These days, most of us have to cut back and scrimp and stretch the funds. Sometimes I laugh at myself at some of the ways I try to save. They seem so small in the overall scheme of the total amount of expenses but even little things add up.
We do have programmed thermostats which I know help some but we keep our house really cool, especially at night. Summers our bills are way high; winters our heating costs are probably less than average because I’d do most anything to keep from using electric heat . . don’t like it at all.
We don’t really take vacations. With Vince working his day job and teaching at night, and the traveling I do with quilting, even though I don’t write much about it, I schedule two teaching engagements per month and am usually gone 2 or 3 days, sometimes a whole week, with each trip, so for us, home is where we’d rather spend our time. We may make a day trip to Kansas City or Joplin to eat out, and we did go to Arkansas for a week at spring break but that was mostly to spend time with Chad doing something he’d enjoy.
We keep our cars forever. I detest shopping for clothes. Decorating the house is torture for me. Groceries, cooking gadgets . . that’s my weakness.
When I think of ways to cut back, I think of groceries. Yes, I know . . I could cut back by not buying any fabric but that’s not going to happen. We could also cut back by not having TV (satellite) but I don’t think I should suggest that again any time soon!
Besides making almost everything from scratch and buying things on sale at the grocery store, here are a few of the things I do. They really seem small but I know they do add up.
- Often our stores have pork loins on sale and I always stock up. I slice some into pork chops and have several good recipes where pork loins can be used.
- I buy green peppers when they’re on sale during the summer and stuff them for the freezer. The top portion that I cut off, I chop and freeze to use in recipes that need green peppers.
- I buy bread that’s past its “sell by” date when it’s marked way down. I put some in the food processor for bread crumbs. I use a lot of those in meat loaf and meatballs. I chop some into chunks for bread pudding or cornbread dressing (my recipe calls for cornbread and white bread).
- Grow as much basil, rosemary, parsley, green onions, etc. as I can. I have them in pots on the deck to keep the deer from eating them.
- Make one trip per week to the grocery store and only with a list.
It’s not even that I have to scrimp and save but I love being frugal. When I think of a way to cut back and save a bit, I’m so excited!
Any special ways you cut back and save in your daily routine?