Sunday, January 6, 2013

Frugal & Thrifty Budget Ideas for 2013

Ok, I am really going to get a budget going and see if I can stay on it.  Not something really outrageous, but something that is totally realistic.  We live a rather simple life, not really anything extravagant at all, but I still think I waste money and that is not a good thing.

First off, I am going to look at some of the things I have committed to and see if I can trim those expenses down a little bit.  The first one is the cable bill.  Do I really watch all those channels, and no I hardly ever watch those movies, so if I cut those out, what can I save?  What other bills can I trim down?  We don't really have a lot of bills, so if I just watch the A/C and Heating, that's about all I can control, but that can save a lot.  With the cable bill alone I can save $30 a month.  That's a good start.

Second would be the grocery bill.  I usually do one big shop each week and only go back if I run out of something, but I don't plan out meals and I don't really watch the grocery budget. I like for the pantry and the fridge/freezer to be fully stocked with everything, so then whatever I want to cook, all the ingredients are on hand.   I do read the ads, make a list and use the coupons that really apply to what we like to eat.  It wastes money to use a coupon and buy something you really don't like.  We eat really well at our house, but I can trim a little here I think.  For just the two of us I definitely think a budget of $100 week is more than ample, so I am going to stick to that.

Third is to not waste money on car gas just running around unnecessarily.  I am the world's worst at just hopping in the car and running here and there for no reason at all.  I get 32 mpg with my new little car, so I don't think about how much I am running around.  If I plan to do as many errands as possible at a time, then I don't have to waste a lot of money on car gas making unnecessary trips.

Fourth is to give myself an allowance.  I know that I could be more frugal with my spending, but I just seem to buy whatever I want.  Even if I do a ton of shopping at Goodwill and Thrift stores for most of my home decor, that really adds up, so I need to be more selective about what I buy.  I need to really take a good look at our wardrobes and purge what doesn't fit and only replace needed items and maybe an occassional something special.  That will accomplish two goals.  First I won't have so much stuff and need to purge so often,  and second, I need to use what I have.  Ok, so if I set a goal of $100 a month for my allowance, that should be more than ample.  Maybe I can even trim that back a little.

Now these are just four really easy and simple little things that I can do that will start off my goal of saving an extra $100 a month.  Not a big deal, but it is something that I can achieve and then I can set bigger goals. Just need to take baby steps here. lol

Hopefully at the end of the year I will have this really big pile of cash sitting around, and way more than $100 a month.

Now I can probably trim some of this down even further, however I want to start small and not make it something that I hate and won't do.  So I am being kind of generous.  How about you, do you have a budget and do you stick to it?

I am joining: 
 Sunny Simple Life for Sunny Simple Sunday
DIY Showoff for DIY Project Parade

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  1. I don't have a budget, but I'm planning on doing similar to what you are doing, Marty. Last month, I cut out the movie channels that were on our cable because we don't really utilize them either. I'm also looking to do a budget for groceries. My husband is bad at spur of the moment buying when he runs to the store, so if I can control the main shopping, I won't have to nag him about it. I also don't meal plan because I don't know if we will want chicken on Tuesday or pasta on Thursday. But if I have those items in the house, they will be ready for whichever night we feel like having it.

    I definitely do have to get better and can relate to a lot of what you have said here.

  2. I need to do this too. I've already cut out all I can on the TV, unless we go back to an antenna. I already use coupons, and buy when items are on sale. I use one grocery store and know about when they run their Buy One Get One items, by buying then and also using the coupon for the item, I really save. My store keeps up with your savings for the year, and in 2012 I saved close to $800.00 by doing this. The easy way to save is to learn how to really coupon. Go to this website, and read it for lots of tips.
    My daughter saved thousands in the last 2 years, and it has really made a difference. She follows her budget religiously. Another place to save is on your cell phone plan by cutting out the extra minutes you don't need. I also did that. Anyway, I'm with you on this! I need to get much stricter!

    Good luck!


  3. I really enjoyed reading this Marty. I need to do a post about how my own household works .

    thanks for sharing with us.


  4. Good post, Marty. I plan on using my fabric stash this year and not buy new fabric only when needed to finish a project. I could also but down on all the other areas you mentioned and be more selective with my purchases. Thank you for sharing.

  5. One of the areas we have saved money is buying the meat when it is marked down...Fresh and Easy and Trader Joe both do this. You have to know what day your stores do it. We only get a Sunday paper, so that is another savings. Honestly, we pretty much are down to the bare budget. The hardest thing is NOT buying something you want when you see it. I have learned NOT to go to the store as much...then I am not tempted!

  6. Great pointers Marty! We cut back our cable last year and haven't missed it...and turned off our land line phone and just use our cells. I am going to follow your idea of being more selective about what I buy! Hugs, Penny

  7. Sounds like you have a good plan. Doing much of the same over here. Good Luck.

  8. Great job in trying to reduce expenses. I tend not to let my car get under 1/2 tank of gas and then I start looking for the cheapest in the area I'm going to be. I have always gassed at QT and I know of one that is cheaper than all the rest in my area. Also, Safeway & Frys have gas rewards. If you are going to buy something big at one of the box stores, buy a gift card at one of the grocery stores & you will get gas points and still be able to use it at the box store. Be careful when you buy the cards as some don't apply. Ask questions.

