Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Savings by the Numbers

 


   This morning, while I was making 2 loaves of Whole Wheat and Oatmeal Bread, I thought about how much money it was saving me, not to mention the health benefits of not having all those nasty preservatives, to make it here at home as opposed to buying it from the grocery store.  Conservatively speaking, it would cost me $7 or more for 2 loaves of bread of this kind if I went out and bought it. Making it here at home costs me about $1 tops to make 2 loaves.  We buy our flour in bulk, I buy the large bags of yeast at Winco or Costco, the quick oats is free since we get it as part of our volunteer work and the rest of the ingredients cost pennies.  That got me to thinking about some of the other things that I have made or done recently that save us money.

~Cutting the fabric softener sheet in half may only save me $1 since I buy them at the Dollar Tree, but every penny counts.
~I made Lo Mein for dinner the other night.  If I had bought it at one of our favorite Chinese places it would have cost me $12.95.  Making it at home cost me about $2 since the meat for it was free from our son Chris.
~Banana Bread is a favorite around here.  It cost me about $3 to make 3 loaves.  Each loaf at the grocery store costs about $4 or more.  Minimum savings here is $9.
~English Muffin Bread costs about $3 a loaf at the store, I can make it here at home for about .50 a loaf.   Savings $2.50.
~During the warmer months I hang our laundry out to dry.  This reduces our electric bill by $13.00 a month.
~I make our own laundry detergent for the most part.  It cost me just $6 to make a 3 month supply.
~Going to see a movie in the theater is a special treat.  When we do go, we hit the matinee but that still costs us $17.75 in tickets alone and if we want popcorn and a drink, add another $12.00 to that.  We can watch movies for free here at home by streaming them through Netflix or borrowing them from the library.  I pop a big bowl of popcorn and I can even have a glass of wine with it.  Bonus! Cost for watching at home is about $1.40 including the popcorn, a glass of wine and some Mountain Dew for my hubby! 
~Each month we do some volunteer work and are given a large box of grocery items for free.  The retail value of those boxes ranges from $40-$80 depending on what is available that month.  Last month we were given 4 meat choices.  The meat ranged from chicken to steaks, to roasts and even Portuguese Sausage.  Jeff and I picked the Portuguese Sausages and got 4 of them.  This is a rare item to find and one that is really expensive in the stores.  It is also one of the treat items that we seldom buy due to cost.  Portuguese Sausage is something that takes me back to my childhood growing up in Hawaii. ๐Ÿ˜Š
~We keep a running grocery list and combine errands whenever possible.  Since we live out in a small farming community with no grocery store, doctor or pharmacy every time we need to go to one of these places it costs us in gas and time.  Since it is a 60 mile round trip to go to any of these place, that is a lot of gas money.  I figured that I save at least 2 trips per week by combining errands, having my lists so I don't have to make multiple trips for things that I have forgotten, etc..
~I don't buy a weekend newspaper.  I instead get them from the recycling bin at the post office.  Since I get an average of 2 newspapers that cost $2.50 and $1.75 each, that saves me $4.25.  I get further savings buy using the coupons in the newspaper to bring down the costs of my groceries when I use them.
~I will be doing our taxes here at home next week.  Our taxes are pretty straight forward so they are easy to do since we do not itemize and just take the standard deduction. I am able to use the free e-file and go through Tax Act.  Last year they charged my son $69 to do a simple filing.  I refuse to pay that!  That is money that I can use.


   Those are just a few examples of how quickly your savings can add up.  Most of the things I do take very little time.  If I had to drive to town to purchase breads and things it would take me 1 1/2 hours, the cost of the gas and the price above what I can make it for here at home.  I'd much rather save the time and money.



22 comments:

  1. Loved your 'when pigs fly.." ceramic. A friend used to collect those.
    It's all those money savers that add up. I remember my first real job and how my co-workers would buy coffee twice a day. They were stunned when I didn't want anything but would walk with them to and from the coffee cart.
    I use the basic version of TurboTax. Last year, I could run I think 10 tax returns. I did some for my neighbors just to help out. There's several versions of this software but the Basic is cheapest and probably has enough to do a basic return. It is super easy if you use the 'interview' format. It asks questions, you answer and then print it off or efile. Anyway, your son might check out the US version. I'm sure it's similar.
    Cheers, SJ

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    1. HI SJ. :) The pig is actually a cast iron one that is painted and it is heavy! My mom bought it for me for my birthday a couple years ago. :)

      I know that if you go to the IRS website, they have links for free e-filing of your taxes if you are under a certain income level. Since we are under those, we can use them and so can my son. You were really sweet to do that for your neighbors. :) Be blessed!

