Oct 3, 2011

"Show me the money!"

Rob and I have no money. Okay, well that's probably not all together true. We still have a roof over our heads. We have two working (and one new) cars. We pay all our bills. We eat...a somewhat healthy diet. We are more fortunate than some. But there are things we are saving for. Just look at the calendar and you'll see Christmas is right around the corner and we have a big family to get gifts for. We are saving money for a house. Then of course you kinda need things to put in the house and money to take care of the house. We're young newlyweds, this is like our right of passage to have no money to spend on us. We are extremely blessed for what we do have however. But we working on ways to save money and put a little more in our pockets.

ONE // Cable is bye-bye. But let's be honest, how many people really have time to sit down and really watch TV, plus there's not that much good stuff on. The few shows we do watch (Glee, New Girl, and for me Grey's Anatomy) are all on the basic channels that you can get by just plugging your TV into the wall. And the bonus is we get them in HD, so awesome for us. I'll be honest, I would love to watch the Discovery Channel and TLC, but it's a luxury and when we did have cable I never really watched them - I more or less turned those channels on and took a nap through it. Now I have to take cheaper naps.

I will say that we have chosen to keep Netflix however despite their raising prices. The way we look at it - it's a huge chunk of change for cable that we barely watch but $15 some dollars we get movies and TV shows  we do actually watch. That expense is actually worth it for us.

TWO // Clip-clip coupons. I wish I was better at this. I get a few coupons from my mom every couple of weeks, but I don't use them fully like I should. I have never been great with coupons. And it's not because I think it's dumb or an old-person thing to do, mostly it's because I forget them. And most of the time I don't have enough coupons for what I really buy. The real problem is that most of our meals are all fresh produce and there aren't a lot of coupons for that. I need to work on using the sales better at Price Chopper I guess.

Which is another thing - we have a Super Target out here and I often pick up a few things from there because it's on my way home, but I prefer doing my real shopping at PC for a couple reasons: 1) I like their fresh foods better. They just taste better and last longer. 2) We get a little off gas at QuikTrip and as we all know gas is expensive so that's a huge help sometimes.

Another thing I do, involving food since I buy a lot of produce is spending my whole life looking for recipes. Okay, so maybe that's a bit much, but it sure does feel like it sometimes. Since there are only two of us, it makes it hard to get serving size stuff for just the two of us. So I always end up with way more than I need. I have learned to plan a week and reusing the same vegetables and fruits in the meals. It can get repetitive at times but I have gotten good at finding recipes that use some of the same produce but vary in taste. That definitely helps because it kills me just throwing it away and watching our money ride off in a dump truck.

THREE // We forgot what the world looks like. It sure does feel that way sometimes. In a sentence: we have grounded ourselves.

FOUR // Who left the light on? Before I was even in the picture, way back when Rob first moved into the apartment, he went through and changed all the light bulbs. I thought he was a little nuts when he first told me. It just seemed like a weird use of time and I didn't completely understand. But what he did was actually smart. He took out all those old-school light bulbs and replaced them with energy- saving ones. Our electric bill isn't all that high but like I said, every little bit helps. Another big one is turning off lights. I have cat eyes so I see better with less light anyway and Rob likes to have little to no lights on when he's playing video games so this actually works out very easily for us. It's a habit that will definitely help us later when we are paying a higher electricity bill.

FIVE // Going, going, sold to the highest bidder. So we aren't actually auctioning things off but we are selling. In all of our cleaning out we've been doing, we have found a good amount of stuff that we don't want and could actually sell opposed to just giving it to goodwill and that's been what we have been doing. Unfortunately you don't always make a lot of money this way, but again every little bit helps.

We are no money saving geniuses by any means. We are learning and we are trying things to help. We aren't spending any money. We aren't going out. We really aren't doing anything. It gives me a chance to complete my 2011 Reading Challenge and Rob a chance to play all those video games he has but hasn't gotten to play yet. But more on all that later.

So how does everyone else do it? I know that everyone is not rolling in the cash and living the high life - so how does everyone save up money in those clever ways that no one really thinks about?

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