Leftover yellow rice + leftover falafel + broccoli that needs to be used up + hummus + tzatziki?
You get one crazy mixed up lunch.
The point of today’s lunch was to use up some ingredients that have been sitting around for a while. In fact, this is going to be the theme for a while to come. Frugality my friend! That’s right, I’m resurrecting that girl who coupon shops, searches out the best deals, and doesn’t spend a dime that isn’t necessary.
I’ve spent a lot of time today thinking of ways that I can save money and maximize the money that I am spending.
Some of the biggest expenses in my life are food and entertainment. Those are also the 2 places I feel that I can save the most money.
Some of the things that I came up with are:
- Drink less alcohol – lets face it, beer and wine aren’t cheap.
- Spend less – It might sound obvious, but my goal is to seriously consider everything I purchase. No more shopping for entertainment!
- Plans meals ahead of time – I spend much less money when I make out a weekly meal plan, buy only the items I need to make those meals and stick to it. Bonus points for planning meals around weekly sale items and ingredients already on hand.
- Use coupons – In the past I’ve been able to save tons by using coupons for items already on sale. This works especially well when purchasing things that are non-perishable. I haven’t bought laundry detergent in probably 6 months because I majorly stocked up when I found some great deals a while back. The problem with couponing is learning to not allow your coupons to influence what you would buy. There is a whole art to “couponing”. Learn more here.
- Research other ways to save money – there are tons of websites and other resources out there to learn the art of saving. I plan on exploring these and applying them.
- Find free entertainment – Playgrounds, libraries, parks, museums … there are so many free or cheap forms of entertainment available. I plan on trading in my Saturday shopping excursions for some of these more bank account friendly alternatives.
- Eat out less – Once a week limit. I don’t want to completely nix eating out, my family enjoys it very much but we don’t need to enjoy it 3 times a week. I have been very good recently about packing my food for work instead of ordering out, I plan to continue that.
- Buy in bulk – Costco! It tends to be much cheaper to buy items in bulk when possible. Sometimes this can get tricky though, its a good idea to bring a calculator along to make sure you are getting a deal. I like to compare prices by unit, ounce, etc … whatever the case may be to make sure I’m getting the best deal. Sometimes things that appear cheaper aren’t always.
Notice the unit price? Its always a good idea to compare the unit price to make sure what appears to be a good deal truly is. If the unit price isn’t listed like in the picture, its easy enough to figure out. Divide the price of the item by the unit of measurement (in this case ounces). $1.46/50 oz = $0.0292 per ounce.
I actually found today that Palmolive dish detergent was cheaper than Great Value (Walmart brand) by doing the math.
- Buy only enough produce to use before it goes bad – One problem I often have is throwing away expensive produce because it sat around too long. Planning meals ahead of time will help with this, but its a good idea to only buy enough free fruits and vegetables to last about 3-5 days.
I’m sure there are many many other ways to save money, but these are some of the first things that came to mind today that I plan on implementing.
I’m even considering doing an experiment in the future called “Can I Be a Stay at Home Mom” in which I plan on putting all my earnings aside and living only off my husband’s income. I haven’t worked out all the details of how I will do this, or even if it is feasible, but its a dream of mine to be able to raise my children at home.
I put some of my new ideas to the test tonight for dinner. I made homemade pizza dough in the bread machine this morning to save money on buying pizza dough, and it turned out great. It was also a good opportunity to use up some produce before it was past its prime.
I made an arugula salad on the side.
What are some of the ways you save money?