One of my goals with this blog is to encourage myself – as well as you – to find ways to save money. Often times we focus on the big things and presume we can’t save much if we don’t do those things. That is far from the truth! There are countless ways we can save. I thought back over the past month and here are some of the ways I saved in January. I hope it encourages you to save in every way you can!
1. I resumed – and recommitted – baking our bread this year. Creative Savings had a great challenge that helped me establish the habit. At $0.48 a loaf (my homemade cost), making homemade bread saves me at least $8 a month and probably more!
2. I renewed my library books online. I am a regular library patron, especially since I can walk (when it’s warm) to our Grabill library which is part of the Fort Wayne system. I always have multiple books, cds and dvds checked out with various due dates. Thankfully, our library emails when books are three days from being due. I am determined not to pay any overdue fines this year, so renew my books as soon as I receive the email. If I can’t renew them due to holds, then I put the books in my car to drop off before they are due.
3. We ate some family lunches out on snow days using Christmas gift cards. We enjoy eating out but it’s an area where we don’t have much room in our budget currently. We generously received gift cards from our family and students at Christmas so we can enjoy a meal out!
4. I cooked from the pantry. Andy had a lot of basketball games this month so when he was not here, I ate from the pantry and used up some of my bargain deals. I ate some eclectic meals but it helped keep my food budget down so I could stock up on January sale deals.
5. Speaking of, I saved by buying (yes, you read that correctly) lots of Kleenex. There were some great deals on Kleenex this month, both at Sam’s and Kroger. Kleenex are normally $1.69 a box (or more). I was able to get a dozen boxes for $0.83 and another nine boxes for $0.66. I saved $20 by stocking up tissues at these prices now for the rest of the year.
6. I shopped Christmas clearance for gifts for next Christmas. We bought Nathan some nice hardcover Christmas books for 50% and 75% off. Those were my favorite finds of the year. They are safely tucked away in our gift closet for next Christmas.
7. I used a $5 bonus gift card at Half Price Books that needed to be used in January. Andy gave it to me as part of my Christmas present. I used it at the same time as I was selling some books to make the most of my trip. I also managed to find $5.49 worth of books to buy with the gift card. It was just enough to go over the total but kept my out of pocket cost as low as possible.
8. I found an expired $25 Visa check card in a drawer and called to have it reissued. I knew it had expired but had never thrown it away. It was from the Be Well, Serve Well rewards program back in 2013. They deducted a $10 fee to reissue the card but it is still $15 in free money that I will get rather than the $0 if I had thrown it away. It was also a good reminder to be more careful with my rewards and gift cards in the future.
There you have it. Those are eight ways that I saved in January. How did you save this past month?