Looking at how drastically we needed to change our mindset about our income, we came up with several ways to pinch pennies. I want to share the first few with you:
I was already pinching pennies by not getting my hair cut, dyed, or styled. The last time I got a haircut was July 31, 2010, the day my brother got married (and the weekend before I started my new job—talk about killing two birds with one stone). Before that it had been about two years.
We figured hey, we could do the same with my husband’s hair! Of course neither of us were really in the mood to watch his hair get as long as mine, so we invested in a WAHL Haircut Kit. Now I do his hair trimming.
- Sunday Lunch
We drive roughly 40 miles to church every Sunday morning. Giving up our friends there is not something we are willing to do. But there is something we decided to cut: Because our drive is so far, we would typically swing through a drive through and pick something off the dollar menu for lunch before heading home.
Those little dollars can add up! So now we pack a snack…something to hold us over until we get home for lunch. So far our snacks have consisted of a variation of granola bars, crackers, fruit, and water (that would be bottles we filled from the tap; not bottled water).
- Sweets (specifically ice cream)
My husband loves ice cream, and so do I. But I think for him it’s a food group all its own. So this was a hard one.
We found something (to try) to substitute with that is much, much cheaper. And hey, it was actually my husband’s idea! The flavorful, cheaper version (on trial) is Pop-ice. Of course flavored, frozen water is going to be pretty cheap. And if you want to go even cheaper, you can make your own version.
In addition to coming up with penny-pinching solutions to affect our monthly expenditures, we recently decided to forgo a larger purchase.
Not long ago we were given a nice, used grill. My husband was ecstatic! Only problem: the cover it came with had a couple large rips in it, equaling rust throughout. We were able to use it a couple times before it gave out earlier this summer. Being summer, you want to grill, right? So we started looking for solutions.
Come to find out, replacement parts added up to the cost of a new grill. So we started looking at new grills. The ones we liked were priced between $250 and $300. Before our life-change, that would have been easily manageable. BUT it no longer was. My husband was the first to voice the obvious. I felt bad because I knew how much he wanted to grill, but I also knew there was no way around it. So for the remainder of this summer we have broiled….which really does taste pretty good!
Making the little changes can seem hard or too little to be worth it. The harder gets easier when we keep our bigger goals in mind. And everything ‘too little’ adds up to much more than we first think it will, especially for those of us who have never kept track of our pennies before. My husband and I have watched the impact of the little things on our journey towards reaching our big goals, and I can tell you, it is worth it!
What are little things you do to ‘pinch pennies’?