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What are your plans to save money in 2013?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Looking at our lack of a budget and trying to pick a few things to really work on in 2013 to save money.

 

What are you going to do in the new year to save?

 

First we are going to open 2 savings accounts, one for big items for my son (we are saving for a swing set), and one for my husbands big purchases. Second we are going to re work our budget which means less shopping and less eating out! 

post #2 of 35

I am going to start making more foods from scratch. Start making stock from bones, using vegetable scraps to make vegetable stock, (try to) learn to make bread at home (successfully...), we plan to use cloth diapers at least part-time, I'm going to try and start using cloth myself... definitely just try and stay away from stores/shopping unless I have to.

post #3 of 35

One thing we're going to do is to make more food at home rather than order in or go through the drive thru.  I don't even want to think about how much money we "waste" on that.  We've also let our Costco membership lapse, and the clerk at the grocery store was telling me how he gets a much bigger bag of the chips I was buying at Costco for less than the store price.  I know you have to be careful because not everything is a deal there.  But I honestly think we spend more on food in a month than on anything else aside from mortgage.  If I could save on groceries that would be great!  So I'll probably renew my membership and see how we do.

post #4 of 35

I doubled the size of my kitchen garden & added several herbs to my flower garden.

 

I bought a large set of all-glass storage containers last month so that we don't buy and use any disposable food storage such as plastic bags.

 

We are using some less expensive meats recently as well.

 

Good ideas on this thread!

post #5 of 35

We are making a big move and I am grateful for this opportunity to make some major life changes to save money and live lightly.  

 

-- moving to an apartment

-- selling our second car

-- Costco for food

-- second hand for clothes and bikes

-- small town living where biking will be our main transportation

-- taking a break from piano lessons and dance lessons

-- no cable, no Hulu, no Netflix

-- library, school, hiking and biking will be our main activities this year, all free

-- no YMCA membership

-- no convenience food (bread, crackers, etc, etc)

-- no eating out

 

 

Looking over our budget for the past year, that lowers our spending rate to 50% of our gross pay.  We will max out the 401K in 2013 and dump all extra cash into a savings account.  We would like to buy a house in 2014 and will be saving every extra penny till then.  

post #6 of 35

I start a new FULL TIME job in Jan.  This is my first real job in almost 4 years.  Income is going to be amazing and maybe even enough to pay all the bills.

I will be reworking the budget.  However I am newly DX celiac so the grocery is a huge expense while I'm adapting right now.

 

For starters minimal 401k match

Lots of library usage

DS will be applying for 1 class of scholarship funds (max allowed by his program)

Foodstamps are going to end with march due to my new job so grocery planning is vital.  Its back to serious couponing and sale stalking

Lots of cooking at home and packing lunches and breakfast

We are moving closer to DS swim team so he can walk to practice

Get my taxes done ASAP and use that refund to pay down some debt.

post #7 of 35

I have started ordering my groceries from Azure and it has made a big difference in our spending.  Yes it is a huge amount once per month- but it has cut out a lot of the "little" trips that end up costing $50-100.  So I would like to meal plan for a month at a time and order as much of our groceries as I can.  

 

Also- since I live in the middle of nowhere- I need to just stay home more often.  Today for example we were all a little stir crazy and wanted to get out....  we stayed home and had friends over instead.  Our gas expense is out of this world....  so we really just need to stay home more often.  

 

I also need to cut down on my school spending.  I ordered all almost all our new homeschooling materials for the coming year and I need to just quit at that and not keep ordering some of the super cool things I see....  

 

I also really need to cut down on going to craft stores.  That is my biggest personal thing.....

post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post

I start a new FULL TIME job in Jan.  This is my first real job in almost 4 years.  Income is going to be amazing and maybe even enough to pay all the bills.

I will be reworking the budget.  However I am newly DX celiac so the grocery is a huge expense while I'm adapting right now.

