Monday, January 05, 2009

Pinching Pennys

Here are more of my strategies to saving (or avoiding spending) money.
1. Use cash, when it's gone it's really gone.
2. Break bills, never give change away. When you buy something use bills and let the change collect. Once a week I clean out my wallet and put the change in a big jar on the dresser. When that gets full, I turn it in for anywhere from $40 to $100 at a time.
3. Save first, set up automatic transfers to your savings account on payday.
4. Use credit for bills, I have every bill I can billed to my credit card and an automatic payment to my credit card set up from my checking account. That way, I rack up the cash back bonus and use it, along with all that change as a Christmas Club.
5. Calculate the cost, I keep a small calculator in my purse and use it to figure out price per ounce or unit. I did this the other day at Target and found that buying 72 Pull-Ups was cheaper by $.10 a diaper than buying the pack of 44. This also comes in super handy at the grocery store.
6. Clearance, Clarence. I only buy clothes from the clearance racks. This goes for me, Gryffin and Mike. I usually don't even waste time looking at the full-price stuff.
7. Coupons, we usually only go out to eat if we have a coupon for the restaurant or we get it as take out to keep from having to tip. Plus, when you eat out if you order water that's a good $2-$4 savings per person. I even go so far as to ask for hot water and bring my own tea bags.
8. Track the sales. It seems like our grocery store has the same things on sale about once a month. By keeping track of what goes on sale when you can figure out when to stock up and when to hold off. Take spaghetti sauce, our store puts it on sale every other week. I only buy enough to last two or three weeks because I know it will going on sale again soon.
9. Wash in cold. Mike is going to kill me for this one but, I wash everything in cold water. We use a good detergent and Oxy-Clean, so cold water gets everything just as clean. Every once in a while I do a load of bleaching, this is the only time I use hot water. I also skip the extra rinse cycle. It is also important to clean out the lint trap on the dryer EVERY time you use it so it can work efficiently and not be a fire hazard.
10. Don't go shopping unless you NEED something. Wandering through Target is a nice way to spend a few hours but it can turn into an expensive trip. I also try to leave Mike and Gryffin at home, this makes for a shorter run.

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