Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Feeling the Squeeze

We all know the economy is bad & gas prices are high, which makes food costs higher, which puts the squeeze on...well.....everybody! How are ya'll coping out there? Everybody hanging in? We are feeling significant strain because of past choices & Sweetie's new business which isn't generating as much as we need. We are thinking that one of us may actually have to get a job outside the home. We are currently working through part of our business plan, and perhaps, God willing, it won't have to come to that. Building a business can be a scary thing. I just pray that God would spare us from foolishness {this prayer comes in handy for many other situations as well. Feel free to use it. wink } I share this not for sympathy or pity, but maybe someone else reading this is going through a really hard time as well and sometimes it is comforting to know you are not alone. Not only that, but maybe we can weather these rocky roads together! Here are some things that I am doing this week to stretch the dollars:
  • Cooking from the pantry. I made a batch of Corn Chowder since I had all the ingredients on hand. I did let a bunch of asparagus go bad though. Need to plan better use of fresh produce.
  • Shaving in the sink, instead of the shower. Sweetie suggested this. Kind of a pain, but I'll get used to it.
  • Not traveling as much. Combining trips. I am giving up shopping at my *beloved* Woodman's as the gas to get there and back pretty much cancels out any savings I would get. I will also be combining the trip to Sienna's karate class with an Aldi run.
  • Price-matching at my new local Super Wal-Mart to compensate for not shopping at Woodman's.
  • Selling stuff. Hubs is mostly doing this, but I've also sold a special order notepad holder ;>)
Anyone trying anything new this week to stretch the budget? Or continuing with something that you've found that really works?


Christin said...

What do we do to save money? I feel like we do a lot (like not spend any!) but money continues to be tight.

...the girls and I basically go no where during the week unless we have to. We live 15 minutes out of town, so it costs a pretty penny to get there. So for us, this year, that means NOT becoming involved in a Home Schooling CoOp.

Yard sale Yard Sale yard Sale. I'm getting ready to have our second this year. It's a pain in the rear, but you can't beat the declutterization and the petty cash that comes from it. :)

trying to come up with a weekly/monthly menu to buy only the things we need, instead of last minute grocery purchases that end up getting wasted.

Currently looking into different options for heating this winter, as oil prices continue to go higher.

Thankfully, we're having another girl, so no need to buy any new clothes for the one due in September! :)

Jet is currently taking college courses (which the college pays for entirely!! plus books!) to further his education, which will get him into a better job and higher pay bracket. Soooo we're working towards not always being in the same place financially.

I'm not using the clothes dryer...but hanging up our clothes on a portable wooden thingy. Will hopefully be hanging a Line soon though.

THat's all I can think of off the top of my head.

...I'll be writing you a response to your sweet email as soon as time allows. It truly blessed my heart. thanks xo

Mary said...

I'm planning two weeks' worth of menus and doing the grocery shopping to go with it, instead of making a run to the store every couple of days. It's been much cheaper to do it this way (~$200 vs. $40-$50 every trip).

Rebecca said...

I really would love to do a yard sale, but the thought just overwhelms me. I had even started a corner of the basement where I was putting things to sell. Somehow, while I wasn't looking, the pile took on a life of it's own & started swallowing other things up. I wonder too, if being in the "country" it will be harder to drive traffic here?

Joseph said...

Oh we're totally feeling the crunch. Being forced into staying with family (lease was up and we're trying to close on a house)...has actually been a blessing in disguise. We were all torn up over it, but man can you pay down debt when you have no rent, no utilities, ect. So that is what we are doing to handle the pinch. Hopefully we will close on the house soon, but if not our financial situation can only get better from here.

Joseph said...

Whoops...that was me Bec. I'm apparently logged into my Dad's account. That's another thing...no internet/cable bill to pay:)Anna

Saralyn said...

We live the simple life:

-no cable
-cold wash & line dry clothes
-drink water or tea
-plant a garden
-eat at home & cook from scratch
-go swimming vs. turning on the AC
-shop local all in one trip
-fix our old cars instead of buying another one
-get movies at the library
-buy everything but food and undies pre-owned
-clip coupons

I guess that I pretty much enjoy the life my mother has, and her mother before her. Some times are good, and some times are bad, but as long as our security and happiness are not found in our standard of living, life is good.

Beth said...

Funny you should ask...

