A place for Maine's Frugalistas to Share Information on Matching Coupons with Upcoming Sales to Maximize Savings to Your Budget. Welcome, Friends ♥

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Personal Money Saving Strategies

For me, saving money, in all aspects of my living is important. So, I make the most of the many resources available. My top number of money saving strategies are:

1. Know the difference between your needs and your wants. "Need" is defined to be necessary; indicates that a course of action is desirable or necessary. Whereas, "want" is defined as to wish, crave, demand, or desire. This takes a lot of thought. When you understand the difference between needs and wants, your priorities change. Before you make a purchase, ask yourself questions like, Do I require this to make my life easier? Will this purchase take up precious time from more important things, like time with friends or family? Can I afford this? Will I have to work more hours to pay for it, again, robbing your time from more important things? Do I need it right now?

2. Friends & neighbors save coupon inserts for me. I always have multiples of each week's coupons and I never have to buy a Sunday paper. In return, I give them gifts from my bounty of freebies. I am not out anything because I decide what to gift. My cupboards remain stocked and I love that I can pass on the savings to others.

3. I plant a small garden each Spring. I love growing my own veggies. Beyond that, it saves tons of money on buying things that I can grow in my own yard. It saves on gas and my time: no driving to the store. It saves on trash in landfills because household scraps become organic compost. What I cannot use by the end of the season, I pick and can or freeze to enjoy through the winter.

4. Gleaning food. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. Our community building often has food donated by a local Hannafords and each family is able to pick up a shopping bag of fruits and veggies, breads and desserts for free. Look at community boards to see what might be available in your community. If you live in an area with local farms or orchards, at the end of the season, many are willing to allow families to glean these or sell the produce at severely reduced rates rather than let the produce go to waste. It takes a bit of courage, but it never hurts to ask.

5. Keeping animals. We keep chickens for eggs. Most of our flock has been given to us. We watch the Uncle Henry's View Here and Craig's List View Here for hens who need a home. We keep enough to satisfy our family's need and we sell our excess to other families. It costs us to buy grain, true, but when we figure it all out. We make a profit of a few hundred dollars each year and we have an unlimited supply of the freshest, most delicious eggs we could eat. The chickens, also, keep down bugs in the yard. We will hatch a few clutches of chicks this spring to sell or replenish our flock. And, some folks supply Sunday dinner from their flock when their girls don't produce as much.
Feeding Leah and Rachel some treats.

Jedidiah playing with a box.
This year, we also started a small goat herd. We will sell the kids to cover the cost of grain and hay for the cooler months. And, we gain goat milk from the Nanny's. From this, we will make several kinds of cheese, including herbed goat cheese, feta cheese, mozzarella, and ricotta, goat's milk lotion and soap. We will have what we need to supply our family and will sell our excess which makes our Nanny's financially profitable. In addition, they are so loving and have such wonderful personalities, they bring joy into my life with their antics.

Note of caution: Keeping animals is not for everyone. There is work that goes into this hobby, mucking stalls, feeding, and keeping your animals healthy. It works for us, but be very thoughtful about what you are getting into before you invest in raising your own animals.

6. Buy the best quality things you can afford. My dear sister-in-law gave me this sage piece of wisdom and I keep it in mind. "We are too poor to buy cheap." It may sound like a contradiction, but if you have to replace a thing many times because it is of poor quality, where is the savings on that? Instead, if you are buying online, use coupon codes matched with sales to get great savings. Companies, such as www.CouponChief.com, are great resources for up-to-date coupon codes to use with sales at many high quality stores. Good quality items last and I have found that I can buy these for less than buying cheap brands by matching sales with good coupons. For instance, last week, I bought (12) bottles of Dove Shampoo and Conditioners. These regularly sell for more than $4/bottle. With the sale Rite Aid had and the coupon from a Sunday paper, I bought the 1st set of six for $5.50, which is .92¢/bottle and used the earned $5RR on the 2nd set of six to buy them ALL for .55¢. That is .09¢ per bottle. Compare with Alberto V05. This product does not work on my hair. I use more shampoo trying to clean my hair and the conditioner is next to useless for me. Why buy this inexpensive brand for .79¢-.99¢ a bottle when I can get a quality bottle of shampoo for so much less?

7. Use it up. Wear it out. Make do or do without. Reuse and Recycle what you can. Instead of throwing things out, can it be fixed or can it be repurposed? Be creative. An ornate head board to an unuseable, unfixable antique bed gets a fresh coat of paint, some polyurethane, and becomes a whimsical sign in the garden. Excess mortar from a household tiling project gets poured into a round cake pan, decorated with shells from the beach, and sets overnight into a lovely garden accent stone. Your local ReStore is full of second hand light fixtures, various types of tile, and other home improvement project needs for about 50% off regular retail.

7. Barter. Your friends and family are comprised of people who have gifts. Perhaps, one styles hair. Another is a thrifty shopper. Someone else you know is the "Pied Piper" of children and makes the perfect babysitter. Trade your resources for their expertise. One of my close friends raises chickens for meat. I do not. I trade bathroom supplies; shampoos, deodorants, tooth care items, hair color, etc.
-all of which I get for FREE- for what she has to trade- delicious home grown chickens ready for my freezer or Sunday night dinner table.

What strategies do you use most frequently to save money?

Sonja ♥

No comments:

Post a Comment