Money Saving May
It's May 1st and this month and I have joined Karen's challenge to see how little I can spend...of course things like the mortgage, electric, etc, are a must so I'm not going to count those expenses here. I think I'm a pretty good saver already but I know I could be saving a lot more each month if I tried a little harder. I thought I'd share some of the things that I plan to do to save and maybe you can too.
1. Post my goals...to spend less and account for each and every thing I spend.
2. No bookstores. On the weekends, we used to live at the bookstore but now we are going to use our local library exclusively. As a matter of fact, we just made a trip there yesterday after school.
3. Shop sales. Every week the supermarket circulars come in the mail. I go through them and decide which store has the better sales and shop there. I also try and limit the amount of non-sale items I buy. I love seeing the bottom of the bill where it shows the total you saved. One time I saved almost as much as I spent. :)
4. Use coupons. I've been doing this for a few weeks thanks to Karen and I have to agree with Karen, it's kind of fun. I really want to get to a place where I do not buy anything unless it is either on sale or I have a coupon.
5. Use Reusable grocery bags. Stop & Shop pays you 5 cents per bag every time you use one at checkout. A&P pays you 2 cents.
6. Eat more meals at home. We used to eat out at least 3 meals on the weekends and now we are down to one. If we eat lunch out on Saturday, I cook dinner on Saturday night. This will save us at over $100.00, maybe even more. We spend way too much on food.
7. DIY. I'm going to start doing more things myself. I just gave myself a manicure today and it doesn't look half bad.
8. I always take my own coffee and lunch to work and my kiddos hardly eat school lunch. At $2.50 a school lunch, I know I save a ton there.
9. Bring back library books ON TIME! What good is it if they are free when you have to pay a late fee!? This is a big one in our house. So, I implemented a system that I think will help with this. I tape our printout on the fridge so everytime I open it, I am reminded of the due date. Also, we have bags that we use to tote our books back and forth to the library. I will keep them hanging on their doors and when they are done with a book, they are to put it in the bag. In the morning, I'll check the bags and return any books on my way home from work. :)
10. Homemade Gifts. For Mother's Day, I plan on making my sister a beaded bracelet with my supplies on hand so this will cost me nothing. I also plan on making my mother an album. And, I already have a scarf in the works for my sister for Christmas. For end-of-the-year teacher gifts, I will be making card sets from supplies on hand.
I'm sure there are TONS more I could do. As I find more cost-cutting ways, I'll be sure to share them with you. :) I'd love to hear any tips you have too?
What I spent: $6.33 on heavy cream, raspberry jam and a card at Stop & Shop. I know I could have made the card but I really needed to get the gift out. It was overdue as it is.
$1.07 on a pack of 3 large mailers at the dollar store. I needed something in which to mail the gift.
How I saved:
I used my Stop & Shop card and saved
Made a birthday card for a friend out of scrapbooking supplies and used a postage stamp that was not cancelled on a card sent to me. :)
Spent this month: $7.40