Save Money in December!

Published by darlene on

Yes, I know it’s been awhile, since I  blogged.  Life got really busy for while and fall is my traveling time.  But I actually have said “no” to several things this December in an effort to slow down.  Thus a little time to write this post. I had the thought the other day to share some things we are trying to implement in our family as I was explaining to my children why we were having Chicken Pot Pie for the third day in a row.  We are using our resources.

Things get tight for people in December.   Each year about this time, I find myself  thinking of ways to save money.  I try to think of new ways and remember the old ones that worked.   Throughout the year I get lax about some of these things, as I’m sure most of us do.  But seems like a couple of times each year we really have to buckle down with these ideas, and Christmas is one of those times.

So without further adieu here’s some of my “titghten the financial belt” ideas.

1. Eat your leftovers.  You heard me.  We throw away too much food.  Pull up your “big girl” (boy) pants and know that you will not die or get sick from eating Chicken Pot Pie until it’s gone.  Eating your leftovers really does keep you from going through your groceries so fast.

2. Wait until it’s on DVD or at least Netflix.  Why go pay $10 to $12 for a movie ticket, when I can see five movies in a month through my Netflix account, which is actually less than a movie ticket.  Adding more to my savings, my popcorn and drinks aren’t as expensive as the theater’s and I can refill as often as I like.

3. Celebrating the Holidays “in.”  We’ve just stayed home this year.  My kids have helped me to bake and decorate, we’ve watched movies, and read Christmas stories together. I have loved it!  However, there are lots of resources out there to help you find the free things to do during the season if you get cabin fever.   It’s just staying in also saves on gas.  (smile)

4.  I don’t buy as much when I make a list. So I’m making myself take the time to make sure that my coupons and savings deals are in my purse.  Making a note on my list next to the items that I have coupons for is also helpful.  I’m not talking about grocery coupons. There are many different programs for organizing your grocery coupons, I’m speaking more specifically of non-grocery items that you get coupons for and forget that you have them.   Make it a goal not to pay full price for anything.

5. I did an online yard sale.  After cleaning out, I listed only the best of items, a description, and the price in a document, and emailed it out to friends.  I sold several toys and will enjoy a little extra cash as well as a little more space in the house.

6. Limit snacks and drinks.

  • My friend Jaina lets her kids choose three snacks every morning and those are their snacks for the day.  This keeps them from over eating and also keeps them from blowing through the stash in the pantry.
  • We have told our kids that for every drink they drink, like KoolAide, orange juice, or soda,  they must drink a full glass of water.  This has kept us from drinking the orange juice each morning until it’s gone. (cha-ching – not buying juice as often) Should be better for their teeth (cha ching – savings, no cavities) and help them to be more healthy. (cha-ching – more savings, no co-pays.)
  • My friend LA has gone to water all day except for meal time.  You go girl!
  • I’m also making my children take their vitamins each morning and echinechea!  Yep, I’m going for meanest mother of the year!   At least I haven’t made my kids starting counting the number of squares of toilet paper they can use each time they potty!  I mean there is a line, right?

7. Save those big shopping bags for garbage bags and use your dryer sheets twice. (OH yeah, meanest mom award is in the bag now!)

8. Instead of buying Christmas boxes I went to my recycle bins.  Lots of things fit in shoe boxes and when I ran out yesterday, I went and borrowed on from my neighbor.  (She wasn’t going to use it, I asked.)  Did you know that some books will fit in frozen pizza boxes?  And they are easier to wrap too!  OH yeah, I’m on a roll now!

9. And last but not least find ways to use food that is growing stale or is close to expiration date. This is another effort of mine to keep from wasting food.  Or find ways to stretch recipes.  Below are some examples.

  • Stale bread makes great french toast or toasted bread for sandwiches, or “seasoned your way” croutons.
  • Stale crackers make great toppings for casseroles.
  • Leftover sausage patties or hamburgers make great breakfast burritos with egg and cheese the next morning.  Both can also be crumbled up for pizza toppings.
  • 1 cup of elbow noodles and a one half cup of water will make a packet of Lipton Soup go 2 or 3 servings further.
  • Use dark or ripened bananas for banana bread.

Ok I know, some of these ideas are not new.  So now you can share your ideas with me.  I would love to know what you do with your leftovers or any of your great cutting back ideas.  Put them in the comments below or email them to me and I’ll repost them here.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Happy Savings and a Merry Christmas too!

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