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10 ways to cut expenses

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10 ways to cut expenses

Post by Diva Cassie on Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:35 am

*Borrowed*

Many of you know that I was a full-time teacher prior to having children. Cutting out one personís entire income was an act of faith and determination, which left me pulling out all of my thrifty devices. Here is a list of the top things that I have done to cut out expenses.

1) Cut back on the grocery bill. This is one of the easiest ways that I have cut back on our spending. I began with my normal tactics of stocking up on great sales and buy 1 get 1 free offers. Then, I began using The Grocery Game and this has really paid off.

2) Shop for clearance items. I know all of the hot spots in Target for clearance items. You may think Iím a bit nuts, but I have a route of the store that I follow so that I can walk beside all of those clearance sections.

Sidenote from Cassie: I look for internet deals. I am forever finding a good bargain for birthdays or Christmas. I keep a list handy of people that I need to buy for that year and go ahead and get them something if I find it. That way when Christmas gets here, it is paid for and I have gotten a good product for a cheap price. Plus I spend some time thinking about it instead of just grabbing something.

3) Purchase used clothing. I check out consignment stores for gently used clothing. I really like it when the consignment stores have end of the season sales. Last year, my local consignment store was having 75% off their winter clothing. I got 2 huge bags of clothes for around $50. Itís nice to see my daughter wearing the coat that I paid $2 for. ;)

4) Limit errands and driving. When I was working, it was convenient to stop here and there on my way home. Now that Iím at home, I try to limit my errands to one or two days a week. Errands eat up time and gas.

5) Stay out of stores. If I go into a store ďjust to look aroundĒ then it is very tempting to make impulse purchases. When making my list of errands, I include all those stores that I need to go to for that day. This limited amount of time also cuts back on the amount of time I can spend in the stores.

6) Graciously accept used clothing from friends. A large portion of my daughterís clothing has been passed down to me from my best friend. Her daughter is 9 months older than mine and her daughterís clothes have been such a blessing to us.

Sidenote from Cassie: I have a SIL and a friend who have given my two year old clothes. I can't tell you what a blessing this is. I also have a friend from church that gives my 8 year old clothes. I never have to buy for my kids unless it's something of a certain color to go with an outfit.

7) Avoid catalogs. When I was teaching, I would receive catalogs from Current, Christian Book Distributors, ABC Distributing, Oriental Trading . . . I could go on and on. I would pass the catalogs around my work and we would all place orders together to save on shipping. Saving on shipping sounds good, right? Well, actually all those catalogs caused me to buy things I didnít really need.

8) Avoid going out to eat. When youíre working out of the house, there is less time to plan and prepare meals, and less energy to follow through. Since I became a work-from-home-mom, I have made a bigger effort to avoid restaurants. Now when I do the checkbook each month, I see where we have gone out to eat 3-4 times. When I was working, it was more like 6-9 times a month.

9) Quit buying things just because they are on clearance. This is a weak spot that I used to have. I would get stuff for 75-90% off and put it away for this and that, thinking that I would use the stuff. I was left with a lot of clutter. Thankfully, I got the stuff so cheap that I was able to put it in my yard sale and get my money back.

10) Haggle whenever possible. Negotiate on credit card interest rates, cell phone plans, cable television packages, and more. You can save your family a pretty good amount of money if youíre willing to get on the phone and start talking.

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