With the cost of gas spiking yet again, it makes me try to think about ways I can cut down on our family's budget (not an easy thing to accomplish, as I am sure you all know!).
So, I thought maybe if we could share the little things we are doing with each other, we may learn something new from each other that might help.
Here are some of the things I am doing differently:
- You have all heard of cutting your dryer sheets in half, well, I now cut mine into quarters! They still work just fine, haven't seen any of my kids walking around with a sock stuck to their shirt yet ;)
- Cat Food: I used to feed my cat a can of Fancy Feast everyday...life was good. But with the cost of that brand up 10-15 cents per can, it was one of the first things to be cut out of the budget. Poor Goldie. He now gets a can once or twice a week and I always give him chicken whenever we have it for dinner, so he is not totally deprived, but yes, I still have guilt...
- Dishwasher Soap: I used to use Electrosol Gels, now I use the powder one from The Dollar Tree. Have not noticed any difference at all.
- Give yourself a raise. My dh has not had a raise in 4 or 5 years. Seriously. So, with the cost of everything going up, it is hard to keep up with the rising costs...then add in some added expenses, such as preschool and a higher car payment when my dh totaled his car this past winter...well...ouch! So...one way to increase our income was to reduce the amount he is contributing to his 401K. Double ouch. Not really what we wanted to do, but sometimes drastic measures are called for. We hope to up it back up to where we had it next year when preschool is over and my minivan is paid off...whoo-hoo!
- We don't do this...but if you are claiming 'zero' on your income taxes, you could increase it to give yourself a boost in take-home pay. We will never do this, because we like our little tax refund we get every year, so claiming zero it will stay.
- Gas: I buy it at Costco, it is usually at least 10 cents cheaper per gallon than our surrounding gas stations.
- Check out generic brands. I mentioned The Dollar Tree dish washing soap...but there are so many GREAT generics out there. Off the top of my head: butter, hot dog & hamburger buns, canned tomato products (especially if using in a sauce with lots of spices), pull-ups, dryer sheets, cereal and really...just try new things and see what you like and what you don't like.
- And since this is a decorating blog, I should add in a few decorating on a budget tips: Big Lots has lots of nice things at great prices, including cheapo spray paint that works just fine (Thanks, Joy at Joys of Home!), and who can forget our beloved Dollar Tree, with their ceramic pumpkins, fall garland and craft paint and anything else your creative mind can come up with! We should really have a little logo thingee that says, "Bloggers Love The Dollar Tree" on it, lol!
So, now that you have heard a few of my tips, I would LOVE to hear yours! If this topic is of interest to you, you might want to subscribe to the comments thread, too, just check the box when you submit your comment. If any of you post a blog on this topic, please let me know, too, thanks!!!
PS: All in Hurricane Ike's path are in my thoughts, stay safe, take care, and check in when you can!!!