Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Money-Saving Tips

Blogosphere Buddies,
Does the cost of gas make you see RED? (It does me!)
Are you fed up with the skyrocketing cost of groceries? (Me too!)
Feel somewhat depressed by the relentless Bad News on the TV? Feel let down by our national leaders, who are taking the collective Ostrich Approach to dealing with problem??

Well, I think, rather than suffer in silence, we should share "frugal tips" with one another.... and help each other get through this recession/crappy economy. WHAT SAY YOU?
Do I hear a big Hoorah??

Since I'm self-employed, I am ALWAYS trying to minimize my expenses (and maximize my income, which is a little more challenging). My goal is to be able to live a Beautiful Frugal life, in a paid-for house, with NO debt whatsoever, by the time my kids enter college. I can visualize it, but sometimes the mountains standing in the way seem pretty high.

So, here are my tips for today:

1. Shop at Aldi. Do you have an Aldi near you? If so, shop there. Aldi is a German-based grocery chain. They have 1 brand of each kind of food that they carry. You have to bag your own groceries, and they only take cash or debit cards, but you'll save a ton of money. And you'll be very pleased with the quality; they have a "double money back guarantee". I just got a gallon of milk there for $2.49. Cereal (Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, etc) are $1.69. A can of beef ravioli is .69. I find that when I shop there, compared to Kroger or Publix, I save about 25% - 30% off my grocery bill.

2. Brew your coffee at home. Yes, I know this is a tough thought. (By the way - Aldi has their own brand of coffee, but I'm a Maxwell House girl.... bit of a snob on that...) I love my Starbucks. And I will still buy it - as a treat - but not everyday anymore. It's just too expensive.

3. Keep a one month record of everything you buy. Everything. From a 25 cent pack of gum, to your Chick-Fil-A for lunch, to your mortgage, your car payment, EVERYTHING. Write it ALL down. Then, at the end of the month, transfer it to a spreadsheet (or Quicken, if you want to be fancy). Prepare to be shocked. (If you're like ME, you spend a TON on little things, here and there. ) So easy to do.

4. Give. Even if you can't afford to give financially, give of your time. Giving fills up your soul. Really.

OK, that's it from my corner of the universe..... what are your tips?


D'Arcy said...

This is good to know. I've just stopped eating and driving. This makes much more sense.

suz said...

I don't have an aldi. But I have been back to my coupon seems to help.
I NEVER buy coffee out...I know I must be the only one.
We have used microsoft money for about 10 years. I put in EVERY receipt for EVERYTHING, except what I pay w/ cash. Which is not much really.
We waste more than I like to think.....but below our means.
I like this idea...if I think of any good tips, I shal share!!!!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

I also stopped going out for lunch. I used to do that just to "get out of the house" during the middle of the day. No more. Too much money, both for the food, and now for the gas.

Pass the peanut butter, and a banana. :-)

Anonymous said...

Get a motorcycle. 45 mpgs people. and they are fun as he!! and you feel totally cool on them and everyone looks at you like you are such a badass. :p

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

OK, "Anonymous Anne".... I see you hiding behind that palm tree in the corner.....

I am so NOT motorcycle material.
(Can you imagine???!) Laughable... (at BEST.)

But yes, you very much DO look like a Hot Babe on yours. ;-)

Jason said...

I don't have an Aldi either, and I rarely buy coffee out.

I'm certainly not motorcycle material either!

cjs said...

great tips. the coffee one is tough for me, too.

Maggie said...

I cut coupons and go through the grocery ad before I get to the store, I make a list and rarely the bottom of my reciept it prints out how much I saved off the regular price via coupons and store sales. When I get home I put the amount that I saved in a jar. These were things I needed and I was willing to spend the money, since I "saved" money, I actually save it! I started in October, I have almost $400 in my jar for an emergency. A little bit here and there has really added up. Now its like a game each time I'm in the store to see how much I can save!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

That's a great tip! Jason (see comment above) also is a Grocery Store Genius (see his blog for details).

See, this is GREAT, guys! We're sharing ideas and info with each other on how to save monet!!