This post is directly related to my last post about being under-employed and under-paid. As a result of the limited funds, we have learned how to cut corners where we can. We are by no means experts at this, and there are still areas where we need to trim down, but for the most part, I think we are doing okay: I give us a B+.
1. No movies in the theaters. Let's be honest-- theater prices are insane! A couple could easily spend over $30 for 2-3 hours of entertainment. Compare this to the price of $9 a month for unlimited movies and TV shows on Netflix or a $2 new release from the nearest Redbox. When it comes to date nights at the theater, we use them sparingly. We have gone to the theater maybe 2 times in our nearly 2 years of marriage, and we are okay with it!
2. Cutting costs on special occasion cards. I love looking at the cards at Target; they are so shiny and witty. However, they are way over-priced for a piece of card-stock. When it comes to getting cards, I get them either at the dollar store where they sell slightly older cards 2 / $1, or I buy a package of generic cards and personalize the message myself.
3. No fancy meats or cheeses. When it comes to buying groceries, I buy two types of protein: chicken and hot-dogs (and brats on special occasions.) Even though we both enjoy red meat, we know it is probably not the healthiest for us, and it hurts our wallets. As for cheeses, we buy Target brand Mozarella, Cheddar, and Parmesan (in a bag.) Fancy cheeses (though delicious) send our food budget over the edge. Let the upper class eat their red meats and fine gourmet cheeses. We'll stick to our steroid-pumped chicken and market pantry cheeses.
4. Saying "no" to Birthday dinners out. I know that we are going to sound incredibly stiff-necked on this one, but we have discovered that anytime our friends celebrate their birthday's by going out to some place swanky, we leave pinching our empty pocket books. We love our friends, and we love celebrating them, but going out to eat pricy restaurants that we would never chose on our own because of the over-priced "delicacies" has left us feeling bitter on more than one occasion.
5. Buying clothes at Goodwill. I am a huge fan of Goodwill. Just today, I went shopping for their 4th of july sale where all clothing items were %50 off, and I found some adorable shirts for $2.50 each. You can not beat these prices (even at Target), and I love that you get a nice variety of styles at Goodwill. Oh yeah, I also bought some adorable winter boots for $2.50. Hey, just because we're broke, doesn't mean I have to look like the queen of frump.
These are the areas where we have learned to cut back. We have some more goals in this department that include dumping our internet and cable bill and building up an emergency fund. But for now, we have figured out how to cut back and even have some fun while doing so.
What do you think of these money saving tips? How do you save money each month? We need all the tips we can get!