Save It

Piggy Bank

To go along with my previous posts on budgeting and investing, I thought I'd share a few money saving tips we've picked up.

Rent. We are lucky to live in a city with a ridiculously low cost of living. We've also managed to keep our housing costs down by living in a one-bedroom apartment {since it's just the two of us, that's all the space we need} in a student neighborhood.

Utilities. We try to conserve electricity in simple ways by turning off lights when we leave the room and unplugging our computer and television at night. Just unplugging those two devices and not changing anything else, saved $10 on our electric bill. We do have a window unit air conditioner, but we only use it on the very hottest days of the year. We keep our heating bill low by setting our thermostat to 62 when we're home, but turning it down to 58 while we're sleeping or out for the day. We try to conserve water by taking quick showers and only running the dishwasher a few times a week, when it's at max capacity.

Car Stuff. We are a one-car family and will be for the foreseeable future. Our new car is definitely the nicest thing we own and our second largest expense after rent. We try to conserve gas and parking fees by walking or taking the bus when necessary. We always gas up at the grocery store because they have a nice "spend on groceries, save a little on gas" program.

Groceries. We clip coupons diligently, eat meat for only a few dinners per week and try to limit our shopping trips to once every two or three weeks. I also make a lot of things from scratch {like bread and other baked goods} so not having to purchase much processed food helps keep costs down. For toiletries and other household items, we have a Target credit card which saves us 5% on everything there. We've also used Amazon's Subscribe & Save program to order things like toilet paper and paper towels.

Other Bills. We just have cell phones, no land line. No smart phones and no unlimited texting. We don't have cable {we get the basics through rabbit ears or watch online} and we just shopped around for the cheapest internet {excluding dial up!} in our area, which ended up being with Verizon.

Entertainment. Well, we're big Netflix fans. We only subscribe to the instant service though. Any movies we can't find through there we get from Redbox or the library. When we want to have a night out, we head to the dollar movie theater. Occasionally, if there's a movie we're just dying to see and don't feel like waiting the extra month or so for it to arrive at the dollar theater {like Harry Potter} we'll see it before noon at AMC, when tickets are only $5. Outside of movies, we sometimes buy deals on sites like Living Social or Groupon. We've gone to Phipps Conservatory, the Gateway Clipper and white water rafting that way. We also take advantage of Adam's student discount, which he uses to get cheap tickets for both of us to college sporting events and places like the symphony.

Eating Out. Our motto is just don't do it. But, we do eat at Chick-fil-A and Five Guys occasionally. We also have a favorite Thai place and breakfast joint. Each of those restaurants generally run us less than $15 for the two of us. Again, we sometimes find deals online for restaurants we've always wanted to try. Other than that, we only splurge for special occasions like birthdays or when we're visiting our family in Houston, since we absolutely have to visit our favorite Tex Mex and barbecue spots.

Clothes. This is the area where I've really had to improve the most since getting married. My goal is to spend less than ten dollars for most items, occasionally going up to twenty and even more occasionally going up even higher than that {the last time that happened, I bought a dress on clearance at Anthro to wear to graduation}. I usually have really good luck meeting those goals at places like Target, Gap, Old Navy, Land's End Canvas and Ann Taylor Loft. We try to ask for pricey items, like running shoes and winter coats, as Christmas gifts from our generous parents.

General Cheapness. We just generally try to have a frugal mindset. Like, I cut Adam's hair and get my own hair done just a few times a year. Definitely not at a fancy salon. Usually Super Cuts. And because we have to pay for laundry, we use a drying rack to air dry some things, which saves quite a few quarters. Don't try to air dry your towels though. They will not be the same, trust me!

We both agree that the area we're the worst at cutting corners in is travel. Our only plan is to book as far in advance as possible. We are so hoping that we'll get to live closer to our family someday soon.

1 comment:

  1. 62 degrees! yikes! I don't think I could do that!


You are awesome.