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20
Mar

Saving Money on a Green Budget

by Tiffany in Frugal Green

friday wrap upTGIF! Have an awesome weekend everyone!

This week I have been consumed with frugality and saving money. Why? Well, I have never been what I would consider money-wise. But green living and my move toward simple living has really helped reform me. Now I am enjoying cutting expenses and getting great pleasure out of knowing we are not “wasting” money.

A couple months ago my husband and I joined a rewards program through our bank. It cost $25 to join and I had my doubts but I wanted to give it a try. It required us to use the “credit” feature on our bank card as much as possible because debits using our pin number would not qualify. Well, I am about to cash in on my second $25 Amazon.com gift certificate through this program so it is a HUGE success in my book. I have doubled my money after only three months. I think the fact that we pay almost all our bills online with a debit card helps.

Which reminds me… I am REALLY impressed with the new ATM machines that Chase is using. They are very green! You no longer need envelopes or deposit slips to make a deposit at the ATM. It scans the cash or the check(s) and then if you deposited a check a little image of it prints out on the receipt. I usually decline the receipts but this I had to see. It is so COOL! Way to go banks for cutting needless costs and paper!

This week I decided I wanted to whittle my cable bill. I cancelled three premium channels saving about $35.00 a month. I did decide to keep HBO though. I can’t be without Big Love and True Blood. ;) I also dropped one of the features of my high speed Internet that I was not using for more monthly savings. I would have cancelled my land line phone entirely since we don’t use it and only got it because the Internet required it. But alas they won’t let me cancel the phone without entering a new contract for Internet service. Since we are moving that could be a bad idea. They also increase the price of the Internet to defray the costs of losing a phone customer so it wasn’t that big of a savings after all was said and done.

I joined a local co-op this week that will enable me to buy bulk food at lower prices than what I could buy in stores. We will be getting bulk nuts and seeds, dried fruit, cocoa butter, agave nectar, and sea veggies at really good prices. They have lots of other stuff too but those are the main things I am interested in. We will be ordering almost a 100 pounds of raw nuts and seeds for our first go round and in the long run we will be saving big time.

I have my calendar marked with upcoming auction dates and garage sales so that I can start looking for some furniture we need… dressers, King size headboard, etc. This will keep me from making a trip to Ikea in Cincinnati. It just might take me longer to find what I need.

I cancelled my husband’s Sirius Satellite radio since we have a few hundred songs on our iTunes account and a hefty gift certificate balance. There is no reason why we need to waste money on satellite radio….especially since his commute will be cut to 10-15 minutes a day after we move.

I am also designing a spreadsheet so we can track every penny we spend. We need that monthly slap in the face I think. But overall I am happy that we are managing to save money already and it goes immediately to our emergency fund so we are not tempted to find something else silly to spend it on. This is actually kind of fun… a challenge. ;)

In keeping with the theme of this post I wanted to keep the link love relevant to saving money and being thrifty.

Lots of places let you clip digital coupons. The concept is really awesome. Instead of clipping paper coupons you select digital coupons and transfer them to your grocery store rewards card. Then when you go to the store and buy that product the coupon is used automatically and the number amount deducted from your total bill. There are also numerous places online to print coupons for all your favorite products.

Right now the service only works with the Kroger/Frys family of stores but they will be adding more. I rarely use coupons because they are almost always for processed foods we don’t eat but I am hopeful. It is another cool paperless feature at any rate. Also, you can use digital coupons with Upromise. It is a college savings program where your purchases earn cash back that goes into an account for your kids. I have been a member for years and thought this was a nifty way to save for college if you don’t need the money back.

And while I am on the subject of coupons I saw this nifty coupon organizer the other day called the Couponizer. It is REALLY cool. Basically it is a binder with pockets for each category of purchases… toiletries, canned foods, frozen foods, etc. It has a CoupStacker – presorting mat  that allows you to quickly figure out where the coupons go, a CoupTracker for recording monthly savings and even a carrying bag and scissors. It is also small enough to fit under a car seat, in the door of car, or in the glove box. My mom used to carry around a shoe box with index cards…she would have been in heaven had this been around! I guess it sold out on QVC in 7 minutes when it was debuted there.

couponizer

Have a great weekend all!!

Friday, March 20th, 2009

5 Comments

  • http://www.theglassbabybottle.com Kristie Turck

    I love trying to save money! One thing that I would like to add is http://www.thegrocerygame.com . They give you a list of items that are going to be on sale at your favorite store every Sunday. The way I remember it, is that there is a free 2 week trail and after that is costs around $7 a month. I have been using this system for over half a year and on average save about $70 a week. Also, the local coop idea is great!

  • Melissa

    Hi Tiffany, I checked out shortcuts and registered, however I was disapointed that they do not offer very many coupons. Hopefully, they will add more choices soon. It is a very novel concept, though.

  • http://www.naturemoms.com Tiffany

    ITA Melissa, it is a relatively new site and concept so they are will be adding more as they “sell” the manufacturing companies on it. I hope they do well because I LOVE the idea of digital coupons.

  • Melissa

    Well, I will look forward to that!

  • Angela

    We use Quicken in order to track our finances. Then at our “family meeting” we go over the monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports that we run. It is quite a bit easier than a spreadsheet (which we used to use) because all of the formulas and such are already there for you. All you have to do is enter the data or download directly from your bank! Good luck!