Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Money Matters

I know that money is on most minds these days. For us, we've been thrilled to see gas drop to $2.69 at some gas stations around here, but with property taxes coming due and Christmas around the corner, it seems like there is still plenty of belt-tightening needed.

I read a couple of good articles today that I wanted to share with you guys. The first one talks about what to do NOW to prepare for even tougher economic times ahead. The short version is to trim right now anything that you would trim if things got really desperate. That makes a lot of sense to me, and my wheels are already turning about how we might do that. We don't have a lot of extras in the monthly expenditures department, but there are a few things that I don't think we would even miss.

This one talks about a "buy nothing" month. While this might not be the best time of year to do that, maybe you could plan for it in January or February or something. I don't consider myself to be much of a spender. I've very conservative on purchases most of the time. But, I think that I could probably manage to trim *something* somehow.

Other things I am working on to save money:

Trying to get the hang of coupon and rebate shopping. Money Saving Mom is my favorite resource for this. Check out her right sidebar for the Start Here articles. They will give you tips on coupon savings, CVS and Walgreens programs that can help you get tons of free stuff, and more. Lots of really helpful stuff there!

I have been using up all of our apples and pears and grapes from the back yard. In years past I either didn't have the energy or the time to do a lot with those, but this year I have been determined to use what we have. I haven't needed to purchase juice from the grocery store for probably two months or more, I've made homemade apple sauce and apple butter, etc.

In the same vein, I am planning on having a garden next year. This year we just had a dink-o-rama garden space that gave us tomatoes and peppers. Next year we're going to go big. Tending to the garden is going to be part of the kids chores and school. I'm planning now for where stuff will go, adding compost to the garden spaces, and have some more things to work on so that when March gets here we can be ready to make it happen.

I plan to buy heirloom seeds so that we can save the seeds for future years. Educational and thrifty.

There are more things, but those are just a few ideas. Hopefully those will work as a jumping off point for you. :)

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