(this is from my main blog...enjoy.)
I haven't stopped thinking about my earlier resolve...and what to do about it. In the meantime, I came across Frugal Upstate's list of 25 ways she saves money. And I started thinking about my own list:
*I buy my high-end clothing at the thrift store. (most recent purchase: Nike tennis shoes, perfect shape, $3!)
* I repair our clothing -- especially our socks. An hour with needle and thread, and you've got more outfits to wear -- fast.
*I water our milk down. Whole milk, at least around here, is the same price -- or cheaper -- than skim. Dilute it 30/70 with water, and you've got a much healthier drink with less fat.
*I buy cheese in big chunks -- and freeze it. You have some crumble factor, but the price per pound is much better when you buy 5 pounds versus one.
*Fruit and veggies, whenever possible, come from the farmer. It isn't just the farmer's market -- though that's nice. Trips back to Michigan invariably end with a bag of apples or peaches lugged back. Our suitcases back from Panama included ten pounds of coffee, direct from Finca La Milagrosa.
*Meat ditto. We have friends who own an insurance company -- this year, as in one year past, I'll be covering the office for them for a week or so. In return, we get one of their pigs in the fall, nicely processed in white packages and ready for cooking.
*If we can't get it from the farmer, we grow our own...
*buy it on sale, or from the clearance area. On Wednesdays, our local Sprouts not only honors the current week's sale prices on stuff -- but the previous week's sales, as well! And I always hit the clearance aisle. You never know what you'll find.
*I turn the thermostat down. Way down. As in 62-64 degrees. (Ironically, our plants seem to thrive on this.)
*We scavenge the wood for the fireplace. (One of our neighbors just cut down a dead tree...I need to get over there!)
*We swap dogsitting with neighbors, and a friend. We watch theirs...or reciprocate with gifts of home baking, fruit from Michigan (see above) and other goodies.
*Husband fixes our broken appliances. The man's a genius. (Yes, I'm a lucky woman!)
*We buy furnishings off Craigslist. Our classic leather chair and ottoman was less than $300 this way. Now I'm on the lookout for an Oriental rug for the dining room.
*We buy other stuff there, too. Or from penny advertising circulars. Our popup camper and Ford truck came that way -- at a steal.
*We use the expertise of friends. Tommy, who's run a concrete firm for decades, poured our driveway, plus our deck. Yes, we paid him the going rate...with the confidence that if something was wrong, he'd fix it. (I'm planning the long-overdue quilt he wants me to make!)
*We almost always buy used, and...
*We offer less than the price stated. Yes, we haggle. We bargain. My leather chair and ottoman would have cost at least $65 more. Husband saved us more than a thousand dollars this way on our Jeep Cherokee.
*We'll get our plane tickets wherever we can get them cheapest. Kayak is the best, though Priceline and Cheaptickets have done well for us, too.
*We'll buy travel packages -- but only when they save more than booking separately. The Panama trip was a drive/hotel package -- and worked out to roughly $45 a day. Not bad, for hotel rates that were double and triple that price. Plus, we got a car and unlimited mileage, in the bargain.
*We buy our souvenirs at the grocery store. Snacks and quickie meals come from there, too.
*Other souvenirs come from the roadside stand...or weekend market. We rarely buy anything from an official 'store,' unless it's groceries or food souvenirs.
I have more to say, on saving for the holidays...but I've yammered on long enough for now.
Take a look at the 25 things Frugal Upstate says she wouldn't save on!