Sunday, August 03, 2008

Reflection on the Economy.....

I have recently retired, which many of you already know, and I have had to be more economical in my daily routine due to the drop in income:D Not a bad thing....I might add! It has really made me aware of how much is wasted and how much spending is unnecessary! I have been thinking of a way to post about it.....and decided to just be straight forward (for any of you that are interested:)
We have cut back considerable in most areas of our life and have found it FUN rather than a burden. Here are a few of the things that have changed in our world since prices have gone up and income has gone down!

1. We don't waste food. I fix more casseroles than meat heavy meals.

2. I make larger portions for dinner and we have the same meal twice in the week. This works for Bar-b-q or roast, soup or casserole. We don't always have it the next night, but skip a night so it doesn't become boring:D

3. We eat out less which means more meals at home.....not a bad thing when you like to cook!

4. We invite people over for dinner rather than meet them out for dinner.

5. I am driving less.....which means I plan my trips rather than roaming about without thinking:D

6. I shop at Save-A-Lot or Walmart if at all possible due to their lower prices.

7. I go through the paper and make trips to the larger grocery stores for ONLY their "Specials of the Week". I stock up on meats etc. when it is on sale! (don't we all?)

8. Less prepared foods and more from scratch recipes......always a good thing:D

9. I purchase the store brands rather then the advertised popular labels. Never much
10. We have exchanged all our light bulbs with the energy efficient low wattage bulbs.

11. We are being better about water use and are not running the dishwasher or washing machine with less than a full load:D

12. I have been shopping for some of my clothing at Goodwill or other thrift stores. Before you feel too sorry for me....let me say that there are only certain brands that I will buy and they must appear new or gently used:D Resale shops are a must when looking for a certain outfit for a certain occasion! We have a designer resale shop in St. Louis where the prices are SOOOOO high that I can't afford their designer 195.00!!!

13. We got TIVO so that we now tape a majority of our favorite movies and programs to watch rather than renting!

14. I have been IRONING!!! Yes, you heard that right.....I whipped out the old board instead of paying my friendly laundry 1.50/ea. to iron my 50+ blouses. I am a blouse and shorts girl in the summer.....none of those clingy T's for me! When the waist went, so did the fitted shirts:(

15. We have been enjoying more of the St. Louis sites (right here in front of us) rather than the expensive little week-end trips we used to take. Not cutting them out all together, but cutting down:D

16. We are throwing open the windows any chance we get! Less air-conditioning makes me happy! We are also turning heat or air down when we go for the day! Sometimes this can be the day I forgot to close up and turn the air on before leaving for the day! Upon arriving home I realized we were entertaining in an hour and the house was like an oven..oops!

17. I am looking into getting a Toyota, Prius to conserve since we live about 20 miles from St. Louis and find ourselves driving there frequently to visit friends and family. My van only gets about 24 miles/gal. and with prices the way they are this sounds reasonable:D

18. I found ways to cut down on the meds. I take....or the cost anyway! Some meds can be purchased from Canada at a fraction of the cost of here in the States. I also take advantage of Target's 4.00 generic drug program....I have gone from spending 200.00/ month (just my insurance co-pay) to 20.00/ month! THAT IS FOR REAL!!!!!!

19. I am doing NO impulse buying! At least I like to think that....LOL But, I have cut down on those impulse purchases and have given more thought to if I need something or really love it that much! That does EXCLUDE spending on the grandkids:D

20. Rog and I have always been pretty good about doing things ourselves rather than hiring them done, but we have even gotten BETTER! We have also asked family to help us occasionally rather than paying for a crew to come in and do the work. This usually turns out to be much more fun and very REWARDING!

21. I have joined several groups of friends that work together doing household and yard chores. This also is soooo much more fun and rewarding. You have probably seen this on my blog, but we work at one house every week....doing whatever that girl needs done. Painting rooms, yard work, sanding furniture, basic cleaning and even cooking for big events have been on our agenda in the past year.

22. Did I mention the lights.....LOL! Well, for years my hubby has followed me around turning off the numerous lights I love having on throughout the house! Well, he is right.....we have seen a significant drop in our electric bill since I too am being conservative!

23. I shop at Goodwill and thrift stores for books......where I used to spend upteen dollars on a book whenever I saw something interesting....I now am patient and purchase wonderful books for 1.00/ea. I also shop for friends and family (knowing what they like to read as well).

24. I am selling items that I no longer use on Ebay. Simple to do now-a-days....they have done most of the work for you! I have sold a set of china, clothing, household items, books and even all my visual aids from teaching art for the past 22 years!

25. I have also been working with the local administration in our little community to establish a "community garden". I would love to have a flat, sunny place to grow some of my own vegetables. There are community gardens throughout the urban St. Louis area that are growing and thriving:D

I am not advocating any of this to anyone.....but must say that it has been FUN and has given me a new outlook on my old spending habits....LOL


Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

We've been doing many of the things you have listed, too Linda. We started working on that, a few months before J's retirement last January.

There is so much to see right here in our own backyard. A friend asked what our big trip is this year. I said, we booked a cabin at Big Cedar for our anniversary. No out of state trips.

J and I have talked about starting a community garden here in the subdivision. We should bring this up at the fall meeting. Winghaven used to have a community garden. Haven't been by there in awhile, so not sure if it's still there. We thought it a wonderful idea.

nelda ream said...

Sounds like you have a new lease on life, a better, more fun-filled life. We have been doing a lot of the things on your list also. It's actually a very creative way to live.

cindy said...

I'm very glad for you! And yep, we have put some of the same practices into use. Although we have not been as good as you. But alas, gas prices are beating the pants offa us. Hub has to drive a considerable amount to work (the price of living in the country), so hopefully tightening the belt will help in other ways.
Good post.
c said...

Thanks for the tips, Linda! I do love my Goodwill bargains, but need to gear up in the cooking department--how about some recipe suggestions? Hugs, linda said...

Thanks for the tips, Linda! I do love my Goodwill bargains, but need to gear up in the cooking dept. How about some healthy recipe suggestions??? Hugs, linda said...

Sorry to have posted the same thing 3 times--Google kept telling me I was signed in wrong and I thought it wasn't going thru--duh! linda