Monday, December 17, 2007

Savings Percentages

When you shop and price comparison doesn't seem worth it, think in terms of percentages.

If a gallon of milk costs $3.75 at one store and $3.25 at another, you save 50 cents by buying the cheaper milk. This might not sound like much, but it's a 13% savings! What if you could do that with your entire food budget? It would stretch a lot further.

When thinking this way don't forget to consider the gas used. You don't want to run to 7 different stores to get your groceries. Your time is worth something also. You'll also have to consider quality.

There's great value in saving pennies. They do add up over time and you establish good frugal habits that will make a difference in other areas of your life also.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Use What You Have Decorating

From a Subscriber:

I've moved five times in the past 10 years, due to life and job changes. My way of saving money is called "use what you have decorating." I've had the same bedroom drapes and comforter for four of the five places I've lived.Sometimes I use my old things in a new way.

For instance, I had inherited some painted china plates that my Mom had stuck in the back of her china cabinet. You couldn't even see 'em there! I hung them up in the bathroom, of all places! But they made pretty wall decorations and the steam and humidity doesn't affect china plates.

A cedar chest became a behind-the-sofa table. Old kitchen items -- utensils, dishes, pot lids and knick knacks -- were placed on top of the kitchen cabinets in one home, where the cabinets didn't go all the way to the ceiling. They made a cute display.

My nightstand began life as a microwave oven stand back in the 1980s, when microwaves were HUGE; its big table surface provides lots of room for my lamp, alarm clock, glasses and books.

An antique dresser from a third bedroom has been in two large bathrooms, used for storing towels and cosmetics. The curtains in one house has been made into valances for windows elsewhere.

I'm not above dumpster diving, either: I have scrounged stereo speakers, plant stands, shelves, lamps, a Martha Stewart shower curtain, large baskets and chairs from apartment dumpsters. (Everything was in perfect condition. Can't believe my neighbors threw all this good stuff away!)

If you "think outside the box" you can come up with new uses for the things you already own or items you find -- and you can't beat the price; it's all free!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Slash Your Food Bill

Stop paying full price at the checkout line. Everyone's feeling the shock of higher grocery prices these days: you run in to buy a few basics, and $60 later you leave the store wondering where your money went.

In fact, grocery bills have risen about 5.7 percent in the past two years. Get some tips from this AARP article.
"Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world." Duane Elgin

"Do what is good with your own hands, so that you might earn something to give to the needy." Ephesians 4:28