 

For starters minimal 401k match

Lots of library usage

DS will be applying for 1 class of scholarship funds (max allowed by his program)

Foodstamps are going to end with march due to my new job so grocery planning is vital.  Its back to serious couponing and sale stalking

Lots of cooking at home and packing lunches and breakfast

We are moving closer to DS swim team so he can walk to practice

Get my taxes done ASAP and use that refund to pay down some debt.

Congrats on the Job!  That is awesome!

post #9 of 35

Food budget has to downsize.  We are at about $1200 a month for a family of 4 in VT.  I need HELP with this to be sure and hope to get some support here.  I need to pay off the HELOC asap, and that means we have to stop the hemorrhage of money out.  I might stick around these boards for help.

post #10 of 35

ariahsmum, you are not far from the average US food cost for a family of your size. Are there other ways to save besides cutting the grocery budget? My experience with grocery budgeting is that there isn't much room to cut costs on food before health declines and splurge-spending (such as restaurants) increases. Additionally, food prices in the US are climbing like mad, so you may feel defeated even if you manage to actually buy less costly groceries but end up spending the same amount for them.

 

Grocery savings that have worked for us are:

 

eat more eggs and less expensive meats such as sausages

grow what vegetable foods we need during the season

eat measured amounts of food and no more than that; no snacks

 

Something to consider for adults is CRON: calorie-restricted optimal nutrition. My husband and I practice CRON. We have become gradually used to eating about 250-500 calories less per day than the typical calorie calculator recommends. The key to CRON is to be sure that you get the "optimal nutrition" part right ;) Otherwise it is unhealthy. The benefits of CRON, besides a lower grocery bill, include improved general health due to not overloading the body with unneeded calories. To my opinion, CRON is similar to the diet of pre-war America, when a balogna sandwich rather than a bulging hoagie was the typical lunch for a laborer. We've been practicing paleo-CRON for years and are in excellent health. I was amazed how little food was necessary for a nourishing, satisfying diet. I wish we'd tried it sooner.

post #11 of 35

Oh! I forgot to add. We have a garden in the back yard, and I'm going to use that for a lot of the vegetables/maybe fruit/herbs we use. *Hopefully* that will help a lot, too.

post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaBearclan View Post

ariahsmum, you are not far from the average US food cost for a family of your size. Are there other ways to save besides cutting the grocery budget? My experience with grocery budgeting is that there isn't much room to cut costs on food before health declines and splurge-spending (such as restaurants) increases. Additionally, food prices in the US are climbing like mad, so you may feel defeated even if you manage to actually buy less costly groceries but end up spending the same amount for them.

 

Grocery savings that have worked for us are:

 

eat more eggs and less expensive meats such as sausages

grow what vegetable foods we need during the season

eat measured amounts of food and no more than that; no snacks

 

Something to consider for adults is CRON: calorie-restricted optimal nutrition. My husband and I practice CRON. We have become gradually used to eating about 250-500 calories less per day than the typical calorie calculator recommends. The key to CRON is to be sure that you get the "optimal nutrition" part right ;) Otherwise it is unhealthy. The benefits of CRON, besides a lower grocery bill, include improved general health due to not overloading the body with unneeded calories. To my opinion, CRON is similar to the diet of pre-war America, when a balogna sandwich rather than a bulging hoagie was the typical lunch for a laborer. We've been practicing paleo-CRON for years and are in excellent health. I was amazed how little food was necessary for a nourishing, satisfying diet. I wish we'd tried it sooner.

 

please, please, i'm begging you! please tell me where i can learn more paleo-CRON and making sure the nutrition is covered! i've been eating almost totally paleo for quite some time and would like to move in the CRON direction due to the longevity benefits. i'm a little concerned though since i have developed adrenal fatigue (and already have fibromyalgia and adhd); i need to make sure that i get lots of animal fat.

