I have to admit while, overall, I dislike blogs that tell you how to live your life better, there were a few interesting points. I even subscribed to Zen Family Habits, so we'll see what they have to say over there.
Anyways, I read this post called How I Save Money and had to giggle. I always jump at the chance to read other people's ideas on ways to cut out expenses from our lives and this post was no exception. We very much live paycheck-to-paycheck in our house, though there is some chance in the future of this situation improving as some large expenses start shifting around.
Here is the list of money-saving points that I looked through to see if any would help us:
1) I cut my own hair. Obviously this was written by a man. I know very, very few women who do this. I spend a decent amount on haircuts ($50 plus tip) but that is it. I don't color, perm, straighten, nothin'.
2) No Cable TV. Check.
3) Became vegan. While we are no where near vegan, this kind of suggestion always baffles me. I have been vegetarian, and for a short while vegan, and every other dietary label under the sun. My grocery bill never changed. Though maybe if I ate lots of beans and rice it certainly would.
4) Don’t use the gym. Check.
5) Rarely go to the movies. I will say "check" for this, though I do go to the movies once in a while. I go to the local budget theatre and pay $5.50 for a ticket.
6) Quit smoking. Don't smoke.
7) Don’t drink much. I am the only drinker in our family and I consume, total, about one drink per month.
8) Never go out. Check.
9) Stay healthy. I wouldn't say we are the models of perfect health, but we have great insurance and have little out-of-pocket expenses for illness. I would say I pay WAY more for things to keep my family healthy than to treat illness.
10) Don’t go shopping. Okay, I do like to shop. But by "shop" I mean go to Target (darn them for being two blocks from my girls' school!). I am sure people could look at what I buy and think my family could do without some/most of it, but I would say by far my purchases are for things that are basic household necessities.
11) Have only one car. Check. And it has close to 120,000 miles on it, so there!
12) Bring my own lunch. As a SAHM I rarely have reason to buy lunch out, but I do on occasion. My husband buys lunches out of his "allowance" (yes, we call it that very tongue-in-cheek).
13) No magazine or newspaper subscriptions. I do get a few magazines but I order them at steep discounts, like for $5-$10 per year. So I spend maybe $75 per YEAR on magazines.
14) Rarely buy new clothes. I would have to say that, overall, we rarely buy new clothes, and when we do, it's the Old Navy clearance special. I would totally be a thrift-store gal but my husband and I are both quite tall and difficult to buy clothes for.
15) Never travel. This year we are going on our first real vacation. We do travel fairly regularily to see family, but I consider that an absolute necessity.
16) No more lattes. Any lattes in our family come from our allowance.
Anyone have any special things they have done to save money on their household expenses?