Mrs Moneypenny battles the bear market

2 07 2008

After I made a mental inventory of the things I do to save money, I felt good about myself. Then I was struck by all of the counteractive things I do to waste money. Woe is me.

Here is my list of savings:
1. We have the $13 cable. You get channels 2-22. I watch very little television (1-2 hours per week) so this is really only a sacrifice on my husband’s part. Right now he is thinking about getting a flat screen TV. He says the $13 cable will still be good enough, but I beg to differ. The next tier of cable is in the mid $50 range.

2. I check out my books from the library. I used to spend at least $100/month at Borders, so this makes a a big impact. By the way, I am very excited that the Peoria Public library decided to build behind Menard’s. This is really close to my house, but PLEASE give me a light at the corner of Allen and Alta!

3. I only get the newspaper on Sundays. I used to get it everyday, but they would pile up. I can’t give up Sundays because I really like to peruse the wedding and birth announcements and get a great kick out of reading the real estate transactions.

4. When I’m at the store, I always get the best value of whatever product it is I’m purchasing. I buy generic as much as possible. I am known for my love of Diet Dr. Thunder. You can’t beat $.67 for a 2 liter or $2.56 for a 12 pack. It was slightly embarrassing carrying the generic can around at first, but I got used to it. I am saving a lot of money towards my cats’ future, a’la Leona Helmsley.

5. I have tried hyper-miling, and at this point could be saving upwards of $5 a week by incorporating my new (safety first) driving techniques. I drive 100 miles round-trip each day, so $5 is not much in the grand scheme of things!

Here are a few things I do to waste money:
1. We eat out A LOT! We could save a lot of money by cooking at home.

2. I often purchase food items and throw 1/2 to 3/4 of the container away because I can’t trust myself to not eat the entire thing. Many pints of Caramel Sutra have found their way into the garbage at my house.

3. I buy bottled water. I should just buy a container and refill it. I often intend to do something like this. I buy the container, use it for a few days and then lose it.

4. My husband made me let our cleaning lady go. She charged $75 every other week and was not doing a good job. For example several times she left notes saying that our vacuum was broken and wouldn’t suck anything up. We checked it out and it just needed emptied! I am in fierce negotiations to get her back. I don’t like to clean!

I am going to try to change a few of these bad habits and think of a few more frugal living ideas.




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