  9. (Trying again, for some reason comments are posting right today)

    You have mentioned some great money saving ideas Marty. I also try to plan my time to run errands so I don't waste gas and car wear and tear. With it being just my hubby and I at home now, I purchase 95% of my household shopping from Costco which saves me a lot, especially when I use their coupons. Every little bit helps :)
    Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

  10. 2 of your budget ideas really hit home for me. One the being more selective on what I buy. I really don't need anything so from now on I'll only buy if I need something and it has to be on sale when I do. The other is food. I waste too much. If you can do 100 for 2 people there a week, I should be able to do 50 a week. It just never works out that way for me. I really need to make a menu and stick to it. I wish you great success with your budge and I hope I also do better with mine.

  11. Sounds like a great plan you've settled on. For fun, I am trying to see how far I can go into 2013 without buying anything not necessary. I've gotten through the first week and honestly it didn't hurt at all. Let me back that up by saying I've been a dangerous shopping addict for the past few years and it. has. to. stop. Good luck to you. Mary

  12. I really need to do this right along with you. I like how you are starting in a reasonable way. If I ever really figured out how much we spend at the grocery would probably just be a real shocker. We love to have everything well stocked and we buy whatever we want there. I do use coupons and match to the weekly ad - buying only the items we eat. A budget makes much more sense though. Elaine at Sunny Simple Life often has good ideas for saving money.

  13. Good Evening Marty, What a great post. I think by planning we would all be surprised at how much we can save.
    Each month I decide on how much I want to save and transfer that straight into a savings account, it is amazing how quickly our savings add up, but the money is there in case of emergencies.
    Good luck with your "trimming exercise". Best Wishes Daphne

  14. Marty - Great ideas to start out. I think we are all thinking about cutting back. Everything just seems to get higher and higher, We use a WalMart credit card and get anywhere from 5-7cents off a gallon of gas if we fill up at a WalMart station, It really adds up with more than one car.

    Good suggestions, Thanks.


  15. My budget is sort of like my diet. I stick to it for about two days and then it becomes nonexistent!! You have thought it out so nicely Marty that now I am motivated to give it another try. This time I will try to organize my thoughts and goals and approach it in a focused manner. Wish me luck --- thanks for the gentle nudge.

  16. Good ideas, Marty! We have also cut back on our cable channels and no longer have a land phone line. We just use our cell phones.
    xx, Sherry

  17. Great post, Marty! By combining our house phone, cable, and Internet into one via our electric company, we saved $200 per month. Yes, just that easy. Then we added 3 DVR plans and that added $60 back. Still cut $140 and it's only one company to pay. If they would only put the home electric bill on with those other 3 items it would be less time. Paying online also saves stamps. Marty, it sounds like you're doing all the right things! Happy 2013!

  18. all great ideas, and they shouldn't be too painful to implement. I know I need to set a thrift store budget as I seem to think I'm not spending money if I buy it at the thrift. You know that $20 each time really does add up! Good luck and thanks for the tips.

  19. Hi, Marty! Great post. It looks like you have an awesome plan already. We did the same thing with the cable bill and combined our internet and phone with it. By getting rid of the movie channels, we saved about $80.00 a month. My biggest expense is the grocery bill. We still have two older college kids living at home and, with the prices of food today, it can get very expensive. I make a menu every week that runs from Monday through Saturday and once that is done, I prepare a grocery list and all the coupons I can get for the items that I need to buy that week. The coupons really add up and every week I save between $35.00 to $50.00. Sometimes even more. The way I see it, that is enough money for a full tank of gas. :) I print them off the internet and also get them from our Sunday paper. That, right there, is about $150.00 in savings every month. If you think about it, during 2012, I saved over $1,800.00 on groceries using grocery coupons. I also don't believe in paying full retail price for anything. Don't laugh, but I always carry coupons in my purse for the stores I like to shop at, Macy's, Kirklands, Bed&Bath, Hobby Lobby, Michaels. If I need something, I look for a coupon on line before I leave the house. I have a great website where you can get the weekly coupons for all retailers. Let me know if you want the link and I will email it to you. Good luck on your savings this year. I think you already have a great plan. Have a great week!

  20. Great ideas that you shared with us. I know I should sit down and go over ways to cut back myself.
    Happy New Year


  21. Great post.Many points to be noted down.I think i should be able to do few things.thank you .love....sujatha:):):)

  22. I have had a written budget in the past and it includes once a year and twice a year things such as HOA dues, Christmas and insurance.If HOA dues are $600 a month, then I have a monthly category for HOA dues in the amount of $50. I also have a category for a new car. We pay cash for cars, so I pay myself in advance. If I'm going to pay $20,000 for a car in 6 years, I just divide $20,000/6/12 or $278 a month. I've had a budget for so long, that I haven't kept one for about a year, but I've just started doing one again. It's always good to have a budget and it's great to save money,especially when you don't really need some things like 1,000 channels of cable! Good luck on your spending plan(budget) and don't feel like a failure if you have to adjust it next month or periodically.

  23. Marty,
    Great tips for saving onone's budget!!!
    Always inspiring!!!

  24. Great ideas!!! My cable bill has the land phone and internet service on it too, I have no premium channels or recording service. Those are too expensive. I do not have a cell phone. Groceries still run me about 70 to 100 dollars a week, using coupons and sale items. I don't like to run around a lot so gas bill is about $50 a month. All the places I frequent are pretty close by and I always combine trips so don't go out often. Do not get any papers or magazines.....but spend one or two days at Barnes&Nobles and read everything I can for free!!!! Never take a vacation, but do have company and visit with friends, that suits me just fine. Physical limitations have prevented me from doing much of the garden and lawn care work so have to hire that out, but do the clean up inbetween. I consider myself fortunate that my needs are small for now.....medical costs are the biggest expenses right now. Good luck to all of us, this should be an interesting year!!!