A Year Of Savings: 2013

January 8:  Pancakes from scratch are easy peasy to make.  I do keep pancake mix on hand (nice to have for those emergency mornings when I have no milk or eggs) but for the most part I make them myself.  I freeze extras for other mornings when time and hunger command a super fast breakfast.  I can  microwave or toast as I choose.  A box of frozen pancakes costs about $2.50 on sale.  From scratch pancakes cost less than $.75 to make.  That's a savings of $1.25.  And note that $.75 price nets us TWO meals.

January 9:  I really don't remember doing it but I did and I'm glad, because my husband decided it proved how very smart I am.  What did I do?  Last spring we had to replace the tires on the Honda.  John was working at the time and I was alone when the purchase was made.  Apparently I opted to purchase a warranty/insurance on the tires.  Normally I wouldn't do any such thing.

Just before my roadtrip I asked John to check air in the tires on my car.  While he was doing so, he went ahead and checked the tires on the Honda as well.  That's when he discovered a four inch slash on one of his tires.

We went to purchase a new tire this week.  And that's when John discovered I'd purchased a warranty.  Yea, me!  The new tire cost us HALF what the old one cost.  And yes, we purchased the same warranty for this new tire.  Savings: $52.00.

January 10:  It pays to ask.  I haven't purchased flowers in quite a long while and I was just longing for some fresh flowers in the house.  I noticed a bevy of tulips at the grocery this week and went over to price the cut bunches.  No price, just a barcode. I asked the florist how much they were and she came over to scan the.  I figured they were about $5.99 and determined I'd get one bunch.  The florist scanned, shook her head, "That cannot be right!" and went to the computer to check. She couldn't get into the system to check the prices, but printed out some labels and they printed out for $1.  I was happy as could be and purchased 3 bunches.  I figure my savings at what I expected to pay for one bunch: $2.99, but I might have figured it for all three bunches at $14.97.

At this particular store, I have a members rewards card, and my purchases totaled (not including my flowers), $119.  I paid $82.  That's a savings of $37 at that particular store where I purchased loss leaders and sales items only.

January 11:  I don't know why it is so, but nine times out of ten, our internet will go out on a Friday afternoon.  The last three times we've been told it's the same problem: ethernet cable.  I figured it was the same thing this time and knew we didn't have any spare cables.   I decided to call the free tech support service and yep, it was determined the cable was at fault.   Surprisingly enough, however, the cable began working again ...I suspect it was an outage, but I'll play along and pretend it was my cable.  Savings:  $10.

January 12:  I really wanted pesto dressing with my salad today.  During the last 'Italian' week at Aldi, I purchased basil pesto in a 12 ounce jar.  Too much pesto for me to use up at once.  I froze it in ice cube trays and then packed the cubes into a jar.  I had Italian dressing, I had pesto.  I used about a teaspoon of the pesto to about 1 tbsp of the Italian dressing.  Presto! pesto dressing for one!  That little jar of pesto wasn't expensive, under $2 but the method of freezing and using means I get to use it all.  NOT tossing out pesto saves me $1.50 let's say, since I used only a small portion before freezing.  Making my OWN pesto dressing using what I have saves me another $2.50 over the cost of a bottle of dressing that likely won't get eaten either.

January 13:  We went to do a bit of shopping.  We made out a list before we left home.  John surprised me and headed away from our more usual shopping area and we went to Macon.  We were in the same shopping center as the place where I buy my bras.  I always check whenever I'm there for any in my favorite style that are my size.  No luck today at all.  However, I'm not upset.  I've been following Rhonda's recommendations to handwash only and make sure to rotate when wearing, so no bra is worn two days in a row.  I've got five bras in rotation at the moment, the oldest of which is almost 18 months old and still going strong. 

My last purchases were made in June of this past year.  I learned a little further info about bras last year that has also helped extend the life.  When you purchase a bra, always start on the first set of hooks.  That's where it should fit you the best for your size.   Adjust the straps so that they are comfortable and don't slip.  You shouldn't need to adjust the straps ever again.  As the bra ages, the straps will start to slip down off your shoulders.  Instead of adjusting the straps (which seems the most logical thing, but truly is counterproductive), adjust the bandwidth by moving to the second set of hooks.  No more slipping straps.  When they begin to slip again, move to the third set of hooks.  It's when you're on that third set of hooks and the straps begin  to slip that you should toss the bra and buy a new one to replace it.

I thought purchasing a more expensive bra would be more costly in the end. The price of the bras I like best are $26.50 each.  I do find them on sale buy one get one half price, which lowers the cost.  Caring for them properly and adjusting the band as needed means I can wear my bras about two years or so before they must be replaced.  I've actually reduced my costs buying the better bras!

I save, on average, about $26.50 a year (the cost of two GOOD bras per year)  over the cost of the el cheapo bras I used to wear ($13 each every six months or so).  The back and shoulder pain and pinching and such I used to experience is unheard of now that I buy the right size and know how to adjust them as they age.  That alone is priceless!

Picked up the Sunday paper while we were out today.  Coupons almost always offset the cost of the paper.  John thoroughly enjoyed hours of entertainment with this week's crossword puzzle and I netted enough coupons to buy a Sunday paper for the next two months. Savings: $2 (just counting the cost of the paper which paid for itself).

January 14:  Mama called while I was working away at my decluttering task and offered to bring out lunch and pay a visit.  I had a  meal plan but you know the offer of company and the opportunity to continue working for another half hour or more was very appealing.  I agreed.  We saved a meal, which was pushed to tomorrow's meal plan.  I figure the cost savings to us was about $5, which is nice but the best part was not having to stop work until Mama arrived and not having to clear away dishes, so when she left I could go right back to work. 

Calculated savings: $156.74


Tracy said...

Very handy tip about the bras! Thanks for sharing it!

Kathy said...

Thank you for breaking down your savings! Great job on saving money! I sooo need to do better this month.

Karla Neese said...

I too love the tip on the bras. I struggle to find good ones that fit because I'm actually between cup sizes - very inconvenient. LOL

I do have a quick question about coupons. I notice from your menu plan that most of the foods you prepare/cook/plan are not processed foods (which is very helpfully inspiring). What percentage of coupons do you say you actually use from the paper since so much of it is processed foods? That's the only reason I stopped getting the paper but I'm thinking of signing back up for it to use the savings.

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