Wednesday, May 6, 2009

WFMW - Frugal Tips Edition

Works for Me Wednesday
Frugal Tips Edition

Good morning everyone! Because it's a new month, it's time for a themed version of WFMW. About a month ago I caught just a snippet of a morning news show (sorry, can't remember which one) where they had an expert share ideas for saving money. I think the teaser before the commercial was "learn how you can save over $33,000 a year." That kept me tuned to their station!

Here's what I remember the advice being:
1 - Eat out less often.
2 - Wear your clothes longer.
3 - Get rid of your cell phone.
4 - Get rid of your second car.
5 - Have your college students live at home and attend the community school.

That's all great advice. Unfortunately, following it isn't going to save us $33,000 because we're already doing #1-3 and we think we save more money ignoring #4-5.**

I guess we've been saving that money all along! So, here are some other things that we do to help us build up our retirement account (in no particular order).
  • I cut everyone's hair but my own. (Did try it once - that was a disaster!) With six males in the house that really made a difference.
  • We limit consumption of bottled water and juice boxes.
  • We make our own cookies and treats.
  • We cook meals from scratch. (I'm not sure my kids know what Hamburger Helper is!) My favorite "trick" for this is wheat-meat.
  • We go camping for our family vacations.
  • We use frequent flier miles to get the kids to college.
  • Our most recent "new thing" was to join a farmer's market co-op. A couple of weeks ago, Wayne wanted to make this Spanish Omelette and needed asparagus. I paid $4 a pound for it at the grocery store. The next week I went to the farmer's market and we were able to get it for $1 a pound. ($11 for an 11# box, but there were 11 in the group so it worked perfectly!)
There you have it! I hope this is helpful for somebody. I'm looking forward to seeing what other families do that we can try also. Every little bit helps!!
** I think he said the average U.S. family eats out 5 meals a week; we eat out as a family two or three times a year.
We only buy clothes when we've outgrown or outworn what we currently have.
We waited years to get a cell phone, and then decided that it was a waste of money to have a monthly plan. We shopped around for the best pre-paid phones and only use them for emergencies/keeping tabs on kids.
We lived ten years with just one car and know it's possible. Right now we do have more than one car, but no car loans. That's advice we'd consider doing again if it became necessary. Right now it's cheaper to keep the extra car than have to try to replace it later.
Our college kids pay for their own room and board. It would cost us more to have them live at home! (Although they know they're more than welcome if they want to come home.)


Ketchesons said...

Great Advice!!
Could you explain about the FM Co-op?
Our farmer markets are opening soon and the idea of a co-op sounds tempting.

Becky said...

I have a friend who invited 11 other friends to join her in a farmers' market co-op. Our farmer's market is about 45 minutes away. Every other week two of us go together and buy for the group. Each person is responsible for getting their money and a laundry basket to one of the people going the day before they leave. (We decided $15 was a good amount.) The shoppers divide the produce into the baskets, and then we each go pick them up at one of their houses. Our organizer set up the schedule of who goes when and sends an email reminder to everyone a couple of days before each trip. If only 10 remember to drop off money and baskets, that's all they buy for. (When only 3 or 4 were going to be able to participate over spring break, we cancelled that trip.)