I have been trying to be more fiscally responsible. It is so hard reversing horrible spending habits. I struggle every day. EVERY DAY. However, I have implemented a few new money saving ideas.
First, I have been menu planning. Although I thought this would be a hassle, it is actually a great and easy way to save money. By planning our meals ahead of time, I am able to make detailed and thorough grocery lists. This saves me the hassle of making repeat trips to the grocery store. I don't know if you're like me, but I cannot make it out of the grocery store without spending at least $40, regardless of how much food I have at home. Also, I no longer lament that we have nothing to make, while calling the local pizza delivery place. We do still eat out once a week, but this is a huge improvement over our former habits. We were known to eat out 3 or 4 times per week. Honestly, I don't even miss eating out.
Second, we have stopped buying paper towels. I would like to claim that we did this for the environment, but sadly, it was a strictly budget based decision. We were going through a ton of paper towels. A TON. I noticed that I used them multiple times per day to clean highchair trays and sticky fingers and counter tops. I even used them to dry my hands. It was out of control. We were buying a pack every week. So finally, I decided to stop buying them all together. Instead, I have been using wash rags to clean the kitchen. I miss my paper towels.
Finally, we have started buying food in bulk. Whole Foods will give you a 10% discount when you buy a case of anything. Every week or two we buy a case of something we use frequently - like beans or diced tomatoes or pasta. We have a lot of food stored down in our basement, but it makes me feel good knowing that we saved money by buying in bulk. Also, I no longer have to think about whether or not we have beans. Trust me - we have them.
I am taking baby steps, but I finally feel like we are moving in the right direction. We are saving a little more money every month, and some day we might actually pay off our credit card. What have you been doing to save money?