Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pinching Pennies

Dash in his "Spider Man costume". This has nothing to do with pinching pennies but it makes me smile!
We have been pinching our pennies hard lately. It is just *that time of year* plus just about everything we own has been breaking from our furnace to cars to the crockpot and even my blow dryer! But I digress...
The first thing we did was look to where the money is going. We are cutting everything that is not necessary. I think trash pick up will be the first to go. Boy, it's nice to have someone come and get the trash for us but we can bring it to the dump ourselves. The cable reception for the TV might be next; we are still thinking on that one. We can't get any channels at all without cable. The joys of living in the woods...
I have really been trying hard to hit the grocery bill. Our money leaks out through food quick readily. It's quite expensive these days. When you combine that with a very busy family often eating on the run you get a pretty big bill! Here's what we are doing with the grocery bill:
1. First, and related, is avoided eating out. Oh this is hard for us! We love to eat out. Plus it is a great convenience when we are out for the kids' activities at mealtimes. But we are learning to eat at strange times or take food with us.
2. I am planning menus for breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks. This way I am not buying unnecessary foods. I am cooking from scratch. I am buying less snacks. Basically I buy some fruit and unpopped popcorn.
3. I am planning menus with the sales flyer in hand. I start with the meats on sale and work from there.
4. I am making sure food does not get thrown out. Even one serving of veggies that is left over can be used again. The kids kind of like this. For example Rachel hates broccoli. So, if we are having that and there is one serving of corn in the frig, I will heat it for her.
5. I am getting the most out of what I buy. No chicken bones are thrown out without being boiled for stock first!!
My next target will be getting better window coverings for winter. I am hunting for flannel to back curtains with or at least make coverings for the evenings. Hopefully this will help the oil bill. Robin is adding more insulation in the basement. We keep plugging away at lowering our heat bill.
I also have rediscovered Goodwill and The Salvation Army, especially for jeans. I am trying to visit them weekly whenever I am in town. I found a brand new pair of Levi's one day for Tyler. I can never get a good sale on jeans in the stores but I am finding if I just look every time I am out (at GW and SA) then I am finding good quality stuff. It does take perseverance though!
How are you pinching pennies? I would love more ideas!!


~ Laurie said...

My favorite 'penny pinching' website is

She has LOTS of great recipes on there ~ I now make my own hot chocolate (and it's MUCH better than store bought) and her pizza's average out to be about $3 a piece! And that's a Lg pizza with lots of toppings!
I've also searched the web for my own bread recipe (Sam can't eat dairy so that gets pricey), beer bread, graham crackers, and bisquick!
Also I'm shopping e-bay this year for Christmas. Many of the items on the 'list' (short one at that) can be found brand new on e-bay for less than what you'd pay retail! GO FIGURE!

Also we purchased an antenna and hoisted it above the garage ~ so yes we can watch even the Red Sox! Some channels (like Fox) are slightly fuzzy - but your basic 6,8 & 13 come in great.

And lastely ~ consignment stores. I have quite a few that I visit for clothing for the kids.

Karen T. said...

Hi Laurie, Thanks for the tips! It is great to "see" you! :)

I am presently trying to figure out ebay...I am hoping to sell some *stuff*. Hopefully it will be easy!

Thanks for visiting!

Anonymous said...


Have you heard of Laine's Letters?
She has lots of great ideas, recipes, etc. You can read her archives at
Thanks for sharing!

~ Laurie said...

Question - how do you back your curtains - just tack the material or actually sew it on? I need to do something for the kids rooms! You can even e-mail me at