I really really want you guys to read this one. I need you to! In a matter of weeks, I will be unemployed, and pursuing my education. I have been doing as many classes as I can while being on the road, and lets just say that it isn't fun. I have a midterm staring me in the face actually. I can't keep up a full time job and expect to finish my degree in any reasonable amount of time.
The point is that I need to figure out how to spend less money. I want to reach out and ask you all what your best money saving tips are. I will tell you what I am already doing, and feel free to correct me or add to my list.
~Garden and Food Preservation~ I really really really am putting forth a ton of energy trying to make everything stay alive so that we have tons of produce. I don't want to screw up the garden this year. I want to put up as much stuff as I can. We are even planting down at the farm this year so we can have tons of squash and pumpkins for the winter. What do you all think of planting potatoes down there? Keep in mind, it is an hour away, so we will only be down there every couple of weeks. I know the animals will eat some of my squashes, but some sort of loss is to be expected. We will also have corn down there. Everything else will be at home. I also plan on going to UPick places to get berries and fruits for jams and preserves. As for meat, I get my beef for free as a Christmas present, and I get chicken from the market. The chicken is not cheap, but I try to use it sparingly. And from the bones, I get stock, so I won't stop buying it. Sorry. And we also have the Golden Girls, so we basically don't have to pay for eggs.
~Part Time Job~ I hear that Starbucks offers health benefits for part time workers, so I have already submitted my application. They haven't called me, so I intend to walk into the store and just talk to someone about it. I also submitted my application to the new local urban farm store. They haven't called me back either, but I know the owner is there in the afternoons, so I will approach him as well.
~Cable~ This may be the hardest one. We are thinking we will give up cable. I can watch most of the stuff I regularly watch online, but Hubby is a cable-news addict. He can watch his football live online, but that news... It may be the deal breaker. Any tips on that one? All the stuff I can't watch online, I will just have to become more social and go to friend's houses and watch along. If only I had more friends.....
~Cars~ We took the plunge and purchased a Prius for Hubby. It was a lot of money up front, but I can already feel us getting it back. He drives soooo much for work, its insane. Seriously, he was spending like, 500 a month in gas alone. So he now has over 3000 miles on his new car, and has only filled up like, 4 times. AMAZING. I will be biking everywhere I can in order to not drive my SUV. I only go to the same 4 places, all within a 5 mile radius pretty much, so it isn't that big of a deal for me to switch to biking. Except for big trips, like to get cat food and cat litter. Earth friendly, budget friendly, and waist line friendly.
~Eating Out and Entertainment~ We (I) am trying to cook more at home in advance so that when I don't feel like cooking, dinner is already done. Crock pot meals, stuff in the freezer, etc. The other day, I made 2 gallon bags of stuffed shells for the freezer, so all I have to do it put some in a pan and throw some sauce on top and pop it in the oven. Stuff like that. Any ideas to help there? As for entertainment, we aren't big "go out for a night on the town" type people, we mostly just rent movies. Although with my unlimited internet streaming from Netflix and free Hulu.com, we can watch almost any move we want.
~Spending in General~ I like to shop. There, I said it. But not for the normal girl stuff like clothes and makeup. I like to shop at the farmers market, garden stores, hardware stores, kitchen supply, books... Really, I have a problem. I have to stop. Plain and simple. HAVE TO STOP.
The general things that people spend too much money on (coffee out, dinner out, lunch out, etc) we already have a decent handle on. Neither of us are fancy coffee drinkers, so no problem there. Hubby eats lunch out a lot, so I will have to try and figure out how to get that down... So, any tips that I haven't thought of????