 

to cut my budget in 2013 (since we're scraping by by the skin of my teeth) are to (1) stay within budget and not make any impulse buys!, (2) stay out of stores, (3) reduce driving as much as possible since we live rurally, (4) garden this year (moved here last year and garden was not ready), (5) try to get our drainage pond high enough that we could stock with fish, (6) eat fish and eggs from our animals and try to cut back on purchased meat for us, (6) look for anything that i can sell and actually list it! i'm hugely bad at actually getting to the listing part...(7) make and follow meal plan. i've made one now but would have to revise after more of our chickens and our ducks get to egg-bearing age and if we can get the pond stocked. (8) take plenty of food with us when we travel so that we don't have to eat out. big budget-buster!

post #13 of 35

meandk, hello, unfortunately most CRON materials I've seen promote a plant-based diet. It's very confusing to me how these diets can be called CRON rather than simply calorie restriction. I had to figure out the paleo-CRON on my own.

 

My advice is to do your math and take it slow. I've spent a lot of time with food calculators to teach myself how to eat properly. By now I can estimate by eye how many ounces is in a portion of food and what the ratios of food should be. I also now know the overall nutrient content of the foods we typically eat. If you are already eating paleo and aren't afraid of fat you are half way to CRON. Start by setting your limits: daily calorie alottment, maximum carb, and daily protein. The rest of your calories should be fat.

 

Start by eating the amount of calories recommended by various calculators. Reduce daily calories by 50-100g gradually until you reach the recommended amount, then keep reducing at that pace until you are eating about 300-500 calories a day less than the recommended amount. I am recommended to have 1800-2000 calories per day depending on the calculator; I eat about 1500 cal per day. About once a week I eat a little more than that, say 1750 cal.

 

You should make whatever adjustments needed until you are satisfied and feel well on your diet. The most important adjustment is to stabalize your blood sugar by keeping your carbs low. It took us about a year to adjust. It took time and patience. I advise that before you do anything else you first lower carbs until you are comfortable at 60-80g per day (I eat 60-75g), then lower overall calories until you are close to your target, then lower protein at the end to reach your target. Protein will sustain you as you adapt. It was the last thing we were able to adjust; lowering protein intake during the adjustment period didn't work, we needed it to feel well. Now I eat about 75g protein per day; I started this process at 100g per day.

 

Keep your meals simple so you can track your food with ease.

 

I lost a little weight, back to my weight in my early 20s. My husband, always slim and a small eater, didn't lose any. Once I got to a slim weight, the weight loss stopped and my weight has been the same for a few years now.

 

For vegetables we use mostly seaweed and herbs. We don't eat apples or grapes - not enough nutrients & too much sugar. We drink cream, not milk. In other words, each food product is selected for maximum nutrient density. You should track the nutrition of typical meals to be sure you are getting it right, then you can be more flexible for variety: parsley in place of seaweed, egg yolk in place of cream, etc. Some foods we have to eat almost daily, such as nuts for vitamin E and fruit for vitamin C.

 

You are right that the diet is mostly animal fat. This should help with your health problems. Animal fat is very healing to the nervous system and low-carb is excellent for reducing anxiety and inflammation.

 

Wishing you good health (and savings)!

Puma


Edited by PumaBearclan - 12/27/12 at 7:10am
post #14 of 35

2013 will be a big change year for us.  My plan to save money is to improve my cooking skills and nutrition knowledge.  Keeping my family as healthy as possible is very important, as we'll lose our extended medical care and dental.  Of course I'll still use a budget and do meal planning, but I've been doing those such a long time it's not a change to me. 

 

I'll cut back on unnecessary expenses such as clothes.  I've gone a bit crazy in the last two years buying clothes for everyone, sure they were good bargains, but we really don't need that many clothes.  I'll declutter other things as well.  Even though I never liked shopping much, somehow we have loads of stuff.

post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 

Awesome idea everyone. Gardening is going to be a biggie for us this year. I just ordered a ton of seeds (all heirloom/NonGMO) for $30. I'm almost done setting up my aqauponics set up in the garage to be able to grow year round! Its small, but its something! We will also be having a tradtional garden in the back yard for veggies, and turning our big long flower planters by the driveway into a strawberry patch. We already have blackberries and plums. I'd love to add apple trees to the yard to really round out our fruit, but not sure if thats in the budget right now. 

post #16 of 35

Our family's most effective way to save money is to stick to the budget we've made.  That's our first line of defense.

