10 Ways to Save Money Today

Off to Canada for a little swimming, cycling, and running this weekend. One loyal Pressing Pauser asked if I was going to tweet or blog the event. No plans to blog until returning next week. Tweeting is a good idea. Better start following me on twitter to see if I survive the day. Then again, the social media adverse can just wait to see if any new posts begin appearing here next week.

Now, back to regular programming. Miscellaneous ways we’ve recently reduced our overhead.

1A-1E are biggies because auto insurance is a recurring payment. 1A. Cancelled comprehensive and collision insurance on our 2006 car with 86,000 miles on it. 1B. Took an online driver safety course. 1C. Faxed daughter’s driver training completion certificate to insurance agent. 1D. Faxed academic transcripts for good grade discounts. 1E. Informed auto insurance agency that I’ve gone half time at work and therefore will be commuting only half as much.

2. Charge daughters for portion of cell phone service, Netflix streaming, and car use. Shrewd readers may protest this is less about “savings” and more about “redistribution”.

3. We’ve been eating out less. Maybe once a week at nice, moderately priced restaurants.

4A. Betrothed had to form a small business back in the day when she started teaching Spanish to elementaries in a before-school program. Biz license cost something like 25-30 dollars. Then we got a Costco business American Express card. Meaning a 4% discount on gas. 4B. Use the simple, free, and excellent “GasBuddy” app to find the cheapest gas around. Here’s the web-based version. We have two Costcos within ten miles and I was perplexed at why their prices varied by 14 cents recently until a friend informed me that they are committed to being the cheapest within a five mile radius.

5. Buy movie tickets in advance at Costco. Ocho dollares per. And NEVER buy popcorn, candy, or coke at the theatre. Scratch that. Never say never. Bought some very lightly buttered organic popcorn at the hippie theatre awhile back. Thought my wallet and ticker could handle that. Even went crazy and splurged on a coke for my date. Yes, of course that turned her on (even more than normal).

6. Except for Sunset magazine (promotion price was $10 or 12/year), we’ve let most of our subscriptions expire. Tend to read on-line periodicals and papers.

7. My running shoes cost $130, but I hunt for previous models (all that’s different is the color) on-line and can usually find them for 50% off. I recently bought six pairs for $65/per. No taxes and free shipping. I’m covered for a few years even in the case of economic apocalypse.

8. GalPal has a garden with beans, lettuce, and we have lots of wild strawbs around the yard. Haven’t taken the time to calculate the cost of seeds, soil, etc. Labor is free because she enjoys it.

9. I use a few coupons at the grocery store. Takes almond milk from sup expensive to just plain expensive. Used a Fred Meyer coup. yesterday. Two half gallons of Dreyers ice cream for $5. I had planned to wait til after Iron-person Canada to dive into those babies, but you know what they say about the best plans.

10. Decided not to buy the new Lebron James shoes even though I could probably slam dunk in them, catch the eye of an NBA general manager, and make a little more than I do teaching.

$315. At that price, I should be able to do a 360 degree dunk in them.

5 thoughts on “10 Ways to Save Money Today

  1. Alright. I seem to be on a similar path as yours. I have found however that coupons for the essentials we are accustomed to are fewer and further apart and seem to have less value to them (you have to buy 2 items for the coupon to be valid), especially since Kroger quit doubling and tripling those coupons.

    We also got rid of our cable and land-line phone. Using our cell phone and a blue-ray dvd player that has wireless capabilities allows me to get Netflix, etc. and pay per view movies, which is all I got out of cable anyway. I can pick up Real Time w/ Bill Mauer and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on-line although In do have to wait 24 hrs. after their telecast. No biggy.

    I save nearly $200 a month doing this. The initial expense of the Blue Ray player and an outside digital antenna ran about $250.00 but I have clearly recouped that cost over the last year and half.

    • Nice. What is this cell phone and wireless blue-ray dvd player of which you speak? :) Cutting edge examples of contemporary belt tightening. Oh, one more thing I dare you to try. We don’t have an air conditioner. :)

      • “Oh, one more thing I dare you to try. We don’t have an air conditioner.”,/i>

        Surely you jest. :-)

        I know you have had your hot day anomalies up there in Minnesota, but triple digit temperatures are the norm here in North Texas with average temps of 95 degrees during the summer months. AC’s are a must. This part of Texas has too much humidity also, unlike other areas where the heat is more dry and thus more tolerable.

        I have invested in upgrading my attic insulation and sprayed the under roof with a thermal barrier. This and upgrading my HVAC and installing thermal insulated windows years earlier has helped keep my entire utility bill (save gas) under $300 a month on average. I have a separate supplier for natural gas but those bills are seldom high down here where cold is not the threat it is to those who live near the Canadian border. ;-)

        My next goal, when I clear some more debt, is to have solar panels installed. We have a great program here with our utility company that will pay up to $15,000 to assist with the installation of this. Along with this there is a federal tax credit of about $3500 so I could wound up paying only $9000 for a system that retails out at about $24,000. My investemnt would be paid back in about seven years, based on figures I have received from the utility company and the solar panel company I brought in to give me an estimate.

      • Smart again and yes it was with tongue firmly planted in cheek. I don’t know how anyone deals with that heat. One correction. Pressing Pause comes to you from the upper left hand corner. Olympia, WA more specifically.

      • “One correction. Pressing Pause comes to you from the upper left hand corner. Olympia, WA more specifically.”

        Damn brain farts. :-(
        I knew that. Sorry

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