Thursday, March 1, 2012

Readers, I fear I've failed you. It's been a while since I've posted any good money saving tips, and I think it's because I've failed myself lately in being able to save money. I tried clipping coupons, but I feel like I end up spending more money when I use coupons for groceries (this doesn't include non-food items, of course...). I haven't done anything to lower my bills in the last few months, and I'm even ashamed to say that I haven't put any money into my vacation savings fund in a few weeks. It's been a disappointing couple of weeks as far as being frugal goes.

Coupon clipping works well for some, and I still browse the paper for coupons for baby items, cleaning products, bath & body accoutrements, and a good sale on shelf stable items. But I've found that coupons for food are so random that it's hard to work them into my weekly grocery shopping. It's also very tough to plan a healthy, diet-friendly shopping list around what I have a coupon for as well.

I've tried the trick of calling 1-800 numbers for my favorite products to see if they will send me anything, and that's been a disappointment as well. I'm talking to you, Johnson & Johnson! I was promised coupons weeks ago...

I do have to give credit where credit is due - and some of this has been out of my control. Having unplanned car repairs and plumbing issues only helps to decrease the savings I work so hard to create. But I have to remind myself that this is why we have savings.

On top of that, I have put my house up for sale and am hoping to move into a bigger home. So my free time, and cash flow, goes toward projects to get the house ready for sale.

So I guess to sum it all up, I'm too busy and have too many pricey projects to figure out helpful ways of saving time and money.

A quick google search of How To Save Money brings up 172 million results, so apparently I'm not the only person that is currently stunted in this department. That's comforting, at least! The second link I choose tells me that I need to take my own coffee to work, bottle my own water, and borrow books from the library rather than buying them. I used to be in the habit of the first two, however with trying to juggle a baby, car seat, diaper bag, gym bag, purse, and lunch bag in and out of the car, I gave up. I need to give that a shot again. As far as borrowing books rather than buying them, I can tell you right now that is never going to happen. Reading is my favorite thing to do, and re-reading a good book is my second favorite, so I tend to want to hold on to everything that I enjoy reading. Ride your bike or carpool is mentioned, which is ironic because this is something I was just discussing with a co-worker. I would love to be able to ride my bike to work, and it is my goal to be able to do this by the end of 2013. It sounds like a ridiculously long time frame for a goal like this, but if you are familiar with my area of the map, the 15 miles that I go to work every day are not easy miles. Hills, busy traffic, hills, and only about 3 months of the year suitable for bicycling make this a daunting task. However, I'm going to hold myself to it. Even if I have to start it on Saturday morning and only do it once, I will bike to work someday ;)

So since I'm failing you in clever ways to save money, tell me what efforts you've taken, and I'll see if I can work those into my life!

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