Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saving money as a habit

I do it with out much thought for they have became habits through time.Others I am working on.Saving money is a habit that any one can learn. Takes more practice with some of us than others but still is doable.

It's late summer right now, the garden is producing ( not as much as I would like but every tomato counts) and the sun is starting to rise a bit later each day and set earlier.Walking the garden daily to make sure the ripe produce is picked and dealt with is a habit that I get into easily enough. Washing the produce...okay I struggle to remember to wash the onions , everything else is automatic, but to use the peelings for veggie broth, you need to wash those onion skins, they turn your veggie broth into a nice golden color.

I have a calendar that has when my bills are due.I move the due date up by 7 days so nothing is paid late thus saving late charges( and your credit score). I also put on the calendar when my library books are due a few days ahead of time, once again saving late charges. I round up in my check book register any bills paid automatically, when I balance my register with the bank, I transfer the difference to my savings.I also have an automatic transfer ever month from my checking to my savings on a certain date. This practice also saves me the cost of the checking account. I don't order my checks from the bank. So far I have found them else where for about half the price.

I only clip coupons for things I use. Not something just because it sounds or looks good.

I go to Dollar General, then Save-A-Lot, then Aldi's, then Walmart, then Kroger's and ONLY after I have looked at fliers, checked the coupons and looked on line. This line up of stores is good also for my gas mileage even though I actually pass by Kroger's and Walmart to get to Aldi's. It's not enough, a parking lot of Walmart, to make enough difference.

During the Farmer's markets I shop for veggies and fruit there. Usually cheaper, a lot healthier and keeps my money in my community.

When I shop I use a list. Okay I use 2 lists. One for food only and the other is for non-food. It isn't unusual for me to do the shopping on separate days.I only shop for non-food once a month sometimes it's 6 wks or more apart. my big shopping for food is once a month and I fill end then when I am already in town or hubby is once a week or every other week. The less you are in the store, the less you will spend.

I don't cook from boxes ( most the time that is, I do have some for hubby for when I am not there). It's simple to toss cooked ground beef with noodles or rice and a sauce with seasoning instead of hamburger helper with it's high sodium and preservatives. Or even use a can of soup instead of a sauce.Gravy is nothing more than fat ( of any kind except margarine ) and flour,salt and pepper and then water, milk or broth.I skim my fats from my meats when I am cooking and freeze it in ice cube trays I use only for this.Then bag them. One good cube of fat is enough to make 1/2 cup of gravy. If there is only 2 of you like there is of us...this is enough gravy for a meal, unless you LOVE gravy and use mash potatoes for the excuse of having gravy.

Soups and casseroles are easy and can be made out of leftovers. I make a couple soups that you can make the basic soup and then pull out a little of it each day, add a couple things and change what it is.Casseroles can start with a strained soup or can have water,broth or milk to turn into soup.

I don't by name brand because it's name brand nor do I buy cheap because it's cheap. I buy the BEST for my DOLLAR.

I don't keep the house lit up, I turn down the thermostat( use a programmable one) for the furnace and only use a window AC (instead of the central air) in the bedroom during the day when Hubby is sleeping. I use ceiling fans yr around and other fans when I am in the room except the front room, that is where the dog lays a lot when she is in the house so I keep a fan running on low for her.I have computers, stereos and the televisions and all it's gadgets like the cable box, dvd player etc on power strips that I turn OFF when they are not in use.

I checked the insulation, duct work should be insulated, you can lose 10-30 % of your heat or cooling through your duct work. Pipes and water heater should be insulated right along with caulking windows and doors.Before you even think to yourself, I rent and its the landlords problem...yes he should do it and pay for it but it's YOUR MONEY that is being wasted.Would you throw 1/3 rd of your heat bill in cash out the door or window? NO. You can take steps yourself to save YOUR money even when the landlord won't. I am lucky my landlord ( heaven Bless him) cares about his property and about us.

next ...getting ready for winter and saving yourself money.