Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pinching Pennies

I have been worrying about money again. It's tougher than ever to make ends meet these days & every month we come up short. I am trying very hard to shake off the worry as I know it only leads to worse things like panic, letting my grip on faith slip, stress, etc. I decided yesterday that I am going to be pro-active. I will pray hard and do my part and let God do the rest. Here are some things that I have come up with in "My Plan". Most of these I have done before some very recently. Many have slipped away because of our rough times last summer & our move and pregnancy. Now that we are pretty much settled into our new home & Princess is here and I am on the mend I want to try to get back into making these a part of our daily life.

1. Make My Own Laundry Detergent

This is especially important now that we have moved. I no longer have access to the $1.99 detergent I used to be able to buy. And detergent is expensive!

2. Clip & Organize Coupons

I want to get a system down pat to save time & increase savings.

3. Learn the CVS Game

This has baffled me but I am determined to figure it out! The savings will be SO worth it!

4. Use Kroger card

Our church set us up in this program where you can earn $ when you spend it. We have to pay ahead on the gift card to do it but it earns us cash to spend wherever we'd like. Sweet! I also need to figure out the gas savings program.

5. Buy washable nursing pads.

I'm going through these like crazy and they are expensive considering they are little circles of paper! Plus the ones I am currently using aren't working all that well.

6. Take inventory of items that can be purchased at the Dollar Store

I knew the inventory of our stores back home but have yet to learn all that the local stores hold. I hate it when I find something I've purchased for several dollars sitting at the Dollar Store. Oh, the $ I could have saved! I find cleaning & storage supplies alone have already saved me a lot!

7. Meal Plan

I tried this while pregnant but it didn't work out due to circumstances. I want to try again. Maybe even cook a few meals ahead this time and pop them in the freezer. I hate cooking every night!

8. Inventory of Homeschool Curriculum, Etc.

Here in Tennessee I have more freedom to school with the curriculum I want. I want to take inventory & use what I already have before purchasing additional items. The kids are older now & I can use a lot of what I've been saving.

9. Consignment Shops, Goodwill & Thrift Stores

(Can't seem to find a Salvation Army Thrift store in the area)

I have been doing this since we came to Tennessee as they have an awesome amount of stores to choose from! The best have been the HUGE spring consignment sales. Yeah, baby! The kids need a few summer items and I want to go look at these stores before buying new.

10. Sell Old Clothes or Itemize & Donate

A good friend of mine explained how to itemize and donate clothes and claim them as a deduction. A win-win situation wouldn't you say? I want to try this out. Thanks, Megan!

11. Find & Use Internet Coupons

Back in MA we weren't allowed to use Internet coupons. The stores wouldn't accept them. Down here I am told they will. So onto researching, printing & clipping!

12. What Can We Sell?

I think we pretty much cleaned things out last summer when we had our yard sale & donated to GoodWill. BUT I would still like to look around and see if there is anything we don't need now that we've moved. If so I might put it on Craig's List or have a yard sale. We'll see.

13. HomeSchool Discounts

I have found that the south is much more homeschool-friendly than back north. (Though to their credit the north is making strides as homeschooling #'s grow.) I want to find as many homeschool discounts as I can. If they are there why not use them? On Saturday we found a great one. We bought a science center membership and were given $25 off the membership price! Just for asking if they gave a homeschoolers discount! Yay! And the membership is good at all reciprocating museums. Nice! Another one we will be using is from a local bookstore. They sell curriculum and are arranging to give our homeschool co-op a discount if we buy our books & supplies for next years' co-op from them. Sweet deal!

14. Nurse Princess

This may sound silly but formula is EXPENSIVE. If I nurse as long as possible this saves a ton of $$. Plus it's good for Princess & for me too. Win-win!

Things that I am currently doing and will continue to do are shop at discount grocery stores, save electricity (lights off, fans instead of A/C, replace light bulbs), save on gas (cold water wash, 1/2 fill bathtub), reduce water usage (water barrels for gardens, 1/2 fill bathtub, full loads of laundry), shop sales, limit driving to save on gasoline, buy used, cut back on cell phone, found better plan for landline, shop clearance, plant garden.

****If you have any other ideas I'd love to hear them! Please send them here and I'll post them for everyone. ***

1 comment:

SAHMinIL said...

re: meal planning. If you can spare $40 (which is hard I know) you can get a WHOLE Year worth of menus with shopping list! It rely helps with the planning for me! is the website. The menus are PDF form so you can save them to your PC or save them to disk. I've only have bought the one year worth and just use them over and over again.