We don't eat leftovers around here and it's something we really need to start doing. We waste a lot of food. So, for the first time this week, I marinated chicken for dinner one night and then the next sliced up the leftovers and made enchiladas. I got both recipes out of the Kraft Food magazine and I am going to be trying this more often.

For the past two weeks, I have listed a few things on ebay each week and made some extra money that way.

We have been staying put other than to go out grocery shopping at the beginning of the week.

I am only shopping once a week. If I run out of something, we go without. It makes me think very hard about what I put on my list before going shopping.

I have started writing out weekly food menus and following them. Spaghetti, grilled cheese, and hotdogs are pretty cheap meals...not the best for you I know. I figure, I grew up on spaghetti O's and I tured out okay. :-) No more steak unless it's a special occasion.

We revised our buget and I have a weekly budget on the side of the fridge with lines to keep track of our spending. Every cent spent gets categorized on the list. If we go over in a category, it gets subtracted from another or from the next week.

I am trying to get it together over here...it's hard though.

Beth said...

Oh and I forgot to add that we are now bathing our children just once a week. We figure a dip in the pool every day gets them through until Saturday night.

(just for laughs but there is a tiny bit of truth to that)

Peaceful Chaoz said...

Although we really need to buckle down as far as just talking and getting our budget together and hashed out in the first place, We do several of the things others have said...
Make menus (although just recently I did tell the dh to be prepared because I'm going to cut down on our budget hugely so we may be eating more cost friendly meals, like the mac and cheese and hotdogs.
Go to the library, Not only do the kids love this, they will keep their noses in their books instead of the tv for hours a week! Plus we've been getting our movies from their instead of paying $4 a movie at the video store. I am also thinking about canceling our internet and just using the one from the library or borrowing my parents when I'm over there, its also nice that ours is close so we bike or walk there.
We don't have cable or dish, and not only has it cut out $40 but we've been doing a lot of other things, like talking,lol.
As far as clothes, we wash in cold, I would love to hang dry but haven't gotten that far yet, I make our own laundry det. plus am looking into making alot more of our things (more for the natural element though not cost) And unless a grandparent buys the clothes we get hand me downs or shop resale.
We also do what someone else mentioned for fun, only bath the kids about once a week. Pools really do wonders! ;0)
As far as gas, we are currently looking into a not as much gas guzzling truck for dh and will be selling my guzzler and biking more, but my parents have been awesome and have surprised us several times this summer with a full tank of gas!
A lot of the things we do started because I am looking into more natural or echo friendly ways of doing things, and the benefit is its cheaper to do it these ways anyways! We still have a ways to go though! sorry for the novel;0)

Andrea said...

Hi Becki...we are trying to save money around here too. I've been riding my bike to work or in town when I can. And I am really thankful this summer hasn't been all that hot so I don't mind.

Our garden is a huge money saver in the summer and we are just about to enjoy the fruits of that labor. Though we've been eating raspberries for about a month. And have stockpiled enough blueberries to last through Christmas. We've been shopping at the farmer's market where now besides vegetables we can buy eggs, chicken, pork, beef and cheese that are not laden with chemicals. I thought that would be crazy expensive but it's not that bad. And since we were buying all natural meats at the store anyway, this has been a money saver for us. And we're hoping to purchase a 1/4 of a cow in a month or so. That should last most of the winter. According to the beef lady, it works out to about $2.00 a pound. Just need to learn how to make all the different cuts.

We've also been making a lot of meals without meat. Beans and/or eggs are good to me so I don't mind. Tough to convince Joe sometimes but thems the brakes.

Obviously I use the library for movies and books and cds. I don't really buy anything in those areas anymore. We don't use AC, instead we ride our bikes to the pool. And I'm getting my clotheline rigged up when we get back from vacation.

And finally, when I get back from vacation, I"m doing two things. Selling all my old jeans/clothes that are too big now on craigslist or ebay. And really learning to sew. I have the fabric, just need to do it.What do you think about a kitchen aid mixer cover? Any suggestions for how to do it. I know what I'm thinking is something like this...http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/601-4614923-6332945?asin=B000NNFDYM&afid=yahoossplp&lnm=B000NNFDYM|Cloth_Cover_for_KitchenAid_Stand_Mixer__Khaki&ref=tgt_adv_XSMG1060 But I really don't want to buy it or pay for a pattern.

Lily said...

People who don't have health insurance still don't have to pay the full price for their prescriptions. I found a great discount card at www.rxdrugcard.com. And watch out for those trendy new drugs with two ingredients that cost more put together than individually.