 

Second most effective way for us to save money is to stay out of stores.  If we're not tempted to spend the money, it will stay in the bank or go towards debt repayment.

 

We have a 900sq ft garden.  It produced well for us last year, our first year.  I've re-evaluated what we're growing and we'll be adding herbs to it.

 

DS2 was just diagnosed with food allergies (wheat, eggs, soy, and shellfish, possibly more) so there will definitely be more cooking at home and less eating out, but I foresee our grocery bill going up some as we rework our menus and recipes.

 

I'm going to continue crafting from my stash of yarns and fabrics with limited new purchases.  I'm also going to attempt to upcycle more for "luxuries" (like throw pillows, room decor, etc).

 

I need some diapers and wipes for the new baby coming at the end of the month, so they'll come strictly from stash and upcycled fabrics.

 

I'd like to start line drying again, but I need to pick up more drying racks for that to happen and figure out optimal placement for them around the house.

post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by FillingMyQuiver View Post

Our family's most effective way to save money is to stick to the budget we've made.  That's our first line of defense.

 

Second most effective way for us to save money is to stay out of stores.  If we're not tempted to spend the money, it will stay in the bank or go towards debt repayment.

 

We have a 900sq ft garden.  It produced well for us last year, our first year.  I've re-evaluated what we're growing and we'll be adding herbs to it.

 

DS2 was just diagnosed with food allergies (wheat, eggs, soy, and shellfish, possibly more) so there will definitely be more cooking at home and less eating out, but I foresee our grocery bill going up some as we rework our menus and recipes.

 

I'm going to continue crafting from my stash of yarns and fabrics with limited new purchases.  I'm also going to attempt to upcycle more for "luxuries" (like throw pillows, room decor, etc).

 

I need some diapers and wipes for the new baby coming at the end of the month, so they'll come strictly from stash and upcycled fabrics.

 

I'd like to start line drying again, but I need to pick up more drying racks for that to happen and figure out optimal placement for them around the house.

 

Your garden is bigger than my house, lol. I will be line drying again once we move in Feb. I'll pick a house that has a good space for drying outside.

post #18 of 35

After living on a very restricted budget for quite a while, I have pared everything down very, very far.  But I just got a new job (that i really am happy with) so my income has increased about 2300 dollars a month.  I will spend a bit because several things in my house have been breaking down so I will replace the microwave (did that already and it was only $50) and I needed some work clothes, but I did that too for little money.  Only debt is the student loan.  So I won't really be cutting in any areas (already did that).  The extra money will be going to: savings (want one full year of expenses), roth ira, and student loan.  After absorbing all of the information on this board and other financial sites, I am really being rewarded.  Seriously considering buying a house in the near future, but not quite ready to make the leap.  Looking forward to diversifying my investments, though. 

post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post

 

Your garden is bigger than my house, lol. I will be line drying again once we move in Feb. I'll pick a house that has a good space for drying outside.

 

LOL, we are incredibly blessed to live on just under 1/2 acre, one of the reasons we bought our current house (though I would LOVE more property to be able to homestead more).  We also currently have 5 children and are due w/ our 6th at the end of January, so 900 sq feet covers our veggie needs, but we'd love to add more fruit options.

post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by FillingMyQuiver View Post

LOL, we are incredibly blessed to live on just under 1/2 acre, one of the reasons we bought our current house (though I would LOVE more property to be able to homestead more).  We also currently have 5 children and are due w/ our 6th at the end of January, so 900 sq feet covers our veggie needs, but we'd love to add more fruit options.

Oh I would love some fruit trees!
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