Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ways to Save Money

I have been thinking alot about the New Year lately.  The New Year is like a new, fresh start, where I have all of these things that I want to do and learn. Some years, I fail miserably, other years I dont do too bad.  Not only do I have my "2011 Asprirations" already written out and ready to conquer, but I want to try to find ways to save money. 

Todd and I are pretty cheap frugal.  We do pretty well, I think, when it comes to alot of things.  However, there is always room for improvement.  We (aka Todd) spend money at times when we shouldnt or when we dont need to.  So, I've been thinking of ways to help save money into the New Year.

This is what I've come up with:
  • Start searching with Swagbucks while at work (I use Google to search alot and could probably get quite a few points throughout the year) and redeem them for Amazon gift cards to use for gifts throughout the year.
  • Bake more from scratch
  • Use the envelope system as Dave Ramsey teaches for our entertainment budget
  • Stay home and enjoy each other more doing things we already have or things we enjoy doing together
  • Make a small batch of laundry detergent from scratch and use when doing my laundry to help save on buying detergent.
  • Grow veggies that produce alot and take up minimal space (so I can can/freeze more veggies)
  • Buy apple trees when on clearance for our "home orchard."
I bought an adorable plastic coupon/envelope with dividers in it to help with our "cash envelope" system I'd like to put in place.  I was thinking about putting the grocery budget in this as well, but then decided against it.  I like that Todd can go out and pick up some things before work at WalMart if he needs for his lunch (alot of times, it's just lunchmeat) and I can track it with  I can see what we spend per month on groceries really easily using the program.  The main reason I wanted the cash envelope is because we (me) are short-changing ourselves out of the "fun money" we get every month.  We have $100/month to spend together to do fun things.  Well, many months, we dont even spend half of that.  But then I get cheap and tell Todd that we cant go to a baseball game, or a basketball game because I dont want to spend the money.  WE are entitled to go if we want to because we dont spend nearly as much as what's in our entertainment budget.  So...this way, we will accumulate our money throughout the year, and if we want to go on a night out on the town in Cleveland that may cost $250, and we've got the money in the envelope, there is no way I can say, "No, we dont have the money."  It will be right there for both of us to see.

Staying home and enjoying each other - I would like to do that alot more.  I have really been lacking in the bedroom with my husband (TMI!)  I would like to enjoy one another again openly and freely without any restraints. Maybe we can commit to one day a week, just him and I, in the bedroom, nothing else.  Breakfast/Lunch & Dinner in bed.  Not only in the bedroom, but also just here around the house.  I miss playing Wii Sports with him, or watching a movie with no interuptions (internet or animals.) I would like for us to start reading the Bible together and talk about whatever is on our minds.  I would also like to help Todd out with some of the home improvements around the house.  All of this, which costs nothing (unless we get pregnant.) 

I have made my own liquid laundry detergent in the past for the both of us to use.  Todd works hard, and gets REALLY dirty.  Not only at work, but around the house.  He has mentioned that he didnt like using the homemade detergent.  That is fine.  We wash our clothes seperately (most of the time) anyways.  So, I was thinking that if I make a small batch of detergent, I could use it to use my laundry and towels, and then we can use the regular detergent for his dirty, nasty clothes.  This way, we're not spending alot on detergent throughout the year, and I am a little more earth-friendly with my wash.

In 2010, I had a whole row on green beans.  We love greenbeans in our house.  Todd loves them fresh (I liked canned until I found out how great fresh can be from the garden this year!)  Those greenbeans took up a whole row in our garden.  I had planted bush beans.  The same goes for the roma tomatoes.  I planted a whole row, and then some of the larger variety on a trellis.  Those two things took up about half of the garden space I had.  I was informed that roma's were best for sauces.  Well, there were just too many of them, and they were alot of work.  So, this year, we will have lots and lots of tomatoes, but they will be on a trellis.  The same goes with the green beans.  I will buy the trellis variety this year and have several of them.  There is alot more room in the garden when veggies grow UPWARD instead of out. 

As for the trees, last year, we bought 1 apricot tree, 1 dwarf plum and 2 pear trees at a fraction of the cost (at the end of the season - Father's Day.)  We love apples.  Squiggy eats them, Lana eats them, we eat them...everyone loves them.  I'd like to purchase apple trees around Father's Day and plant them so that in a few years, we will have apples to pick.  We could have bought some in 2010, but I wasnt very comfortable with even the 4 trees we bought.  I didnt know how to take care of them, or if they'd ever produce fruit.  I'm not sure if the trees we bought will produce, but I know what I need to do to help them along.  What's another 2-4 trees, right?

While we are on the topic of fruits, I would also like to put in a row on blueberry bushes in the back of the house.  I want to be picking fruits/veggies throughout the whole season!  From Spring (strawberries) through Fall (Apples & Blueberries!)

Do you have any other suggestions on how we can save money in 2011?

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you have some great ideas for saving money! When you are already frugal it's hard to find new ways to save...good job!!