Monday, January 4, 2010

Twelve Ways I Save Money

A friend and I were talking about how hard it is to find money for things these days. Living the average consumer American lifestyle drains her pocketbook and she wondered how I manage. I wondered that too. Here's what I came up with:
  1. I never got my ears pierced. I think I probably save a lot of money by not wearing and therefore not buying much jewelry.
  2. I don't drink coffee. I've heard that Starbucks, even making your own at home, can cost $50 - $300 a month depending on the drinker. So if I want to acquire a taste for something I'm not naturally keen on I'll be trying something cheaper like cooked spinach, thanks.
  3. I also don't drink. To me a "night out on the town" just sounds like an expensive headache the next day. Saving the money sound better than Scotch ... or is saving it the same thing as Scotch? ;-)
  4. I tend not to go to the movies. It's $10 per person just to get in the door, add to that the cost of movie theater popcorn... for the same price I could pop enough popcorn at home to be swimming in the stuff as I watch a rented movie.
  5. I don't have a big screen TV. When I find a movie worth renting I watch it on a "tiny" normal sized TV. But then I also...
  6. don't have satellite or cable. I'm one of those people still devoted to broadcast and rabbit ears. It's free. I cannot imagine why anyone would pay money to view 20 minutes of commercials and 10 minutes of sitcom.
  7. I have long hair which means I don't go to the beauty shop for a $30 hair cut every month. If I get tired of long hair I chop off 10-15 inches and save a little on shampoo for a while.
  8. My cell phone is JUST a cell phone. I do not have the extra texting service, or the extra internet surfing and gaming services. Did you know this saves over $500 a year?
  9. I do not have an MP3 player or an iPod ... I still have an old stereo and it still plays all my old cds and will even tune in radio stations. Okay it's not sleek and portable... but everywhere you go they pipe in music for you -- at the mall, in the grocery store, at the gym, in the mechanics waiting room -- so I don't understand. Did we need more music in our ears?
  10. I don't eat out very often. I cook from scratch. It's easier than you think -- my simple recipe for mac and cheese begins with the instructions "Go out and milk the cow..." I'm kidding. A little effort really can save a lot of money here, though. Just last week I bought a roast the the grocery for $15, when I got it home I cut off three steaks which I put in the freezer before preparing the rest as a pot roast. At a restaurant ONE of those steaks would have been $15 and there would have been no pot roast.
  11. I recycle less than you think -- because I RE-USE. For example, my storage containers are margarine tubs, cottage cheese containers, and empty jelly jars. Run through the dishwasher the empty containers get saved and reused to store leftovers. (It's important to note these containers are generally not microwave safe so the food needs to be put on the microwave safe plate and then reheated.) Stuff like this might seem fiddly but small savings are still savings.
  12. I'm picky about parks. From history to hiking our National and State parks tend to be free. So I don't need over-priced water parks and $50-a-day-plus-rides game parks for a fun exciting day out. After all, my taxpayer dollar has already been spent, why not enjoy the benefit of it?

The ways I save money won't work for everyone. We all have our priorities. Some people feel they really need 500 songs (at $.99 each) shuffling through their state of the art earphones as they sit in the local Take- your-bucks sipping their third $5 coffee and surfing the net on their touch phone while waiting for their friends to join them so they can catch the latest $10 flick at the Money-gouging Plex before grabbing drinks with dinner at the All-of-your-money Garden.

Clearly, I don't. I'd rather knit an alpaca sweater while watching my favorite classic black-and-white movies as the warm smell of baking bread fills my home. "To each his own."

How do you save?


  1. Nice post. I stumbled here by accident. I save in similar ways to you - no cable, make coffee don't buy it, give handmade or free (new books from library wrapped up and delivered for Xmas for family members - delivered back when due), buy used clothing, borrow, cook and bring our own food, camp and hike for vacations/fun, rent movies for $1 at redbox or from library for free...being creative helps w. the saving

  2. Hey - I'm like anonymous up there - clicked my mouse by accident and landed on your blog. The quilt stuff caught my eye and your writing kept me there. We have a lot in common I think - see my blog Boxwood Beadle. Caveat - do drink coffee...

  3. Thank you Anonymous and Anonymous. Glad you found something you liked. :-)

  4. Thanks for the interesting writing. I am guilty of some of the "guilty" pleasures you wrote about. Your writings made me stop and think.


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