Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I thought twice about spending...

I was going to go to Costco on my way home from work today which would have put a pretty big dent in my wallet, then I thought twice about it.  I knew going straight from work without eating dinner would almost double my bill there and I'd come home with all kinds of snacks that tomorrow I'd look at and feel so guilty.  So, I decided to come home and take stock of what I had in the pantry, fridge and freezer and to eat a quick dinner before heading out.  Turns out, this was a really good move on my part.  Not only did I eat something good for dinner, I also realized that with a little thinking and planning, I could avoid doing much shopping for another week to 10 days.  It's been a while since I've done a grocery shopping freeze and after taking stock of what I have on hand, I should be able to stay out of the store, other than for fresh produce for quite awhile still and continue to eat good, healthy meals.  This upcoming weekend I don't have too many plans, so I will take advantage of the time to prep meals for the following week and peruse my cookbooks and the web to come up with some new ideas. 

Does anyone know of a website where I can plug in a few ingredients and recipes will come up?  I know they're out there, I just can't think of what they might be at the moment.  This should really help me come up with some new meals that I like and are easy to fix.  With the money I was going to spend at Costco, I think I'll make another payment on my credit card.  My goal is to have that paid off by New Years.  Wish me luck! 

Current debt:  $237,622.88

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Favorite savings tips...

Hello all...
I'm still working a ton of hours and when I get a minute to update my debt ticker above, I will do that, but in the meantime I thought I'd let you all know what I've been doing with all the overtime pay I've been earning.  It has been so great to see these large paychecks coming and and even greater to see the money going out to reduce my debts.  I've been able to make great progress in reducing my debt while I've been working so much.  I'm currently ahead on my car payment through the end of January and while I've only been rounding my mortgage payment up a slight bit, I'm seeing greater decrease in this as well.  The main debt I've been hammering away at is my credit card which is now down to under $4,500!  Yay!  I can't wait to see this at zero.  I'm really hoping I can do it by the end of the year and hoping to eliminate the car loan by the end of 2013.  I think that paying debts off early is my greatest savings tip as this will reduce the interest paid over time and can save a bundle, but I also have many other savings tips that I use all the time.  Here are a few more of my most favorite. 
*I buy my bread at the Franz Bakery outlet for at least 75% off the retail price.
*I save all of my change and then cash it in at Coinstar for gift cards, when you do this, they don't charge the fee like they do when converting the change to cash.  Sometimes I'll get a gift card for a gift to give, sometimes I use it for Starbucks as a treat for myself. 
*I keep a running list of people I buy gifts for and ideas for each of them, that way when I'm out and about I can keep my eye out for sales that will stretch my gift giving dollars. 
*I can wear jeans to work and tend to buy all of mine at the thrift stores, they fit great and are already broken in without breaking my wallet. 
*I check out books and movies at the library rather than buying them. 
*I do all my grocery shopping at one store to take advantage of the loyalty points that give me a greater discount when buying gas there as well. 
*I never order a soda out at a restaurant, they are grossly overpriced, so I drink water, it's free and good for me. 
*Even though I'm busy, I make almost all of my food from scratch rather than stopping for fast food.  This is both cheaper and healthier. 
* I put most of my clothes in the dryer for only a couple of minutes, then hang them to dry.  This will lower the energy used to dry them and cut down on the wear and tear. 
Those are just a few of my tips for now.  If you have a great tip to share, I'd love to hear it.  Hope all is well with you! 
Current debt:  $237,617  (I love that this is dropping!!! )