You don’t get good cell reception at your house so a landline is a must, and you truly enjoy surfing all 2000 channels in your cable or satellite t.v. lineup.
There are still little ways you can save money around the house without sacrificing service. In some instances, you might even get BETTER service AND pay less!
In some areas you don’t have a choice about who picks up your garbage. It’s the chosen trash hauler – or it’s you. But if look around your neighborhood and see two or three companies represented (in my neighborhood, it’s pretty much blue, gray or tan), make a couple of calls and see if any of them are offering a better deal than the one you have.
Claim Your Reward
Sign up for every rewards card or club you can find. Even if you rarely shop at a place, you’ll get coupons and discounts that you might be able to use when you’re out stocking up on stuff. (TIP: Create a dummy email address just for these activities, so you can check it before shopping at a time when you are ready to go through them)
Kids Are Easily Amused
Don’t spend bunches of money entertaining your children. The reason the joke about kids being more interested in a big box rather than the expensive toy that was in it is so funny is because it’s true. What kids want most is your time, so don’t get sucked in by all the advertising that tries to make you feel like you’re a bad parent if you don’t buy the latest and greatest kindertainment. They’d rather sing a song with you than hear some $30 plastic caterpillar sing it to them.
Shop for New Places to Shop
You are not obligated to shop at the same grocery store forever. Don’t let the “I’ve always done it this way” mentality keep you from finding the store that offers the best deals on your most common purchases. Set up a price book for the 20 or so things you buy most often. Check out the prices on these at a variety of stores (make it a Saturday project over a month, so you can see an overall picture). One should emerge as the leader.
Four Times the Fun
Next time you make a casserole – those nice, easy, CHEAP comfort dinners – make a quadruple batch and freeze the three extras. When when you need something quick and hearty, save the $30 on pizza and heat up the casserole. Or, as I like to call it, the Sasserole (because casserole sounds so frumpy, and the last thing I need in my life is more frump).
Along with casseroles, leftovers aren’t always the most exciting thing you can serve up for dinner, but they are one of the most economical. There are a few strategies that can stretch the meal budget when it comes to leftovers. There’s having a C.O.R.N. (Clean Our Refrigerator Night) where the bits and pieces of dinners past are hauled out and heated up and picked over in a buffet line. And then there’s my Nana’s method, which actually uses corn. She adds a can of drained corn to leftover spaghetti and calls it “Italian Surprise.” Personally, bacon is my go-to additive to leftovers, but I haven’t found a good acronym to fit B.A.C.O.N.
One Good Term Deserves Another
Consider switching to term life insurance. Universal and whole policies are more expensive and aren’t that great of an investment. You’re better off taking what you save in premiums and paying off debt.
Chuck the Catalogs
If you’ve ever been dumped, you know when something is unattainable or unavailable, it seems to become the desire of one’s heart. When you’re on a tight budget, flipping through pages of bright shiny things that spread joy to all who are photographed in their presence can bum you out. If you’re not in a position to buy, don’t torture yourself with pictures of stuff you can’t have. It will only make you want them more and leave you feeling unsatisfied with what you have. And you probably have enough.
More Paper Purging
Get rid of any magazine subscriptions you aren’t reading cover-to-cover. And when you get a subscription renewal offer in the mail, make sure to return the order form marked “declined,’ as some are set up to auto-renew if they don’t hear from you, and they’ll try to bill you.
Put Your Money Where You Get Respect
Don’t spend your money making some stockholder rich on maintenance fees. Search out banking options where you will be respected, supported in your efforts to stand on firm financial ground, and won’t be dinged for all kinds of fees. In other words, check out your credit union. Every resident of Georgia can belong to a credit union, and there are some great ones out there. You won’t be sorry you did.