Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Five of My Favourite Ways to Save Cash!

Time for a small confession (that may not be so small, or secret...).

I really, really, really hate working in an office. I mean really. Like how much I hate Barney, that's how much I hate working in an office. So my intention in life, and in my everyday experiences, is to work towards a time where I no longer have to work for "The Man" (or "The Woman" either way, they suck.)

Saving my cold, hard-earned cash is important to me. I like to have the freedom to be able to spend as much money as I want every now and then, and that means small sacrifices for the greater good (of my sanity).

1. Starbucks does make some fantastic espresso beverages... but their regular coffee is just as good. Especially now that they have the blonde roast. Experienced and haughty coffee drinkers be damned, I'll take my more caffeinated, lighter tasting coffee over the bold, chewy coffee any day.

Even then, I drink my Starbucks coffee only once (maybe twice) a week. Otherwise, I make a cup at home, and I have my beautiful French Press (or Bodum... not sure if there's a difference) at work for those caffeine jitters that just won't quit. Mmmm... coffee.

2. Secondhand shopping. No big deal! Thrift stores are my favourite place to pick up lost treasures. From clothes to yarn and knitting needles to toys (for Lil Munchkin) and beyond. You never know what you'll find, and sometimes it is NOICE stuff! I've found Danier leather jackets, brand new Suzy Shier tops, and so, so much more.

3. Keep up with the newest deals on a forum (my drug of choice is Smart Canucks for all my deal-tracking and searching needs). First of all, the weekly grocery flyers are posted at least a day before the sales start. Second, there are new deals and freebies and samples posted daily. Third, it's a great community that really pulls together and helps each other.

4. Reusable stuff. Plastic/styrofoam plates/cups? Not in my house (or apartment... whatever). The closest to disposable housewares we have are some plastic cups and utensils that are washed and reused. Some of the plastic utensils are from fast food joints, we just bring them home. Lil Munchkin uses them in her lunch, so if she loses it, no big deal.

Paper towels? Only for nasty messes. Swiffer? No thanks, I'll use my pouffy duster, and a broom. Works like a charm, easy and fun, no garbage. Not to mention way less money spent on stuff that is destined for the trash (literally).

5. Fixing things myself (or the WonderWife does it...). When things break, most people just go out and buy a new one. Ripped seam in your pants/shirt? Chuck it, buy new. Not in my home.

Clothing repairs, fixture repairs (whatever is not covered by the lease), making do. WonderWife and I make a good duo when it comes to making repairs and temporary fixes. She will bust out her toolkit and fix anything, or just fiddle with it until it cooperates (stupid DVD player...). I will sew/knit/crochet/tape clothing back into a wearable state. When WW got a rip in her new work jacket (cursed hard work, why must you wear holes in her clothes...) I cut out a patch from old jeans and sewed it on. It's not pretty, but it works. Dog chewed up my winter hat (known in Canada as a toque), I crocheted a new one. (pic to come)

So there you have it. My current five favourite ways to save money. I have way more ideas, tips, tricks, and psychotic trips, but those can wait for another day. For now, I will keep on trucking. Working my way toward no-longer-needing-a-job-dom, one penny at a time.

Feel free to share your favourite money saving tips, no matter how crazy or normal they may be. You never know who will be inspired.

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