We paid $2.59 per gallon for gas today...wahoo! There is at least one good thing that comes out of a troubled economy.
Nate and I have been trying to pinch pennies these past few months (even more than usual) due to the rising costs of living life...though our nation doesn't even know the meaning of the term "discomfort" (i.e. we are not forced to ration bread, sugar, gas, meat, etc...we really don't have it that bad!). Here are a list of 10 things we've done recently to save money.
1) We keep our thermostat at 76 degrees during the day during the summer and 78 at night. (I know, I know, no menopausal women will want to come hang out with us!)
2) We are eating at home more...not sure if this is necessarily to save money or if the options in Altus just aren't really worthy of our hard earned money, but hey the result is saved money. We do however, look up recipes online to restaurants we miss and make them at home. We've made PF Chang's Mongolian Beef, Johnny Carino's Spicy Ramano Chicken, and Olive Garden's Zuppo Tuscana to name a few.
3) The water is nasty here, even when filtered, so Nate and I drink more bottled water that we stock up on at the commissary case lot sales. And when we drink pop, we take advantage of Sonic's Happy Hour for half priced drinks and slushes. We'll be in big trouble if/when Sonic ends this deal!
4) We shop at Walgreens for their rebates and coupon sales. Just this past month we got over $85.00 in free health and beauty products and stocked up on some really cheap Huggies diapers. I'd never shop at Walgreens for something full price, but they have a great rebate system that you can score some great freebies and can submit the rebate form online and you don't even have to remember to mail it in.
5) We buy only used clothes and toys. Seriously, not even Corban's birthday presents were brand new. We get all their toys at garage sales, Goodwill, and off craigslist.
6) As previously posted, we are Dollar Tree fans.
7) We don't go to movies (no baby-sitters and a crappy movie theatre), and we don't have cable. Our family entertainment thrives off of Netflix, parks, walks, our backyard, the internet, playgroups, books, Wal-Mart, and each other. I know, it may sound pathetic, but we are in a *small* town in the middle of nowhere, remember?
8) We don't eat hot dogs. That really really has nothing to do with saving money, but I just had to throw it in...we have a Bar S Factory (the makers of Bar S Hotdogs, Bacon, and other meats) about a half mile away from our house and some of the smells that come from there are just gross enough to turn a person away from hot dogs for awhile.
9) We plan our meals. I make a loose, semi flexible menu for the week based on what we have already and shop for what we need to complete the meals. We base our meals on what's on sale, what we have, and what sounds good to us. Just this step alone has saved us a ton of moolah by not throwing out spoiled, rotten food.
10) We mooch. :) Not in an annoying way, but we borrow stuff if needed. For an example, I hosted a party last week and didn't have enough pitchers or a nice ice bucket. Though I could buy them so I'd have them for the next time, I asked a couple of friends if I could borrow their nice crystal pitchers and ice bucket, and ta da, I was set.
Really, I am frugal more out of desire than out of necessity. I like the challenge of living for less. Nate doesn't call me his "Bargain Bloodhound" for nothing!