I’m working on it. I shopped sales today at a store that has coupons and a phone app t=for savings. I used both, along with a store debit card that gives you a % off as well. I also brought my own bags for 5 cents off per bag. It added up to about $6 off my order. While it’s not huge, it’s a beginning.
I need some concrete strategies for getting thrifty again. I need to take advantage of store sales and things like I did today. I need to go through my budget and figure out where I can cut again. I know there is at least one gym membership that needs to go. I need to start grocery shopping with a list again. Meal planning for the week and sticking to it would help as well. I planned everything out for last week and failed to take into account the amounts of everything that I was making. I made the first meal and it was enough to last the week. But, I didn’t want the same thing all week so I ended up buying lunch at school. And, in the meantime, several of the other ingredients went bad. Poor planning on my part. But, lesson learned. Make less or plan on having leftovers for a few days a week and making fewer things. I have a dozen cookbooks that have almost never been used. It’s time to start cooking again.
We’ve gotten better about keeping the doors and windows open when it’s nice out, or the curtains open when it’s sunny, thereby saving money on heating or cooling and lighting. We only run full loads of things in the washers. As I start hanging clothes again, the dryer use will drop off, saving us money.
Here’s the dilemma though. Some things that will save us money aren’t exactly green. Which do I make a priority? For the moment, I am having dry goods delivered to the house. It’s cheaper to get them online and it saves me a trip to the store where I would likely spend even more money on things I don’t need (I’m not out of that habit yet). While having recycled toilet paper and compostable plates delivered seems a bit ironic, it’s saving me money over trying to buy the same items at the store. More of the items are green since there is a wider selection to choose from online, but it is burning up fuel to deliver them to my door. Huh. And it’s not like I can just get by without toilet paper.
I get a net gain from all of my other strategies though. Saving the environment by using less energy saves me money, too. Buying less meat because I’m a vegetarian (still have to buy some for everyone else in the house who hasn’t made the switch) saves animals and money. Throwing open the doors allows me to enjoy nature and save money on climate control. (It also saves me from having to get up to let the dog out) And soon, my garden will save me money grocery shopping and give me intense pleasure in working the dirt. There’s really no downside.
Thrift is like any skill – the more you practice, the better you get at it. Once I sit down and take a real inventory of our new situation, I’ll be able to set new savings goals. I’m going to need to practice some to get back in the thrifty swing of things – it does take more time and planning than just off-the-cuff shopping – but I may even be able to double our current savings this year. It’s a pretty ambitious target to hit though, doubling one’s savings, no matter where one starts, isn’t easy. To do it, I’m going to need to really step up my game. Thrift to the rescue! It’s going to be fun to try.