Saturday, March 5, 2011

Small changes, big savings

We're all about saving money these days, right? I mean, who isn't? Between the recession and the fact that Geoff and I are newly married, we are saving wherever we can. A few things we do are small, but add up to larger savings in the long run. And, best of all, I don't feel like I'm cutting anything out, or being put out while I'm saving. Here are a few things we are doing to save money.

Carpooling to work.
Geoff and I are incredibly lucky that we are on the same schedule, work in the same city and my work is on the way to his! This has saved us so much in gas money. I feel like I rarely drive my car anymore because we also carpool to church, even if we have to go early because Geoff runs the video projector. Thanks to small things like this, I didn't panic when I saw gas prices on the wrong side of $3.50 a gallon, creeping towards $4. Sure it's not pleasant, but I also haven't gotten gas for myself in almost a month and I am just now close to needing to fill up. That is a savings of about $40 a week to week and a half for us!

Packing our own lunches.
Geoff and I are back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon, so we've been actively trying to eat better. This means packing our own lunches so we know exactly what we are getting for lunch. It also means that we aren't spending money to go often. We do splurge occasionally, and I eat out every Saturday that I work. For me, however, it's once a week that I buy my lunch. This goes along with the carpooling. Before my schedule changed, when I had a car at the office, I was too tempted to go out for lunch. Now I can't because I have no ride! So I eat in, and save a lot more. I heard on the radio that if you pack your lunch just 2 days a week you can save $700 a year! I'm happy to say that since I take my lunch 4 times a week I'm sure I'm saving much more.

Swagbucks, Groupon and Living Social.
I love these sites! I used to shy away from them because a lot of times the deals were not something I'd typically use. But by checking them out regularly I've been able to make use of some deals. Recently I bought a $20 gift card to Emerald City Smoothie, a place Geoff and I enjoy. It was only $10 and when I went to activate it, they gave me a free smoothie! I've also bought and gift cards for half their value and recently I got 2 movie tickets for $9! The latter was especially profitable because when I bought it through Swagbucks I got 315 swagbucks...almost enough for a $5 card! These sites have saved me money on things I'd already be buying, as long as I avoid the things I really don't need, like spas and expensive restaurants.
(By the way, those are referral links, so if you don't want to be referred to me, just search Swagbucks)

So how are YOU saving money these days?

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