Thursday, September 04, 2008

Anybody else broke?

The Hale household has taken a serious look at their finances lately. Okay, it was just me looking at my checkbook wondering why my balance wasn't bigger, but still. I know everyone is tired of hearing about high gas prices so I won't start whining about that ($3.70 a gallon in these parts). I realized very quickly that we eat out WAY too much. I knew if I didn't act quickly I may soon have to choose between my beloved five cheese ziti from Olive Garden and new books from Amazon. If I absolutely had to choose, I knew I could always munch on the pages I'd already read!

Instead of taking those drastic measures and possibly exposing myself to ink poisoning (What? This can totally happen if you write all over yourself. At least that is what my mom used to tell me). I started clipping coupons that I used to just throw away. I started actually using my deep freezer. I even Googled: five cheese ziti from Olive Garden and got the recipe. I made it for my family on Saturday and they went crazy.

I stopped buying so many magazines, knowing that I could always check them out from the library if I needed to. Our library also has an awesome selection of DVD's (they get the new ones every Tuesday) so I am considering canceling Netflix. I'm constantly following around behind the kids shutting off lights and appliances. I recently needed a new purse and found a gorgeous black leather Perlina at Von Maur for $120. I came home and got on eBay and bought the same exact NEW purse for $15. Yeah, baby! I also got some new Born shoes that retail for $100 for $16.
If I keep up at this rate, I may be able to get some of those things on my Amazon wish list next month! What are your favorite ways to save money? And what do you refuse to live without no matter how broke you are?




Marley Gibson said...

I refuse to give up my Clinique products! = )

Me said...

I can definitely use some of these tips! Hmmm, when I'm trying to stem the cash flow in the out direction, my number one tactic is to USE CASH. I lock my debit and credit cards away (except for gas--I'm not about to sacrifice pay-at-the-pump) and force myself to shell out the paper stuff. It's a lot harder to part with bills than to swipe a card and I find myself spending less without (really) trying.

TinaFerraro said...

We hold on to our cars, rather than buying or leasing new ones every few years. Of the 3 we have now, 1 is relatively new, while the other 2 were "born" in the '90s. And while there are sometimes painful repair bills, in the big picture, this has saved us plenty.

Kwana said...

We can't make it without our 2 cars and the gas is killing us- 3.89 for regular today and that is the cheapest it's been in months! This is a wonderful post. You've really inspired me. I love that you found that recipe!

The Golfing Librarian said...

This post reminds me of when I lived in Orlando and worked at The Golf Channel. The studios were very close to 2 different "restaurant rows". Co-workers would go out to lunch everyday at places like the Olive Garden. (Granted, they were mostly single, fresh out of college and thier only bills were were beer and rent.) I would mentally tally up what they were spending and calculate how many groceries my wife could buy for our family with they spent on lunch money. (a lot!)
That being said, I will probably die with a Coke in my hand. "Coca-Cola" is my Clinique.
BTW Steph, I'm still looking for the perfect shade of blue, per your suggestion/request.

TinaFerraro said...

As I type this, I am printing out the recipe for the 5 cheese ziti from the Olive Garden. It was an easy google...thanks!

Cara King said...

I am so cheap...which makes my life way less stressful sometimes. Hubby and I share one car, a tiny 1995 Hyundai that gets great gas mileage, and it makes things so much easier! (Hubby commutes by public transportation, and can relax and read or work while going to and from work.)

And I love shopping in thrift stores because if I buy something and then decide "what was I thinking?" I don't feel so bad because it only cost $2! :-)

I splurge by going out to movies a lot...I do love movies! So I guess movies are my Clinique.

Books *would* be my Clinique, except I have a Borders credit card, and I put everything I can on it, and we get free book coupons as a result...which helps keep the book expenses looking reasonable. ;-)


Anonymous said...

it's all the republicans fault that everything is so messed up that people have to google pasta dishes instead of going out to dinner because fuel costs are out of control and people are losing their houses and jobs and the economy sucks but we're all too concerned over personalities and who looked better on tv and who shoots mooses and wolves and who worked in community service and who doesn't have a clue how to help this country. i can't afford books because i have to save every penny for my kids' college because there is no finanancial aid. it saddens me the state of our country. vote for obama so you can go out to olive garden again.


The Golfing Librarian said...

If the powers that be are all conspiring against you so that you can't buy books, might I suggest a visit to your local library. We won't charge you anything to read our books. (Of course, if you bring them back late...)

Heather Davis said...

Yes, Steph -- good post and times are tough for a lot of folks!

Cara, I am a thrift store fan, too -- I find the cutest stuff and it doesn't cost very much at all. Mix those vintage finds with a little H & M and you are good to go. :)

Oh, one way I'm saving money is *gasp* actually cooking dinner. Girls-on-the-town go out to eat a lot, and it gets really expensive. This week, I made seared Ahi medallions (on sale for like, $3.50 for the package that would serve 2) with brown rice (from cupboard) and sauteed spinach. Drizzled it all with a soy-ginger dressing from the fridge. It was way cheaper than going out for sushi and it was delish! (And I actually don't mind the leftovers from that dinner -- they were great and healthy.)

Other than that, walking places or taking the bus instead of driving and paying for parking and gas is also a great saver. I think little kids might even think the city bus was fun...

Saving money can actually be fun... who knew?