Penny Pinching

Penny-pinching … Don’t think of it has a burden. Think of it as a challenge! Some people are natural budgeters others of us find it a major stretch. Stretching the value of a dollar is important in this day and age. After all President Obama hasn’t included *MY* household in his stimulus package. Although, I sure could use a few thousand dollars if he finds any extra in his pocket-book.

All this money-talk though has me thinking about ways that we can save money, a nickle at a time, even.

  1. I can’t be the Joneses (or the Wendts, for that matter). I have wonderful neighbors all around me. One of my closest friends in the neighborhood is a doctor’s wife and she has a pretty well-paying job herself. It is hard to try not to keep up with her; but her priorities are different then mine. She can afford the bi-weekly house-cleaners, the seasonal carpet-cleaning, the vacations to ‘The Hamptons’, the sleek looking Volvo. I can’t. I can still be wonderful friends with them. I can sit in their backyard and enjoy a glass of wine with her. But I can’t compare myself to her or her family.
  2. Coupon Clipping. This one is *Hubby’s* job. (Yes, it is a huge blessing.) However, since he has been deployed for over a year the job has fallen on me. I’m not nearly as good as he is in the ‘savings department’; but I am getting better at it. A couple of hints for coupon cutting: Don’t clip a coupon for something you wouldn’t normally buy. If you are using coupons for something you wouldn’t have bought anyway you aren’t saving any money. But if you need hand-soap & there is a coupon … by all means clip away and think of how 50 cents here and 50 cents there can add up.
  3. Just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you have to use it. Compare prices. Say you have 35 cents off of a jar of pickles from one brand. The other brand might be 50-cents cheaper on the shelf. It seems like common sense, but when I go to the hassle of clipping a coupon I want to use it. It just doesn’t always make economical sense to do so.
  4. Do you need that cart? A friend of mine told me recently that if she is only going into the store for one or two things she doesn’t grab a cart. This keeps her from picking up a ‘few extra things’. Those few extra things, otherwise known as impulse buys, make it hard to stay on budget.
  5. Line-dry your clothes in nice weather. I had a little fold-up clothes rack from my college days that was collecting dust in the laundry room. A few Springs ago I was forced to pull it out when our dryer went on the fritz. I set the rack on our deck and would dry the laundry one washer-load at a time. The dryer has since been fixed and now I own two clothes-racks. During the warm months I covertly set the racks on the deck, up against the house but in the sun. They aren’t obtrusive like a lawn clothes-line but they save a few pennies in the electric-bill department. I still dry towels and undies in the dryer but most everything else is Spring-fresh in a matter of hours.
  6. Nothing says “I love you” like a homemade card. Very rarely do I buy a $3 or $4 card. I usually go right for the 99-cent rack. If the card is for a grandpa, grandma, aunt or uncle I even let my boys make them a homemade painting or card. When shopping for cards this Mother’s Day season (or any other time of year) remember the card may be beautiful but is it worth $4?! Wouldn’t Grandma cherish a painting from the grandkids, or a handwritten note from you, even more?

Those are some of my penny-pinching ideas. I know you have some more great ones out there! Does anyone drink water when eating at a restaurant instead of buying the $3 glass of soda? or perhaps slowed their speed down by 5 mph to better their miles-per-gallon? Give me your hints… share them with your military family!
USAA has several great articles about saving your hard earned money. “
Painless Ways To Save” can get you thinking about your thermostat, your phone bill, your favorite book-store. We can find ways to “pinch-pennies” in so many ways. Get creative. Think of saving money as a challenge instead of a crutch!
Interested in more? Sign-up for our April Military Family Newsletter. Our topic of conversation? “Penny Pinching” 🙂– Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.combyLeanneonSunday, March 15, 2009Military Life:,,,

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