Sunday, October 09, 2016

Frugal Living ~ October 2016


Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship. -Benjamin Franklin

One month ago, I wrote a post about finding ways to save money.  It involved consigning, returning things, closing Netflix streaming and cutting back on energy use.

Here are the results of our cutbacks:

1.  Netflix streaming - kids are sad, it's Halloween season and they can't stream their favorites.  I found another deal where I can get Hulu.com for $5.99 per month and I'll get $25 back through my AMEX card by 2/4/17.  I'd post the deal but it expired yesterday.  So parents are happy because we can stream our favorite shows after the kids go to bed.  Kids are sad but they now have Hulu and Amazon Prime, I think they will live.

2.  Energy usage - well, I've gone around the house turning off lights but I don't know if we've saved anything yet.  It's more of a good long-term habit to have.  I've also moved my office to the basement where it's cooler, so I don't notice the lack of air conditioning upstairs.

3.  Returns - I ended up keeping the trashcan I was going to return last month, because it has a lid and the original intention was to keep our 21 month old out of the trash.

4.  Consigning - the show starts this coming weekend and I'm up to $1,445.00!  This has basically taken over my evenings Monday - Friday for the past month in tagging, boxing and sorting clothes but I figure all I'm normally doing is watching TV during those hours so might as well be productive!

This past month has made us more intentional and careful about what we spend and our food spending came down $100.00.  It's still not down to the target I set, but I'll take $100 for progress!

Here are a few other ways where we've discovered savings:

1.  Costco Diapers VS Amazon Diapers
We usually buy our diapers from Costco but this month husband forgot, our Costco is 30 minutes away so we don't want to spend the gas to run back but thankfully Costco offers free shipping on diapers so I offered to go online and buy them – but wait – let’s cross check what Amazon offers for diapers first!  

It turns out Amazon Pamper diapers are significantly cheaper with the Amazon Family plan, which is already part of Amazon Prime and the only hitch is a monthly subscription which can be canceled any time.  Well, baby is only 21 months old so we’ll probably need diapers for the next year so this works out well for us.  

Here is the savings:
  • Costco Size 3 Diapers $38.99 per month, $0.19 per diaper (this month with coupon $34.99, $0.17 per diaper)
  • Amazon Family with 20% savings $26.18, $0.15 per diaper (I also got a first time buyer coupon of $2 that brought the final price down to 25.64 with tax.
2.  Lowe's Returns
I've heard Lowe's will take back dead plants for up to a year!  I'm not willing to wait that long.  Every time I have a plant from Lowe's die, I take it back!  Recent return was $10.60!

3.  Coffee downgrade
I was buying Starbucks Espresso to make my Pioneer Women Iced Coffee because I tried Cafe Bustelo once and it was kinda harsh.  I decided to give it one more try and it was much better, maybe I didn't filter it well enough before, anyway it turned out awesome and lasted an entire month.  Starbucks Espresso costs $12.95 for a 1lb bag at Target Starbucks.  Cafe Bustelo at Shop 'N Save cost $3.99!  That's almost $9 in savings per month!

4.  Ebates!
Ebates is a website that helps you earn a small percentage for online purchases.   You have to create an account on Ebates first, then select the online company you want to buy from, after clicking on the company it will open that company's page and Ebates will pay you a small percentage that varies per company.  I find it really hard to remember to do this, but recently I've been more careful and have actually earned a few dollars.  If you click on my link and create an account I'll earn $25.

5.  Target Flu Shot
Target is giving $5.00 for all flu shots given.  I don't think they will accept children because they are supposed to go to their primary pediatrician but we could get $10 with two adults and I'm pretty sure our insurance covers this for free.

I'm writing these posts as a way to encourage myself and others to keep looking for ways to save money.  In our home, we've been following a tight budget for 8 years and we are still finding small ways to compromise and save money.

Note: The Amazon link in this post is an affiliate link.

No comments: