Today on Dr.Phil (a show I hate, and NEVER watch) they were talking w/ "the cheapest family in America" Oprah had a similar type show about living more simlpy and all that stuff. On Oprah she talked about a show last week w/ Suze Orman where she wanted everyone to do 3 things 1-Not spend any money in a day
2-Not use your credit cards for a week
3- Not eat out for a month
Now I know that we live a little differently than a lot of people, and I would definetly consider us cheap. I'd say poor (and you probably would too is you knew what we actually lived on- I mean HELLO a grad. student and a SAHM don't make big bucks!), but I don't really feel like we are poor. How we follow her "goals
1-We can go days w/o spending money- unless we need gas (we started limiting grocery trips a few weeks ago, which really cuts back on spending)
2- I don't even remember the last time we used a credit card, I HATE to use them, and only do if it is a true emergency and we really don't have the money, and then pay off as quickly as we can.
3- We just challenged ourselves to not eat out for 30days, we made it 22- but by choice, we went to an art thing and then kind of had a date night (w/ a baby).
I think even our no eating out challenge helped us avoid the habit of eating out. Too often we would be in town around a meal time and decide we should just eat out, spending money we shouldn't be. Now we are trying to plan better and take a lunch if we'll be out during that time.
We also avoid stores- we try to hardly ever go to Walmart or Target (no matter how much I want to go there) and even the dollar store, because that money really adds up quickly, and I don't even know what I have to show for those shopping trips! Last time I went to dollar tree I bought a bunch of picture frames- we have like 2 pictures up in our whole house- seriously why would I do that?
So now instead of just buying, we are saving for stuff we really want (and need). I don't use coupons at all, but everytime I see one of these talk shows where they get theri groceries half off w/ coupons I think maybe I should. Anyone use coupons? We do use (most of the time) our reusable bags at the grocery store, and at the grocery store we shop at (County Market on Philo) they give you 5cents(is there not a cent sign on a keyboard?) per bag- in cash- so we make like 20cents evertime we go grocery shopping- SWEET!!
When we do go out to eat we usually go to Culver's where we all get kids meals(most of the time) so it costs us about $15 and we all get dessert (don't forget to save the scoopie Points)! And if we have to venture to a real restaurant we usually all get water. I've really been getting in to making stuff from scratch, but I don't know how much it really saves us on groceries, it's just something I like to do.
I KNOW that if I actually planned out our meals for the week, I could make an even better grocery list and we wouldn't have so much food not being used- I actuall went through our pantry and made a list of everythjing, in an attempt to start using it all. My goal for Christams (and possibly bdays) is to give the boys all used presents, and to buy most of their clothes at thrift stores and garage sales this year.
Well I think I've rambled enough- anyone else, thoughts, tips on being "cheap"?