This Month’s Question – November 1

What cutback has saved you the most money and changed your life least?  Are you a smart penny-pincher?  Can you share some ideas with us?

With economics being as they are in our country and a new year right around the corner I am pondering cutbacks.  I know there are probably areas in my spending that I am blind to, areas that I probably would not have serious regrets if they were eliminated.  Sometimes, all it takes is to hear how others are managing and a light bulb will go on.  Do you know what I mean?

Several years ago I sewed up a stack of cloth napkins and used them in place of paper towels.  I deemed they were better for the environment but somehow, with my decrepit washing machine taking forever to wash and dry anything the paper ones crept back into my life again.  Now that I have the new high efficiency washer/dryer I think I will sew up some napkins in January.

I read recently that to stay within a monthly food budget it is a good idea to stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables instead of fresh ones.  I know they probably are not as good for you but they would cut down on prep time!  I might start clipping those frozen vegetable/fruit coupons in January, too.

I’ve encouraged my husband to take his lunch to work instead of eating out but when a lunch is packed he usually forgets it.  Maybe I will try again and this time leave his car keys in the refrigerator with the lunch.  Instead, maybe I will make myself one of those cute lunch bags and take a lunch into town when I go to town.  I’m sure it would be better for my waistline.  A cute lunch bag just might motivate me.

These are just a few ideas I’ve been pondering but I would LISTEN INTENTLY to any ideas you might have.  So, what cutback has saved YOU the most money and changed YOUR life least?

5 Comments on “This Month’s Question – November 1

  1. Great idea – I have read that frozen vegetables go straight from the field to the freezer – so they actually have more nutrients than the picked, transported, stored “fresh” ones we buy – go figure!

  2. Eating out is usually a costly affair for a family of 4, so we limit eating out to once a week. Sometimes instead of eating out, we buy take away which is usually cheaper.

  3. We cancelled our cable, and that saved quite a bit of money. Now we stream everything on the internet. We have an internet tv, so we can watch hulu or netflix, and rent movies if we like. At first I missed watching the local news, come to find out, they stream that on their website. Most shows we can watch the next day on the internet, so I don’t really miss it at all.

  4. GREAT ideas! I like the idea of packing myself a lunch when I go out of town to run errands. We live far enough away from most things that errands almost always turn in to an all day ordeal which includes a meal out. This would be good for my waist and pocketbook, too!

  5. The automatic programmable thermostat is probably one of the best things we did — I set it very low for at night, a little kick in the morning, back down a bit during the day, and then up a little again in the evenings. The highest I have it set is 68F — and sometimes I’m chilly, so I’ll bump it up to 70, but my heating bills are still very reasonable — and “reasonable” means a lot since I live in a big old drafy house! (An efficient furnace also helps.)

    We’ve been using cloth napkins for years. I like to pick up old sets of rarely used linens at thrift shops and estate sales. I’ve also been known to buy the very reasonably priced (because of a stain or tear), colorful old kitchen tablecloth and rip it up to use as napkins. Sometimes I don’t even bother hemming.

    We also gave up cable a year ago or so and I hardly miss it at all. I don’t save as much as some because I went the TiVo route — it was the only way to get a DVR here. I was so frustrated flipping through 120 channels of junk that I never watched to find the 8 that I did — and it was surprising how many of those were network! There are a few cable shows that I watch online, but there’s so much available on Netflix (which I get through the TiVo box), etc.

    The landline is next on the block. I’m slow at making some of these changes, but if I haven’t done it already, I suspect I’ll jump when the campaign calls really start ramping up.

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