First of all, I'd like to say thank you you to all of you who visit here regularly! I truly appreciate each and everyone of you! Since there seem to be some new readers, I wanted to let them know that on Saturdays I like to do posts about simple living, ways to save money, simple pleasures, gardening or great ideas or posts I've seen that fit in with these ideas. I like decorating, but I have other interests in life as well and actually making the most of my husband's paycheck is one of my main jobs! A lot of times these posts are more for me than for you! They're a way to keep myself on track.
1. Use technology to help you save money! Before I go to Target, CVS, Walgreens or grocery shopping I check the blogs I have listed under Frugal/Freebie Deals Blogs on my sidebar. They will tell you what good deals are available at your grocery store, what coupons to use, even where to go to print out specific coupons, what items you can get free with a coupon, what the free item at Publix is this week etc. Go have a look! I always look for coupon codes before purchasing anything online. Lots of times I find ones for at least free shipping if not $$off the price or some other add on. If you have a good site you always use, let me know and I'll add it to the list.
2. Use it up or make do. That includes food! I've really been trying to make sure that I either freeze my leftovers or use them up so I don't have any waste. Be resourceful! We try to repair or think outside the box if something is broken so that we don't necessarily have run out and buy a replacement. Sometimes you find you can just do with out!
3. Make a menu. Planning your meals really is a money saver and in the long run a time saver. You don't have wonder what to eat, you're not as tempted to go out to eat, and you can buy what's on sale and plan your meals around that or your pantry.
4. If you want to eat out, go out for lunch. The portions are smaller which is good for your health and the prices are smaller too. Order water instead of a soda, it's better for you and will save you money. Alcohol and drinks in general are a profit maker for restaurants. Go to Restaurant.com to see if any restaurants you go to are listed. They often have coupon codes where you can get a $25 gift certificate for $5-10 (but always read all the fine print some restrictions apply).
5. Maintain your home, car, appliances, clothes, etc. Doing preventive maintenance will save you huge repair bills in the future. Little things like removing the lint from your dyer vent, clearing out your gutters, taking care of a small faucet leak before it turns into a larger one, change your oil and air filters on your car when needed, and getting your tuneups will help you avoid larger bills.
6. Use half the amount of lotions, dish soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste. I always try half the amount and then I up it incrementally until I'm happy. You'll be surprised at how effective the lesser amounts will be. Look inside the cup that comes with your laundry detergent - you'll be surprised by where the line is. It's never to the top of the cap!
7. Enjoy being at home! You don't have to go somewhere to have a good time. You and your family can just enjoy being at home. Have a movie night. We have movie night every Friday night. We rent a DVD from Netflix,the library or Redbox(now that it's more readily available), eat on TV trays (we always eat dinner together in the dining room every night so this makes it "different") and I always make something that goes with fries or I make pizza (usually we try to eat healthy). When my daughter was little we'd have game night and we still do that occasionally.
8.Don't buy it if you can't afford it! The fun of getting that big screen TV on a credit card fades once you get the bill! Wait until you have the cash. People used to always wait and save up...it can be done!
9. Make a holiday budget and stick to it. With Christmas just a few months away, it's time to start thinking about gifts. Give something you made (people usually love home baked goods), give your time, give something small but indulgent (a really good bottle of olive oil if they cook, a small jar of really good honey, a bag of really good coffee, a bar of handmade soap...you get the idea).
10. Focus on all that you have! There will always be people that are richer than you...there are also people that have less than you have. Focus on appreciating what you have and don't let advertisers, blogs, magazines or TV shows influence you into buying things you can't afford and most likely don't really need anyway! You are not what you own or don't own!
Like I said, sometimes these posts are more for me than they are for anyone else! But hopefully some of you will find this helpful as well. Have a great weekend! (it's another wet one here in Georgia).
*all images are from Allposters.com or Google Images