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>Small ways I’m saving money

>Certainly, things have gotten tougher this year for my husband and me in the economic sense. I’ve mentioned before that I’m on furlough with my company, which translates to a paycheck lost over the course of 10 months. It may not seem like much, but I’ll tell you what — it’s made things tougher for us.

Couple the loss of that paycheck with adding hubby to my health insurance plan at work, and my paycheck is a lot smaller than it used to be. Hubby was out of work for a while, but got a steady kitchen job earlier this year, before the wedding. It doesn’t pay much, but it’s something, right?

So with the financial strain, I’ve had to find ways to scrimp and save. Here are a few things that I’ve been able to save money on to help us through our financial slump:

1) Cosmetics. Hubby and I both have quit buying fragrances, and we’re just using what we have. We’re nowhere close to running out! I quit buying superfluous makeup, such as pretty eyeshadows and lipsticks — I have tons of it laying around anyway — and I switch to drugstore brands when I run out of something. I’ve sworn off Sephora and switched to CVS and Walgreens. I’ve found that Maybelline’s mineral makeup is just as good as Bareminerals for a fraction of the price, as long as you’re using a good-quality makeup brush and not the horrible one that comes in the packaging. I love their concealer too!

2) Utilities. In our house, we pay a gas bill, a water/power bill, and a TV/Internet bill. About a year ago, I switched off our landline phone, saving us about $30 per month. Then in June, we switched to AT&T U-Verse for Internet and TV, saving us an additional $25 per month. Shop around for deals with your local cable/satellite companies. You’d be surprised at what you can save. And cut off that landline if you never use it. It’s possible to have DSL Internet without a phone line these days.

3) Salon services. After the wedding, I decided to start coloring my own hair again to save some moolah. My preferred shade is L’Oreal Superior Preference in Champagne Blonde. Then once my roots become visible, I use Clairol Root Touch-Up in Medium Ash Blonde. I love that Clairol’s Web site has a dropdown menu to find the shade you need, even if you use another brand for your regular haircolor. And I love that Clairol hired Angela from The Office to be their spokesperson, she’s too adorable all glammed up! I also get my hair cut at the local Paul Mitchell cosmetology school. Sometimes it takes FOR-EVER to get a haircut, but they always do a good job, and it only costs $10-$15 for a cut and style. And I’ve sworn off regular pedicures for now — I have a few bottles of my standby OPI nail polish and I take care of my tootsies myself for now.

4) Eating out. Hubby and I are eating at home more regularly, and I rarely eat lunch out of the office anymore. I consider eating out a special thing to do while traveling, or in extreme emergencies, like when there is virtually nothing to eat in the house — as long as we swing by the grocery store to stock up immediately afterward! I’ve also had to turn down friends’ invites to eat out or go out for a night on the town, because unfortunately, my pocketbook just can’t handle it. I feel embarrassed telling them that, but they understand! I think learning to say ‘no’ sometimes is a good thing.

What small actions have you taken to save some cash in your household?

4 thoughts on “>Small ways I’m saving money”

  1. >I think you're doing really well! My hubby and I were hit pretty hard by the whole recession thing earlier this year (just came out of it a couple months ago). We're finding our feet now but we also learnt – out of necessity – how to manage tough economic times!We bought all our fresh produce from a discounted place and only went to the supermarket for things we couldn't find there. We saved about 50 Australian dollars a week.We also had to say no to a lot of social events but while it was embarrassing we were working terrible hours to make ends meet so sometimes we were either working or too tired to go anyway.We had to sell our investment property and it cut down our mortgage by a third where we're living – yay for keeping my dream house!We cut out little things (that add up to big money when you're conscious of it) like renting DVDs, buying take out food, spending money on excessive alcohol. I now cut my hubby's hair and when we were struggling I used home colours on my hair – although when I finally got a hair cut after 6 months it was heavenly!!!Anyway, this topic is a passion of mine so sorry for the long comment 🙂

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  2. >Good for you! It can be hard to cut back, but we've been doing the same. We haven't had a landline since we've been married (4.5 yrs). My husband gets his hair cut for $10 or I'll cut it for him, we stopped taking our dog to the groomers and I cut his hair now, too (that was interesting the first time around), and I've stretched out the time in-between salon visits. Another thing that we've recently done – created a budget. Before this month, we always did the figuring in our heads and kept an eye on our spending. Having a budget on Excel has helped SO much and I'm becoming a huge fan 🙂 And one final thing – I shop off a weekly menu. This has helped prevent buying food that we don't need or making last-minute runs to the grocery. It's helped a lot.Happy Saturday!

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  3. >I've been trying to save too, obviously. Have moved totally to drugstore/target/Ulta brand makeup. Color my own hair. Have not had it cut in over 18 months–and BOY oh BOY do I need a haircut. Got a less expensive car. Eating a lot of pasta/rice/cereal in my diet. Re-reading books I already own. I hardly ever eat out. Like today- I knew I'd be going out for the USC game and I ate at home first so I could minimize my bar/restaurant bill. Etc.

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