot over the last year, but we still have a long way to go. Here are some of the things we did to change over the last year, we've saved a lot of money doing this.

  • We canceled our cable. We pay $7.99 a month for Hulu + and we pay $10 for netflix, we also bought an antenna from wal-mart and we get local channels like NBC and CBS (savings $45)
  • We don't rent movies from movie stores, if there is one we need to have RIGHT now we use Redbox ($1 + tax/night), but in general we wait for netflix
  • If I have to buy a movie, I find movies on sale, like I bought "tangled" on Blu-ray from Amazon for $15 instead of $30
  • We are able to go to free movies on base, so we don't go to the theater ever (except one time with the young retiree and we paid out the butt for that one! $11 for a ticket + we split popcorn and sodas and still paid $10 each!
  • When our tax return came, we paid off bills, each bought 1 big toy, and then put the rest in savings (which we had to use when our %#^*^ car broke down)
  • I do a majority of the cooking at home. Yes we still go out to eat more than we should, but I mostly cook at home
  • I meal plan - breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and dessert. I don't necessarily make then in the order I have on the calendar but I make only that each week
  • I try to make 2 meals out of 1 meal. Example - I will make a pot roast on Sunday - on Monday we'll have shredded beef enchilada's. I make roast chicken on Tuesday, on Wednesday we'll have chicken salad or chicken pot pies (or even a couple days later, mix it up a bit!)
  • I make a lot of homemade breads
  • I use our crock pot a lot, at least once a week, and that makes more than enough for leftoevers
  • I buy club packs of chicken breasts and separate them myself
  • I try not to drive if I can walk 
  • We have date nights in -- "fancy" dinner and a movie after Goose goes to bed
  • We pay an extra $10 a month on our phones for unlimited texts (instead of paying out the nose for going over)
  • I use the 2 in 1 shampoo, it actually does save you money
  • We buy generic whenever we can - for everything!
  • Toilet paper from Costco saves us a TON of money
  • Dollar stores are great, use them for stuff you could buy somewhere else. Hey, saving 50 cents is saving 50 cents
  • We do buy soda in the boxes, but we don't buy them separately anymore. Having to pay tax + CRV is too much for us. 
  • When we first moved here, we bought passes to the Zoo. Best $100 we ever spent. I seriously recommend spending the money to buy family passes to anywhere, we can go to the zoo for an hour and leave without wasting any money!!
We need to change a lot more in our house. And even though we're getting paid on the 15th we still need to have more provisions in place for the future. I can not be worried about how we're going to survive anymore. It's stressing me out to the max, and I'm sure Sailor Man is ready for me to be over it. I have a couple more "frugal" posts coming, so please keep stopping by!

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    ♥ Elizabeth said...

    Ummm, Costco is my lover. Except on the weekends!!! Now that we're in a house and not an apartment, I have more paper towels and toilet paper than any one person should ever be allowed to have. I'm set through deployment. In fact, I haven't had to buy papertowels at all during ths deployment :D I love my garage! I also bought some jeans and a funny hawaiian shirt for hubs there last time!

    Also, I am definitely not doing cable once hubs comes home. If I can survive this long, I know we both can. Definitely looking into an antena though- local channels come in clear and good? We do normal hulu. Is the plus really worth it?

    No Model Lady said...

    I totally agree. American's don't like being told that we live outside our means, but we do. We've sold our 2nd car and started trimming our spending, but our savings would not have carried us through a shutdown and that's scary. We still have far too much debt for mu comfort level and we don't even have much compared to many of our friends. I recently saw a bumper sticker that read "Being in debt is normal. Be weird." That about sums it up.

    Katy said...

    I never buy soda. What does "Having to pay tax + CRV is too much for us. " mean?

    Obviously, it doesn't really make a difference (since, I don't buy it anyway), but it is now really bugging me.

    Cat said...

    Those are some really good starting tips for frugality. We use an antenna for our TV too, and we decided not to subscribe to Hulu or Netflix. I get almost all of my movie rentals (and TV seasons sometimes) from the public library for free! It definitely depends on your local system on selection, but this system here is tiny, and they've had some great stuff that I can just put on hold.

    Menu planning, crock pot, and homemade breads are all awesome ways as well! I can't wait to see your other frugal tips.

    Sailor's Wife said...

    Katy-- When you buy an individual soda from a fridge near the register you pay for the soda + tax + CRV in California.

    Sailor's Wife said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Sailor's Wife said...

    Gah.. sorry. OK so as far as I can tell from looking at our receipt we don't pay CRV at the commissary. If you buy outside of base you pay for the product + tax + CRV.

    Hulu+ I like a lot. They don't have ALL the shows I want but they have a good variety, and with the + part they have more than just the last couple episodes. I use Netflix for almost everything else, older shows mostly.

    Our library has an EXCELLENT book selection, but not so much on the movie side. Netflix for us is the best because of the instant streaming, and all the kid shows that are available that way (Dora, Blues Clues, Barney...).

    Photina said...

    These are tips we have started doing. Cable got cut. We buy generic instead of name brand. I stalk up on bulk items when they go on sale. And we review where all our money goes. I put away money each payday for our savings and it's still not anywhere near where I want to be. With this scare I realized that I have enough food in our food storage to last us about a month. Which makes me want to stalk up more.

    Nicole said...

    I love love love these tips! I follow most of them except for the Cable thing. I probably could get away with canceling it, but sometimes I like just lounging to the boob-tube haha

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