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  2. I like this post. I do lots of the same things as you, including making bread. I made a double batch of sandwich buns just this morning for us and for our parents.
    It's just so nice to stay home, isn't it? ❤️

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    1. HI Rhonda. :) It really is nice. Have you ever shared your recipe for your sandwich buns before. If so could you reply with the link here for me. If not could you please share on your blog? Thanks so much!

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  3. I truly enjoyed this post. I had made a goal to save $25 this week or at least make it somehow and I have been trying to think of ways. This has inspired me. Thanks.

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    1. You are more than welcome Chrissy. :) I hope you are able to find even more than $25 in savings this week. Be blessed!

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  4. Speaking of...I need a good banana bread recipe. Can you share one?

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  5. It is amazing how these small amounts can add up isn't it!

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  6. It all adds up, that's for sure. Homemade bread is so much better, than store bought. I used to do our taxes but since the AHCA, it's gotten too complicated. Nothing is more terrifying than getting a letter from the IRS.

    HUgs
    Jane

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    1. HI Jane. Do you itemize on your returns deducting your medical stuff? I get a form each year from my insurance company showing that I do have health insurance and I take the standard deduction so I am safe there. As for getting a letter from the IRS, we did 3 years after they and H&R Block both advised us wrong on something. A $60 mistake cost us thousands! The IRS also says that you cannot come back at them if they fave you bad advice. That just made me so mad! Sometimes I think they advise people wrongly so they can hit them up with interest and penalties.

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  7. Lots of frugal things to save money, Debbie! I don't do quite as many things as you do, but I do some. It does all add up, doesn't it?

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    1. Bless, you save so much money as it is! I am always impressed with your savings. If you count all the free citrus you have growing in your yard you are banking lots of money right there. Be blessed my friend!

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  8. Happy Australia Day Debbie.
    I rarely ever think about using a dryer for clothes. Maybe when it rains, but this has been very rare of late.
    I used to live out of town but not anymore. I understand the combining of errands to save on fuel. I had realised we were going out a couple of times a day rather than a couple of times a week. I gave my trike a bit of a service and now I am riding this up to the supermarket when I need to get a thing or two. It's only a couple of Kilometres from us so isn't a difficult ride. At the moment it's just hot.
    Time to go and make some cupcakes for morning tea.

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    1. Happy Australia Day to you too my friend! Just think of all that lovely exercise you get on that trike too. :) I hope your cupcakes were yummy!

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  9. Debbie it's January 26th here so this is the date of our Australia Day celebrations each year.

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    1. :) I hope you are enjoying your day!

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  10. I've been thinking about making my own laundry detergent, but I haven't found a recipe that people tout as one that works. What's your recipe?

    We do our own taxes here too, we should be starting them next week. We always get money back so tax time doesn't bother me too much ๐Ÿ˜

    I hope you are having a great week Debbie!

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    1. Here you go Jessica! Powdered HOmemade Laundry Detergent

      1 bar Fel's Naptha Soap (or any other bar soap you have on hand as long as it is not a moisturizing type soap)
      1 cup Washing Soda
      1 cup Borax

      Mix well and store in an airtight plastic container. Use 1-2 tablespoons per full load depending on how dirty your laundry is.

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  11. Good Afternoon, Debbie-

    By conservative calculations, you saved more than $200 by exercising the tips in this post alone. Nearly all of it was done by saving only a couple dollars, or less, here and there.

    In the past when I counseled others on debt and budgeting many fail to realize how quickly the SMALL purchases and / or savings add up. I always heard, "It's only $5 a month, It's only a 75 cent savings, it's only $59 a month", while not realizing that all that adds up to hundreds and thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

    For example, the other day I went to the grocer and saved more than 37% off my bill by purchasing only products that were on sale. Most of those items were discounted at less than 50 cents each. But according to the mindset of my former clients', "It's only 50 cents", I would have paid the full $100 for groceries instead of only $63. If I save only 35% on a $100 grocery bill each week, by the end of the year I will save $1,820. That annual $1,820 savings is accomplished in very small 50 cent, 35 cent, 75 cent increments on various groceries each and every week.

    When working to get one's finances under control, one must overcome the "It's only $___ amount" mindset. All those uncontrolled little, tiny, expenses are usually what bankrupts the average U.S. family.

    Two thumbs up on your savings strategies.

    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

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    1. Wow Mrs. B! I never sat down and did all the calculations but that is a huge savings. Just think of what people could do with that money. :) Thank you for breaking it all down and sharing the numbers with me. You are a blessing me friend!

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