Sunday, May 22, 2011


Even before I got laid off from my job I was pretty frugal. I like to spend money, especially on clothes, but I always want to get the most bang for my buck. There were a few things that I knew we weren't going to be able to do like we were used to when our income was cut short.

One of them was eating out. But, because I was home more I found that I had more time to cook. After about three weeks we got sick of eating the same thing over and over. I didn't even know where to start looking for new recipes. So, we signed up for It's about $15 for three months, and not only does it give you recipes for the week, it gives you a shopping list to go along with it. I love it! We've been eating something new every day, and our grocery bill is actually less than it had been because we aren't buying a bunch of stuff and then trying to make meals out of it. Instead, we are buying what we need and using it (no throwing away spoiled food!).

We've been doing a ton of things around the house that we haven't been able to get done. One thing we've always wanted to do was fence in our back yard. We had a small area for our dogs to go out the dog door, but we've always wanted to get a big part of the back yard fenced in. So, we searched on Craig's List and found a deal on fence. We paid $200 for chain link fence, three gates, and poles and hardware. My brother-in-law knows how to install fence and had the tools needed, so he came out and helped us. We were able to fence in our entire backyard and make a larger dog kennel. We had a ton of fence and hardware leftover, which we sold for $280! So we actually make $80 on the deal!

I called XM Radio to cancel our subscription, and they offered us 6 months for $32, and they let us apply our recent payment towards the $32. I love Oprah Radio, so it was an offer we couldn't refuse.

We cut down the channels on our satellite. Instead we signed up for Netflix and watch the on-demand movies with our WII or X-box. If I do want to rent a movie, I use Redbox and get it for $1.

I have shih tzus, which need regular grooming. It cost about $30 a dog, and they go in about every six weeks. I didn't want to spend $90 (plus a tip) grooming my dogs, so I watched a few You Tube videos, invested in a pair of doggy clippers, and taught myself. I was really slow and they looked a little crazy at first. But I got the hang of it.

Our electric bill was really high. I know it sounds nuts, but we started unplugging anything that isn't in use and we have noticed a difference on our bill!

Those are just a few things we've done. If you have any items or tips on how you save money I'd love to hear them!


Suzy said...

ooh i love saving money :)

the one things that has saved us the most is with food - one week a month we aim to only cook meals using things we have at home (we still allow a small amount for fresh produce) It uses up all the things in the cupboard that would have just sat there unused, and lowers our monthly spend considerably! Also making a meal plan at the beginning of the week and sticking to it saves us a LOT of wastage (we used to waste so much!)

Smart idea learning to groom your dogs - I taught myself to cut hair as a teenager (practising on my friends!) so I now cut all my family's FIL has even jumped on board, he couldnt find a hair studio he liked when they moved back here so MIL suggested I "give it a go" - now he comes around every month for a cut!

As a family we are saving hundreds of dollars a year :)

Alexandra said...

Reading this blog came at a good time for me.

E-mealz, I've heard that advertised on Dave Ramsey's show. I am hesitant about getting it because (well right now we don't have the money) my family is so picky, including me. Can you customize it in any way? For instance we don't eat seafood or fish and I HATE mushrooms.