Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Morgans...Part 1

One of our goals on our 101 in 1001 list is to complete a blog series together. We  I (Leslie) thought it would be fun to do a little series just about us. I don't have any idea what will come of this but I think a few blog posts at least. Last night, I decided that I wanted to post about things that Matt and I do to save money/spend less money. Matt and I are very anxious to pay off student loan debts and do it quickly and because of that, we are saving money in any and every way we can. I thought it would be nice to share that on the blog because maybe some of the people who read our blog could benefit from these things just like we have.

Here goes...

Leslie uses conditioner for shaving cream. 
    I saw a while back on a blog that people recommended using conditioner to shave your legs and underarms instead of shaving cream because it was cheaper. I started using it a month ago and I LOVE IT! My legs used to break out really badly after shaving but not with the conditioner and it's much cheaper! 

When we buy soda, we buy the off brand, most of the time.
    Matt is the only soda drinker in our house so when he wants soda, he generally doesn't have a preference. We have tried so many of the off brand sodas and they usually taste very similar to the "real" thing and they are MUCH cheaper. We do buy the occasional Mountain Dew and Jones soda though. 

At restaurants, we drink water.
When we go out to eat, which is only 1-2 times a week max, we always order water. We find that it is just as satisfying and it's FREE! Some restaurants charge $3 for drinks now. The exception to this is when we go to BoJangle's, we always splurge on their sweet tea. It's 99 cents for a 32 ounce with unlimited refills. We think it's worth it. 

We coupon.
This one was much more prevalent when we were in Montgomery. Couponing was a part of every grocery trip. Since we moved here and initiated a cash budget we just have a set budget for groceries and we stick to it. It has worked well and we still coupon some too. We always look for coupons when shopping at craft stores, etc. 

We budget.
As mentioned above, we began utilizing a cash budget in January. It has been awesome. We are still adjusting but we love the principle. We tithe 10%, save 10% and live on 80%. It rocks!

We make out own Laundry detergent.
Laundry detergent can be so expensive especially if you are allergic to most of them other than Tide(like Leslie). Last year, we decided to make our own. We would prefer the liquid type but we don't have room for it right now so we use the powder kind and we LOVE it. It's the Duggar Family recipe. If interested, look it up on Google. 

We eat all of our leftovers.
We cook at home often and in an effort to save money, we always eat leftovers. It is rare (once a month or less) that we have leftovers that we have to throw away because they didn't get eaten. We have also found it is fun to make meals from leftovers because you can generally make some good concoctions! :)

Buy beans and rice in bulk/raw form.
When we buy rice or beans we buy the dry bulk form because it is really inexpensive and honestly, the little bit of extra time it takes to cook is SOOO worth it. 

We buy day old bread and freeze it for when we need it.
Wal-M@rt's bakery bread is awesome and our local store always has an excellent selection of day old bread that has been marked down. We have been buying it, freezing, thawing when necessary and utilizing that way. They have so many great kinds and we haven't found one we don't like. 

We reuse our bath towels so we don't have to wash as often.
To cut down on laundry/washing machine usage, we use our bath towels over again throughout the week. 

We always use glass plates and cups instead of using paper products.
When it is just the two of us at home, we always use our real dishware. It's fun to use our "good" stuff every day and it beats buying paper products often. In fact, the only time we have purchased paper products was a few weeks ago when Matt's side of the family was here and then it was only because we were eating so many meals at home that the dishwasher would be non-stop if we didn't! :)

We buy fruits and vegetables through a co-op.
We have been looking for a co-op for a while and just found one in Greenville. It's awesome. We pay $16 a week and get so much produce. This week we got green beans, asparagus, radishes, lettuce, tomato, apples, oranges, bananas, and pineapple! 

We try to sleep with fans instead of using the A/C.
We have two standing fans in our bedroom that we turn on at night instead of using the A/C when we can and it cuts down on our power bill tremendously. 

We use the CFL light bulbs that we got for free from our power company.
Energy efficient bulbs really help and we got them free through our power company. 

Limited electricity use.
We are mindful to turn off lights in rooms when we aren't in them. (DUH!)

When we make tea at home we use tea bags, instead of drinking store bought tea.
This isn't really a big deal but we started buying loose tea bags and making our own tea when we wanted it instead of buying Publix brand tea (which is yummy). One gallon of their tea is the same price as a box of tea bags. No brainer for us! 

We bring our lunch or don't eat out for lunch, at work.
This saves a ton of money! We bring our own lunch or come home to eat almost everyday. We may eat out once a month for lunch during work and when we do, it's usually a quick stop by McDonald's to grab a 99cent sandwich to go with the chips we brought. 

We limit our eating out to 1 or two times a week.
As mentioned above, we only eat our 1-2 a week and normally it's just once. We have our occasional week where we need a mid-week meal out and then we have our date night out on the weekends usually. We have found when we do eat out, we can generally split something so we try to do that when possible. 

We try to make gifts instead of buying them.
And lastly on this long list that I didn't realize was so long! We make gifts when we are able. We have become really crafty lately and have come up with some great ideas. Since we have, we have been trying to gift our handmade items as much as possible. So often, it's more special and it's certainly less expensive. 

So there you have it, things we do to save money!
We will back back with another installment of "The Morgans" soon! 

Til then-
Did YOU Hear about the Morgans? 

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