Friday, February 6, 2009

New Hobby

Here's my new hobby: Saving money. I have always liked saving money, but I decided to bump it up from a good thing to do to an official hobby. I am bumping it up because I don't really have any other hobbies. I always say "reading" when someone asks me, but I think that is boring to say as a hobby. It seems like such a cop out.

So anyway. I am doing awesome at my hobby. Here is my triumph of the day: Chris needed a snack for poker night (I know, it's a whole blog post ago and I still can't get over it either---poker! What, is he wearing a wifebea---I mean tank top too?) so I busted out a coupon and bought a brownie mix (wait for it) for fifteen cents. FIFTEEN! WHOOP WHOOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Of course, that is not a lot of savings BUT I have done some more longterm things to hopefully bring in the big savings. I will now list them until Chris comes home (also, I could be doing my online teaching training right now, but who wants to do that?).

1. Coated my windows with plastic to insulate them. This is really fun because you melt the plastic with a hairdryer to get it tight.

2. Changed all my regular light bulbs to energy efficient 60 watt bulbs.

3. Covered my water heater with a fiberglass insulation. (Actually, that's a lie. I haven't done that yet because I am a little afraid of fiberglass. However I did purchase the insulation and it is leaning against my wall.

4. Turned down the temperature on our water heater.

5. Shopping for groceries HARDCORE

Shopping for groceries HARDCORE is my favorite. It gives so much satisfaction. The trickiest part is not saving money though, the trickiest part is saving money and still buying healthy and varying foods. As I have been researching prices and comparing ads I have realized I have some food buying rules and price limits. I have been adding to them. I was talking to my mom last weekend and she told me some of her own. I would love to hear any of yours. Here are the ones I have:

I will not buy:

cake mix over a $1
milk over $3.00
yogurt over $0.33 a cup (actually, I broke down and bought some for $0.44 a cup last week)
boneless, skinless, chicken breasts EVER. (this is a new one. Here's why I decided to never buy them--an ok price for chicken breasts is 1.99 a pound but I just bought 10 pounds of chicken leg quarters for 49 cents a pound. It's not so hard eat around or take out the bones. A little annoying, but not hard.)

Hey Chris is back! See ya lollipops! Let me know if you have buying rules. Also, let me know if you have other ideas for for me to save money. Also keep reading because I wrote 2 posts tonight.


Lisa Lou said...

I bought some dried beans and lentils because of you. I feel like that's a good shopping tip. Also, I never buy the premade cookie mix. I feel like it's a rip off. Whenever I actually make something for dinner like casserole or something real, I'll make a lot and then seperate the rest into lunch sized portions or freeze it for later. That way I won't be tempted to not take any lunch to work and spend money on a sandwich. I'm curious about the plastic on the windows. How do you do that? What kind of plastic do you use?

Katie said...

I have no money saving advice for groceries that beats what you already have. I do however have a different kind of money saving tip: invest. I know there's a website (or at least there was when I took my first family finance class) where you can invest for as little as a dollar a month. Most of the other companies have about a minimum of $50 per month. Anyway, investments work. And a bad market is the best time to get into them. Things will only go up. That's the idea, anyway. If I find that website I'll let you know. Or if you find it before me (because you are much better at finding things online) let me know.

Katie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bridget said...

I'm with you on yogurt. But it's getting harder and harder to do. I remember when Yoplait would go on sale for 4/$1. Now I'm lucky if the 8 oz. store brand goes on such a sale. Sigh.

Nathan said...

Here's a tip coming from me, a guy who used to work at a grocery store: Look for any special deals where the special price is still on the item, but the deal has expired. Then, when the item is being checked out at the cashier, tell them that the sticker on the price said that it was $2.49 instead of $2.99 for example. Then, the cashier will either go check, send someone else to check, or just give you the deal. Because the store was dumb enough not to remove the lower price sticker. At least that's what we did at Giant. It might be different in Nebraska. But hey, its worth a shot.

Kathy Haynie said...

I started buying yogurt in the big containers and then putting it in little plastic containers (reusable) so I can take 8 oz of yogurt for my lunch at work. It saves money, and it also cuts down on plastic containers going into the trash/recycling, so it's good for the planet.

And did I mention that I miss Soapy and I hope that she updates her blog soon?

Lisa Lou said...

And that comment above is why I love Kathy. Not only is she super cool and thinks of great ways to save, but save the planet too! Yay! One little step at a time!

Josh and Melanie said...

I buy my yogurt in the big tubs also. I didn't because it was cheaper and found an added kids call it ice cream and think it is a huge treat. I've actually been using it as my potty training bribe. I'll do anything at this point including let my little girl wear boy undies.
Anyway, I always try to think ahead to the next year and scan the clearance clothing racks for the kids. It's hard to use some of the month's money on clothes they won't use until next winter but I'm always so excited the next year when it feels like free clothes because I bought it a year earlier for $2 instead of $20.

I keep coupons orgainzed and wait for items to be on sale to use them. I've never realized how fun the game of using coupons can be until recently. It is almost as good as chocolate.

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