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. 😊
~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.