So you want to save money? Well, I have a really radical idea for you today. One you may not be too familiar with.
Go without. You heard me, survive for periods without things that are luxuries but not necessities.
Two things that we go without are Cable/Satellite and home phones. Boom. That’s a good chunk of money saved each month. Another thing you can do is pair down on subscriptions. Our daughter had a membership to one of her favorite sites, Animal Jam, last year and when the subscription recently ended, we had to break the news to her that we couldn’t pay for it this year. Thankfully, she took it well.
This is going to sound silly, but one of my recent sacrifices is half and half. I have long been a coffee creamer snob – only half and half would do. But I had to slash it from the spending recently when I realized it was just one more thing that I didn’t need in my shopping cart. I am now (sob) suffering with milk in my coffee. Oh the horror.
The Shopping Day Challenge
Another way to do without is to pick a grocery shopping day of the week and do not waiver from it. Listen carefully, people, do not run to the store for “just one thing”. That “one thing” will cost you $50 bucks every. time. I’ve gone back and forth with this rule in the past but have been much more strict about it now that saving money is imperative. Also, I usually cross the border for my dairy and produce, so that’s not something I can simply run out and do any day of the week.
The result is, sometimes we run out of milk. So we do without it. For days, if need be. Sometimes the kids eat up the two bags of apples in two days and they have to wait a week to get more. Sometimes we run out of cheese or oatmeal, or eggs – and so we eat other things.
The Pantry Challenge
Also, at least once a year I think everyone should take the pantry challenge. Don’t buy a single dry good until that puppy is cleaned out. Get creative here – find uses for that can of beans or box of spaghetti noodles that have been lurking in the dark recesses of your pantry for ages. You can probably cut your grocery bill in half or more for one glorious month.
No, it’s not always convenient or comfortable. Particularly for those of us who are tried and true North Americans who aren’t necessarily used to having to do without staples in the kitchen. Fishing out that old can of tuna for dinner instead of pouring another lazy bowl of cereal may not be what you wanted, but one thing you can’t deny – it definitely saves money.
Have you ever tried these two methods for saving money? Do tell.