Friday, July 25, 2008

Cutting Back Costs

Sorry, it's been a while...I'm still here. Just busy with family and normal day-to-day stuff.

Everywhere - you see prices rising, and with a family of our size (5 kids) we have to cut back where we can. This past month has been a serious financial reality check for us, and it's time to put our foot down. Here's what we've been "trying" to do better at to stretch our dollars...

  • Hang our laundry, and NOT use the dryer - We recently bought a new umbrella type clothes dryer (our first one broke), and we've been using it daily if the weather doesn't look like rain.

  • Use our air conditioner LESS or not at all - This is another obvious electricity saver. We started running more fans in the far it's working. We have only been putting on the air when we are desperate! lol More home cooling tips here.

There are other cool alternatives that can be done... go to the library (we've done this). Enjoy their air conditioned space, and it doesn't cost a thing to bring some good books home! Go to an indoor shopping mall - careful you'll be tempted to buy stuff (especially if you have kids with you), so you probably won't be saving any money doing this. Go to Costco and stand in their large refrigerated section. It almost feels like a freezer though. I joke about doing this, and we've never done this just to cool down, but it sounds like fun. Oh..but it's another tempting "shopping" situation....remember..we're trying to save not spend!

  • Buy take-out less! - I believe our family is getting better at this. Planning is definitely the key here. Knowing what you are going to make ahead of time, making sure you have the ingredients on hand and your meat thawed, makes it less tempting to say, "Let's order pizza!"

  • Stay focused when shopping - Buy what you need, not what you want! Better yet, stay away from the mall and those SALES period, unless you have to get a gift (why not make a gift instead?) You may think you are saving when there is a SALE,...but you are still spending! I also try not to browse online or watch QVC - too tempting!

  • Use coupons when possible - You can get coupons online and/or from the Sunday's newspaper. I'm still new at this. I currently don't subscribe to the Sunday paper (because I believe our family just gets tempted from all the sales ads) so my mom passes the coupons to me from her paper. I just clip the coupons for the products that I normally use and keep them in a ziploc baggie in my purse. I only use the coupons on the products if they are ON SALE at the store. So that's double savings! The experienced Money Saving Mom has really great advice and ideas on couponing.

  • Saving more energy -We don't have a newer refrigerator with a water dispenser on the door, so my large family has been taking chilled water from our Pur water pitcher from the fridge. Well... opening and closing the fridge door wastes LOTS of energy, and the pitcher runs out of water frequently so we are constantly refilling it. To save time and ENERGY costs, we purchased a 3 quart water jug from Walmart. Filled with iced water, it sits on our kitchen counter for easy dispensing for thirsty family members. I REALLY should have done this sooner! My mom use to do I SHOULD have known!
    Well, better late than never.

Hopefully these little things we are doing, will pay off. I'll know when the next electric bill comes in. What are you all doing to cut back costs? Please share!


The Q Family said...

I like the iced water jug idea. We stopped using our refridgerator filter and bouth Brita but like you said the open and close the refridgerator can lose a lot of energy. I will try this at home.

For us, we have done several things to save our money. Here is my blog about it:

-Amy @ The Q Family

Ohana Mama said...

I need a lesson on how to line dry clothes, lol. I am from the mainland, living in Maui and my electric bill is out of control. So we turned off the a/c and now I need to line dry. Any tips? Where'd you buy the umbrella one?

hAwAii mOnEy sAvInG mAmA said...

Amy - Thanks for stopping by. I'll be checking out your site! =)

Ohana Mama - Cool name! We bought our umbrella clothes line at City Mill. Not sure if there is one on Maui.

Busymama Karen said...

Great ideas!

Dean said...

I stumbled across your site. From one local Hawaii resident to another keep up the great content.


hAwAii mOnEy sAvInG mAmA said...

Thanks Dean for stopping by! I love your site!

Tifani said...

I ran across your site because we just got back from Hawaii in late June (Mainland Honeymooners). I wanted to share a savings tip. My husband and I hand out FREE prescription discount cards. We came across this business and if you would like to try and save money on prescriptions please check out our site: You can print free cards from our site and even price shop with local drug stores before you buy. The card typically saves anywhere from 10-75% but we have seen more. I love coupon shopping so I hope this helps!