Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Things We Don’t Spend Money On

  1. Apples for canning. See here. Sweet corn to freeze. We are lucky enough to have family members and connections who bless us with the fruits of their garden.
  2.  Beef. This one is negotiable. We have been super blessed by my father-in-law to only have to pay for the meat locker costs when we buy a side of beef annually. We haven’t had to pay for the costs of raising the cow or the actual purchase price of the cow. Super blessed indeed.
  3. New cars. We paid off our “newest” car this past summer and we hope to never have to take a loan for another car again. Lance is super handy and has been able to keep his sixteen year old car running indefinitely. Lucan refers to this car as “daddy old-car.” We have a total of three vehicles (I know) the oldest being sixteen years old, the next being ten years old and the last is three years old. Some people would feel shame in driving our sixteen year old car (it’s lost most of its paint, has some definite fan issues, the radio only has one volume (Lu likes to shout “too loud daddy, too loud!” most mornings) and recently left me stranded at Pancheros about a month ago (Lance said this was my fault, not the car’s as I had not been cleared to drive the LHS. As a lesson he left me at Pancheros for two hours while he sat at home) But we have three vehicles that are all paid for. That feels nice.
  4. Haircuts for the boys. I actually hate cutting their hair as I get covered in hair and both of them are pretty whiney. But my husband has hair that grows like a chia pet, so its money better left in the bank.
  5.  Morning coffee. One of our budget slashing efforts was to stop buying creamer and making coffee to take with us in travel mugs to work. I think I definitely lucked out on this decision because my work coffee isn’t awful. Lance’s coffee apparently is. Coffee on Saturday mornings is one of my favorite things about the weekend. Ya know how Folgers commercials say “the best part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup”? That’s exactly how I feel about coffee on Saturday mornings.
  6. Alcohol. We don’t order drinks (pop/lemonade/iced tea, etc.) when we go out to eat and I rarely buy alcohol. In fact Lance complains that any beer or alcohol I buy goes into cooking. I can count the number of times I’ve had alcohol in the past year at restaurants – twice. I had a $9 glass of sangria (I’m still in sticker shock) six months ago and Lance and I both had free wine two weeks ago at a celebration open house. My philosophy on alcohol is that I’d rather eat my calories than drink them (unless it’s a chocolate milkshake J)
  7. 7.       Cable television.  I will admit that I would go back to direct tv in a heartbeat if we could afford it. I miss the DVR and Top Chef. However I do NOT miss hours of ESPN.
  8. 8.       Starbucks coffee. By being super stingy with myself (I don’t buy coffee after noon and I don’t have time during my morning commute to stop anywhere, therefore the only times I get to buy coffee is when Lucan has a doctor’s appointment or when I have a late morning into work or I’m doing something social with a friend and we go get coffee) I have been able to stretch my Christmas and March birthday gift cards until October. That being said, the balance on my gift card is $5.35. Sad lifeL.
  9. Family fun. We just don’t spend money on entertainment. The last movie Lance and I saw together was the James Bond movie, Skyfall. We spend time at Farmers’ Markets, library story times and free things going on in town, but I have yet to spend money on swimming, Chuck E’Cheese, etc. (I should say a couple of things: one, Lucan’s daycare takes him to plenty of places so we just don’t. Two, I did just spend money to take him to a pumpkin farm last week. Three, we swim at my parents’ house. Four, I got a bunch of free tickets through work for the Iowa State Fair) Next summer I’m completely open to doing more of these things, especially since Lucan might have memories of some of these adventures.  But we’re not putting Lucan in tumbling classes or special zoo/animal classes. But I’m not completely closing the door on those options someday.
  10. Gambling. We’ve lived in Central Iowa for eight years and I’ve never stepped foot in Prairie Meadows. But Lance’s grandma loves the slots, so before we had Lucan, we would go to the casino with her once a year. I should mention that it pains me to spend more than five dollars (which I compare to coffee money) at the casino. I usually bring a book. The very first time we went I won $92. I should also mention that I was completely confused on how to play, but thought it was probably a good sign when some lights and music started going off.
  11. Clothes for Lucan. I have generous friends who let me thumb through their hand-me-downs. I figure until Lucan starts caring what he wears, I’m going to milk hand-me-downs for all they’re worth. I still buy clothes for Lucan, just not as many.
  12. Data plan for my phone. I have a dumb phone. I’m not really a fan of it and an Iphone is at the top of my Christmas list, but our combined monthly phone bill is $76.

So those are 12 things we’re saving money on and I’m sure many of you are doing other things that we should probably be doing too. What places in your life are you saving money? 

1 comment:

*carrie* said...

You know I love this list--it's YOUR compilation of frugal accomplishments! Thanks for sharing.

Thinking of you and the crew as you gather tomorrow!