Friday, May 30, 2008

Random Frugal Things

I really like reading good frugal blogs (you can see them in my blogroll). This blog is mostly about food, because I really love food.

But frugality isn't all just about food, there are other things that are involved. Food is certainly easy sometimes... for me, it's all too easy for me to spend money on food. Growing up in the 70s and 80s in a rural area, we just didn't eat out. We went for a soft serve ice cream cone 1 or 2 times per summer, and we did get McDonald's once or twice per year.

Fast forward to my 20's...I am sometimes saddened when I think about how much I spent eating out back then, yikes! So for me, concentrating on food is a no-brainer. I have friends who like to eat out. And boy, we went out twice this weekend...$60 later...(which is more than my weekly food budget). $60/week is $3000/year. For me, in particular, I have to plan for leftovers on Thurs and Fri because I don't feel like cooking.

There are, however, things that I do besides (1) limit eating out and (2) control my grocery bill.

Movies: We do have cable TV and netflix. We do not have premium cable channels. We rarely go to movies (even matinees, when you add babysitting, become cost-prohibitive). What we have done for movies is this - if my husband wants to see an action movie that I don't care to see, he will go with a friend. And vice versa. If we want to see a movie together, we will swap babysitting with other friends OR go on an afternoon while our son is in daycare.

Books: We are voracious readers. I have gradually changed my reading habits from "I read these 10 authors and MUST read their latest book in hardback!" to "let's see what the library has". It does mean that I occasionally find a dud. I also have books on my Amazon wish list (for birthday/Xmas). And we occasionally go to used bookstores or garage sales.

Magazines: I get three. Two were $4 per year, the third was a gift.

Gym: We just switched to a bare bones gym that is 1/3 the price of our previous one. I also run, and I don't skimp on running shoes...but I do look for good sales. I've gotten my last three pair for $50-65 each.

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