Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's the Economy, Stupid

Since the economy is stagnating and no houses are selling, we have been economizing. And I, at least, have realized that there are many things that we have or do that just aren't that important. Here is a list. Feel free to add your own things if you are doing the same thing:
  1. Store-bought bread for dinner. Thank goodness Trish posted about the bread she makes. She gave me the courage to finally attempt baking bread again. Some batches are better than others, but the it's really empowering to master the yeast. And it only costs about $0.50 per loaf instead of $4.50. Now, I just need to learn to make sandwich bread.
  2. Friday night dinner out. We used to go to Mexican, Mellow Mushroom or Taco Mac every Friday for dinner. Mediocre food and crappy service but there was always beer. How else to celebrate the end of the week? Now, we make pizza (from scratch!) and watch a movie together in the basement.
  3. House cleaners. Sigh. I was sad to see this go, but scrubbing potties is easy and I can do a better job on the floor anyway.
  4. Fancy hair-dresser. After a couple of missteps, I've gotten the hang of coloring my own hair. And, when I took the girls to the Crossville Family Cuts, the lady who cut all of our hair (in 20 minutes flat!) told me that I didn't actually have any layers. Those folks at the salon had been charging me $50 to cut my hair straight across.
  5. Expanded channels on the TV. We won't get to watch Top Chef (Bravo) or the Ironman series (Versus) or Ninja Warrior (G4) anymore, but with some thoughtful Tivo-ing, I think we will be OK. Last night we even saw a "Keeping Up Appearances" that we'd never seen before.
  6. Grocery store produce. Doug planted a marvelous garden last spring and greens for the fall. The vegetables from there really make the other stuff seem lame.
  7. Buying less stuff means less garbage. Who knew?
  8. Doug is home more, so we get to hang out together. That's the best thing.


Jonathan Collins said...

I hear on that list.

How about tris closer to home.

Kevin said...

I am definitely taking the economy into account when planning out this season. At least my job is extremely secure, but I worry a little about Cathy's

Karen said...

Humm... sitting here contemplating making bread - I'm sure I have a breadmaker somewhere gathering dust.... but $4.50 a loaf... yikes! I thought our £1.20 (approx $2.0) was bad!!

Tara M. said...

I got into Coupon Mom. Now, I buy the Sunday double paper, clip the coupons, print loads of coupons online and plan the weekly menus based on what's on sale at Kroger and Publix. I am saving 25-27% on each trip. Oh yeah, we don't go back to the store to get more stuff. Once the planned meals are done, we scrounge!

I ditched the housekeeper too, but somehow I am now doing free legal work for her.

Wes said...

Yup. It all adds up. I guess I need to stop procrastinating and start cutting :-(

Trish Sharp said...

yeah for homemade bread. i made these wonderful rolls the other day that were super simple and really tasty. will blog about them later. it also helps to have hunters for friends. it will take us forever to eat all the deer meat we got for $72. since the $60 a week grocery budget, the credit card bill has been cut by more than a half. who knew i was spending so much. not to memtion we have almost eaten up all the extra stuff sitting around in the pantry. almost, but not quite. sorry but i need my bravo!!! we did cut out the movie chanels, but got netflix instead. no tivo.

Trish Sharp said...

oh yeah, house had house cleaners....lucky duck. it's me scrubbing the potties at my house. next house will definately be smaller, so less to clean...yeah.
hair = $20 hair cut at hair cuttery
color = $16 veggie dye product

Dogwood Girl said...

You beat me to it. I have been meaning to post about this, too.

What are people doing to save money at the holidays?

Nat said...

Uhm how about riding or walking your bike when you can instead of driving?
I've actually considered on my long runs that maybe I should just incorporate a few errands: bank deposits, small items at the grocery?

I've give up boneless chicken and other expensive cuts of meat for the most part. I buy whole chickens and can get 2 meals out of one chicken (about $6) for four people.

Same for a pot roast.

I am also trying to find ways to make the FREE deer meat we get palatable.

We also seem to be eating lots of potatoes--cheap and full of great potassium and carbs for running.;)

kids also have to eat eggs a lot. Also bananas. I think they are cheaper and probably healthier than that processed cereal.

Speaking of cereal. A box of Uncle Sam's is under 2.50. Cheaper and better for you than granola and a lot of those "organic" cereals.

I might try the making bread. I don't really buy loaves of bread except for sandwiches and that lasts us a week.

Jealous that you had a housekeeper. But it isn't that hard.

skigator93 said...

The housekeeper will be the last thing to go in our household....just before we get foreclosed upon and get into the soup line....

Danielle said...

I gave up on hair coloring a while ago. Stupid chlorine in the pool always ruined it anyways. I get a $10 trim at Hair Cut Zoo but I splurge for anything that is more than 3/4 inch off.

I gave up manis and pedis too. No point when they only last a week and I currently only have 8 toenails.

Didn't reduced my cable, but it's a thought!

I am baking my own energy bars! I love Luna (they are free) but Clif is more yummy and even with my wholesale - 10% discount it all adds up. So I make my own!

I am trimming down on my races for next season. I get into a lot of them for free, so those are the ones I will be doing. I should only have to pay for 3 races, and I am going to make them the big ones, 2 1/2's amd IM Florida.

Tis the season to SAVE! Not exchanging presents with anyone besides my parents!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the compliments on the Atlanta 1/2. My pace is no where near what your husband or your buddy (NAT) ran for the full, but I was still happy with my result. After all, I am still slow enough that I am only racing my PR's when I go out to run.

Like the idea of making your own bread, and never knew it was so much cheaper. We already always eat at home other than the occasionally meal at Maggiano's or other good ATL food. We find that the food we cook is healthier, cheaper, and taste better than what we can get eating out. In the sticks and don't have the good restaurants unless you love food fried in whole lard.