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Money, money, money.

17 Sep

I’m feeling a little stressed out on this beautiful, sunny Monday. Why?

Money. Chunks of metal, pieces of paper. It sounds so insignificant when I put it that way, doesn’t it?

The fact of the matter is, we are accustomed to our way of living, and it’s got us in a little bit of trouble. M has an electronics fetish, I like to shop, and we live in an area where there is precious little to do with kids that doesn’t cost money. Now with a baby on the way, we’re feeling the crunch. It’s not that we’re in danger of having our hydro shut off, or worrying how to put food on the table, it’s just that we can’t throw money away on frivolities like we used to. A well padded savings account is more important than the latest game console or a pair of designer stilettos. It doesn’t sound like a tough lesson to learn, but it’s really hard to say no sometimes.

Since I am at home presently and not making money, I feel it is my job to figure out how we can best cut back and save money. I’m listing some of my money saving efforts here, both so I can see where I could improve, and so you can put some of these to use yourself if you don’t already.

– I coupon, price match, and stockpile non-perishables (I watch for sales like a hawk!)

– I only use major appliances (laundry machines, dishwasher) at off peak times and only do laundry with cold water. I also skip the rinse cycle on my dishwasher and let them air dry. Our appliances are all Energy Star as well.

–  I’m obsessed with making sure things are turned off and unplugged when not in use (seriously, you should hear me when the kids leave the lights on in their rooms)

– I cook and bake from scratch instead of paying the extra for premade.

– I think I have finally persuaded M into getting rid of the home phone, which will be a savings of $25 a month for us. That may not sound like much, but it’s $25 that can be put into savings or toward bills.

– …and I’m working on convincing him to cut up some credit cards as well. As it stands right now, all of his credit cards are in my possession, so he can’t impulse buy.

– I buy used when I can. Furniture, clothing, books, etc. I L.O.V.E Value Village.

– I am brushing up on DIY skills and techniques. M is already pretty handy but I’d like to learn too. My biggest accomplishment recently is the rocker in the nursery. The chair was a vintage find for $35, and the fabric cost $50. Really, we overspent on the fabric because we bought too much, but still, $85 for a beautiful custom rocker is fantastic compared to the $200+ price tag you see in stores, and I saved all the excess fabric for another project.

– We don’t turn the heat up quite so high in the winter months, and instead wear thick socks, sweaters, and cuddle up under blankets.

– To cut back on laundry, we will wear jeans and sweaters twice before washing, so long as they haven’t got dirty or stinky.

– I shower every other day as opposed to daily. It saves water, energy, and my hair and skin.

– I cut my family’s hair. There’s absolutely nothing to cutting a boys hair, and trimming girls hair is easy too. Even my own!

– I shop AFTER the season. Halloween decorations… AFTER halloween. Christmas decorations… AFTER Christmas. I sometimes take advantage of the post-Christmas sales too and stock up on a few unisex toys to send the kids to birthday parties with.

I’m sure there’s more, but I just can’t think right now. The kids are running in and out and slamming the door every time. I think I may have a meltdown if I hear my windows shake once more. If you have any tips you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments!

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