Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Savings Plan Pays Off

A large pile of half-pint Poland Spring bottlesImage via Wikipedia
When I was at the supermarket today I was watching the other people busily pushing their carts filling them up with all kinds of boxes and bags. My cart was not so full. Only the usually items we use to cook. I thought how things have changed for me since deciding to make a commitment to lead a more financially organized life.

One of the things we don't buy anymore is bottled water. I used to have the fridge filled with the stuff. It was so convenient to just grab a bottle and go. But when deciding to save money, we didn't buy it anymore. Now we just have personal bottles and fill them from the cold tap on the fridge. I know we have saved hundreds of dollars and not really lost anything. We don't have a recycle bin full of plastic anymore and our glad we don't contribute waste to the landfill.

A great idea for saving money on food is to buy the store brands. Switching to the store brand has saved us a lot of money. There is as much as a dollar difference in the store brand, the quality is the same and so is the taste. At my supermarket, during a weekly sale, if you buy the national brand the supermarket will give you the store brand no charge. A good way to jump into store brands.

The biggest money waster for me was coffee. For all my adult life, coffee started my day. Like many of us coffee is not only an enjoyable habit to start our day, but a nice pickmeup in the morning. I don't know what I would do without it. I used to make big pots of coffee in my "Mr. Coffee" machine drinking only a cup or two and throwing the rest out. What a waste. Then to feed my habit every morning, rather than make a pot of coffee, I would frequent my local Dunkin Donuts. I'd have my cup of Joe and a nice couple of donuts. Spending at least $3.00 six times a week.
Dunkin Donuts logoImage via Wikipedia
The light went on one day and realized all the money I was spending and bought a single serve coffee machine that feeds my coffee habit for only $.50 a cup. The donuts had to stop cold turkey. Another way I'm proud to say, I am saving money.

Our cars can be so expense to to repair and replace. So keeping it maintained is so important. One of the things we do for our cars is changing the oil on a regular schedule. With keeping our cars even longer than ever, its so important. I was taught by my father to change the oil every 3,000 miles. By checking the owners manual, you will see that factory recommendations state to change it every 8,000-9,000 miles. With this in mind, I now maintain an interval of 5,000 miles between oil changes.  On two cars that adds up to quite a savings over the years.

While we are on the subject of cars, what's the idea with putting super grade gas in your car. I always thought it was better for your car. But again if you follow your owners manual you will find no need for it. I have switch to regular and never will use super again. I am saving money an my car doesn't know the difference.

Till this day I still cringe when I see a kids birthday party with a bounce house. I remember the one kid birthday party when I had a kids bounce house costing me $200 and a pony I rented for $100. What was I thinking? Do kids really need these things or will they be forever traumatized with out them. I kid you not a close friend of mine rented a baby elephant for their sons party. He paid $500 dollars for the pleasure. After wising up, we are back to pizza and cake in the back yard. Saving even more money.

These changes in our lives are only minor, but the amount of money saving potential is great. I am happy with the results and I am continually looking for other ways to save money. It doesn't have to be hard work to save money. It's really just an adjustment to your behavior.

1 comment:

  1. Bottled water has always been one of my pet peeves. Why pay Coke or Pepsi or some other company for filtered tap water? Like you, I made many of these same decisions a while ago.


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