Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Little Bitty Cut-Backs

I don't really like that thought of making little cut backs, but they are what they are...little. With the effort we've made to work on saving, following our budget, and reducing spending to build our "cushion" at the end of each paycheck, the so called little cutbacks are necessary.

Crazy Cooking
We used to try a new recipe each week. Most of the time, the recipe would call for several different ingredients that would raise the price of the meal to above the normal meal cost. And there wouldn't even be a guarantee that we'd like it. Which in that case, those ingredients would just go to waste unless I found another new ingredient to use them in....which in most cases didn't happen. We made the decision to cut back our new recipe adventure to maybe once a month. We were honest with ourselves and agreed that we'd rather just grill some steaks knowing that we'd enjoy them.

Calling all Groomers?
We used to take the dogs to Pets Mart once a month to be groomed. Not any more. That cost us $66 a month. Not including the time and effort it would take to get both dogs in and out, there and home again. It may seem easy to picture it all in your mind, but these weenies have their own motives. Just ask Hank who got lose last time and ran around the parking lot. Talk about frazzled nerves. EEeeek!
Now I just throw them the tub, some smell good oatmeal soap, a scrubbie-dub-dub and they smell like brand new.

"Kisses anyone? I'm clean!"

It's Coffee Time!!
We used to make trips to the coffee shop on the weekends to treat ourselves. Then it turned into an all the time thing.

 Biggby Coffee shop is a bit down the road and was just so delicious and affordable (so say) so we didn't think twice about trips to treat. That was until I tallied up the damaged and had a rude awakening. Now we enjoy a homemade cup-a-joe in the comfort of our own home. Much cheaper and cozier at that.

Kitchen Changes
I'm trying to simplify my cooking. Trying to narrow down our favorite meals to a list of about 30 so that I can always have a pretty good idea on what I'm going to be fixing for the month or so. I don't want to get into a rut with meals, but repetition is an OK thing.

Sticking with a Plan...Trying to At least
Earlier in the year, we made the move to working with cash envelopes. We tried making a budget to coincide with our envelopes and all, but it's not going over so well right now. I do not like that feeling of entrapment and in a way that's what a budget feels like to me. A super strict guide on how to spend. Maybe that's why the envelopes aren't going so well. We've had a lot of bumps and still do. It's not an overnight success, but we're sticking with it. Seeing cash go from your hand to another is a little bit more harsh than swiping that card. It's working for us so far. 

Do you have ways you cut back. Little, tiny, or super big? I'd love to know. We're ready for a permanent financial change in the direction of the better.


  1. Cutting back on things can be a challenge but it can also sometimes be fun by seeing all the ways you can cut corners and keep your money in the bank :-)Here a few things we have done: we ordered just basic cable instead of the million channels we used to have...helps us spend less money and less time watching tv...we did get Netflix which gives us more options when we want them..I used to have a cell phone plan (2 phones on plan) and was spending $150 month and always having to watch my min....now I have a Walmart straight talk phone which I pay $45 a month for which is unlimited min, text, internet....its not fancy but its really I need....I also started couponing/stockpiling and this really helps...I am not one of those extreme couponers but I do have about 6-12m worth of toiletries in my stockpile which I paid very little for by reading blogs that told me where the best deal was..I also have a small stockpile of food like pasta, peanut butter, sauce, etc...so this helps cut my grocery budget every week...my husband work is commission only and he makes very in the winter time so we have to do what we can during the rest of the year to help ease our expenses in the winter...I am a stay at home to two girls and although we do sacrafice having an extra income it is worth being able to be with my girls everyday:-)
    Good luck with your cutting back plan and have fun with it too :-)

  2. This is going to sound bizarre but my hubs and I are card swipers and it has saved us a ton! This is what we did....
    1. Choose a card you will get the most rewards for where you shop. For us it was costco, walmart, groceries and gas. That card for us was an American Express.
    2. Know the rules. If it isn't paid in full every month for instance there are NO rewards.
    3. Set a very strict budget. We added up everything. From groceries, entertainment, coffee splurges, gifts, gas... and everything inbetween that we spend in a month.
    4. Save receipts. All of them. That way you can keep a log of whats on the card for the month.

    The reason this helped us so much is because we were VERY strict with it! I usually end up spending much less than in the cash days because I never want to add it up w/ a week left in the month and be cut off. Literally if we hit our limit we'll go to food storage. That hasn't happened yet because we find ourselves both being more thrifty not knowing what the other has spent. Then once a year when the rewards bill comes and it has a credit worth hundreds of dollars it is our reward. For never going over and paying it in full every month.

    Sorry that was long.... but it works for us.


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But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more Psalm 71:14