I also think it’s important to point out that I don’t believe in sacrificing for money. We live just once, I won’t use a product that I don’t like or cut things that are important to me out of our budget. The goal in budgeting for me is to spend less to get the same thing, or something that works better.
The Money Saving Tips That Helped Us…
1. Eliminated Eating Lunches out at work, for better packed lunches that save time, calories and taste better.
Savings: $7,200 (70.00 per week per person) – 2,080 (40.00 per week for lunch ingredients) = 5,120.00 saved
2. Began menu planning and strategic shopping using Wegmans online tools to reduce grocery spending.
Savings: $10,400 (200.00 per week) – $6,240.00 (120.00 per week) = $4,160.00 saved
3. Began using the library exclusively and stopped buying books at all.
Savings: $3,600 (about 70.00 per week on average) – 0.00 = $3,600.00 saved.
4. Stopped drinking bottled water and switched to filtered water in reusable bottles exclusively.
Savings: 42.97 per month (from water bottles and deer park delivery – cost of filters, and purchasing high quality water bottles and the occasional gallon water bottle to bring to work to refill) x12= $515.64 saved.
5. Established a home stock room, researched best unit price for all items. Also saved significant time running errands and shopping. Click here for more information on my home stock room and here for my free inventory workbook to keep track of it.
Savings: $1,357.43 per year. (see next weeks post for specific break down of savings).
6. Cancel cable and use hulu plus for TV exclusively (Jon also hooked up our seldom used desktop computer to the TV so that you can watch the free full episodes on the network sites in the TV). You can read more about that here.
Savings- $2,220( 185.00 per month) – $1,092 (for epic Internet- 91.00 per month) = $1,128.00 saved
7. Cancelled the Gym membership and began using the community association gym and pool for free.
Savings: $600.00 (50.00 per month) – 0.00 = $600.00 saved.
8. Began using moderate coupons on items I’m already buying.
Savings: 260.00 per year (an average of $5.00 per week)
9. Switched to Suave Rosemary and Mint shampoo and conditioner from Pantene:
Savings: $101.65 per year
10. Signed up for RX by mail through my health insurance company:
Savings: $360.00 (30.00 per month) – $120.00 (10.00 per month) = $240.00
11. Began the $10.00 Christmas Tradition with my extended family.Click here to learn more about that.
Savings: $300 per year – $80 per year = $220.00 saved.
12. Purchased clothing needs at thrift stores and discount stores. (Not exclusively- still a few pieces purchased at retailer).
Savings: $620.00 less spent this year on clothing than last year.
13. Stopped purchasing music on iTunes and began renting all of my CD’s from the library (which can be turned into MP3’s by hooking up to your computer.) Note: While likely unenforceable, please delete MP3 after CD is returned to the library to avoid copyright infringement. While no one would ever find out, it’s the honest thing to do. Also- No one (except me), even rents CD’s from the library, so you can just keep re-renting it if you love it). Learn my tricks for that here.
Savings: $14.95 per month for Rhapsody and 40.00 in iTunes purchases (approximate- I can’t tell from iTunes which is apps and which is music) = $219.40 saved.
14. Implemented a Spending Freeze for two weeks (I’ll write a post about this later- you don’t buy ANYTHING except absolute necessities for 14 days- it’s actually pretty fun!)
Savings: about $400.00 (though this is highly debatable – just my assessment).
15. Cancelled Netflix and switched to Amazon Prime.
Savings: $300.00 per year ($25.00 per month) – $70.00 (also get free 2 day shipping on most products purchased on amazon) = $230.00
16. Refinanced Mortgage to historical low interest rate. (I’m just using our monthly mortgage payment to calculate savings, not savings over the life of the loan which are considerably higher).
Savings: $274 per month: $3,288.00 per year.
17. Talked Jon out of purchasing every single video game that his group of Xbox friends want to play in favor of finding games that have longevity.
Savings: Last year we spent $380.00 on video games, this year we spent $35.00 (Thank you Dayz and Minecraft!)= 345.00
Update: 5/19/15: Three years later, he’s still playing DayZ! Best $20 spent ever!
TOTAL SAVINGS IN ONE YEAR FROM THESE MONEY SAVING TIPS?
Now the challenge is to reduce it by another $10,000 for next year and come up with a whole new set of money saving tips!
If you think this was great, you should see The Ultimate Money Saving Workbook!: 200 Ways to Decrease Your Spending, Increase Your Savings and Achieve Your Dreams! It’s available for FREE to you for email subscribers. It’s filled with all of the ways we’ve learned over the last 5 years about saving money. This workbook was instrumental in reducing our spending enough for me to quit my job so I could stay home with our kids. Enter your Email below to get your FREE copy!