Money Money Money Money (Mo-ney!)

17 Jan

Saving money – ugh. I’m good at it, but yet I’m not. Let’s just say I’m good with money. I know when things are too expensive, but I don’t exactly deprive myself of occasional guilty pleasures that go by the names Kate Spade and Radley, in the form of purses.

(cue evidence that you actually save money)

I shop at the dollar store for ANYTHING food or household-related that I can. Mainly canned vegetables, condiments, cleaning supplie, and other random household things that you wouldn’t know the difference if it was from there or from somewhere else. The dollar store pretty much sponsored my wedding, too, but you wouldn’t know it if I didn’t tell you.

I was brought up in a family of bargain hunters (and, ok, shoppers in general). The QUEEN of bargain hunting was my Meamaw. She could spot a blue light special from the parking lot; a clearance sticker from the two aisles away. We spent a lot of time together when I was little (shopping, duh). She swears my first word was “layaway”. That has yet to be disproven, or disputed.

I bring my lunch to work most days, or sometimes buy frozen meals to bring in when they’re on sale. On average, I probably buy lunch once every two weeks.

I clip coupons.

I shop sales.

I shop thrift stores.

When I online shop, I always search for coupon codes or free shipping. Usually that’ll be the deciding factor if I’m wavering.

We order takeout MAYBE twice a month, if that.

We rarely use our car, therefore buy gas once every two months (if I had to guess).

I put towels and blankets around window cracks, hang heavier curtains in the winter, close interior doors and utilize a draft blocker to cut down on heating costs (although, the house we live in is super drafty, so it doesn’t obliterate the problem).

I use every bit of veggies and meats, repurposing in new meals when I can, to try not to waste as much as I can. (PS – check out Food Network’s “The Big Waste” if you can. Also, lots of reader tips on how to not waste food here!)

I do none of this with a real, true purpose. I’m not short on cash; not *really* saving for anything in particular. It’s just in my blood, really.

We have a good chunk of cash in our savings, which is ready to be used as… wait for it… a down payment on a house. *squee!*

obviously this is the type of house we're looking to buy

Aaaand there’s the kicker. We are now officially starting our house hunt, and I have been instructed to try to save as much as I can before we do – for incidentals and the like. Yes, it makes sense. But… how does one who already saves so much, save even more?

I fear it means I must cut out my dark secret, that’s how. I have a problem… a drinking (and eating) problem. I like to… go out to eat, and I don’t drink cheap beer. (Side note: I will drink cheap wine. What? Don’t look at me like that.) Is it so wrong to like the finer things in life? Going out to eat I can cut. Well. I can try to cut. I have an addiction to gift certificates (they’re so cheap when they’re 90% off!!) and LivingSocial-type deals. We probably  have about 15 or so on hand right now. And fine, I know I’m a sucker and it’s not really saving any money if you wouldn’t have been going there in the first place. But I will not, and cannot, force myself to drink cheap beer. I just can’t. If good beer were cheap beer then I could, but most of the time it’s not. So while other people are splitting $5 pitchers of PBR and Miller Lite, I’m drinking Harpoon Seasonals at about $7 a pop.

So since I’m not willing to part with my good beer, and I’m going to try to not buy any more restaurant deals (but don’t foresee myself being too successful if the right deal comes along…) how else do I save?? Help me out here. What can I do so I can continue to drink good beer?!

Every damn website that says – “Learn how to save more money – now!” reels me in, and then tells me the same old crap – clip coupons, shop sales, bring your lunch to work, blahdy blah blah blah.

Ok, I’ll stop online shopping. Starting… today. I can do that! Um… last week doesn’t count.

Ok, I’ll suppress my TJ Maxx habit a bit. I CAN’T JUST GO COLD TURKEY.

Ok, I’ll stop getting breakfast on my way to work. Guess I forgot to mention that I do that probably 3 days a week… NO MORE. Starting… tomorrow.

What else can I do?!



5 Responses to “Money Money Money Money (Mo-ney!)”

  1. Steps to the Shop January 17, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Obviously go out to drinks with me tonight! Don’t skip that!

  2. Lela January 19, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    What about doing a yard sale or consignment? I know you have lots of gems hiding in your closet/basement.

    • homemadeawesome January 27, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

      would love to but it’s a BIT cold for a yard sale here (it’s not the usual philly winter cold, but still too cold for a yard sale!), plus i don’t really have so much of a yard as a square of sidewalk in front of my house… lol. consignment, WELL, consignment. i tried to sell some clothes to this one consignment shop once and they told me my clothes weren’t so much retro as they were OLD, and to try donating them. so i’ve got a bit of a bad taste in my mouth from that, but i suppose i could go to another consignment shop instead (buffalo?). i do have lots of stuff to get rid of, and would rather not just donate it all if i could get a little dough out of it!

      • Lela January 27, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

        Well Brad always tells me that the tax credit you get from “donating” it is sometimes better than what I can get selling it. Of course that requires estimating how much your stuff is worth and getting the money later. But actually, buffalo gives a lot of money back for your stuff. That is if they’ll take it (they’re picky) and if you don’t use the “credit” to buy other stuff (which is what I do but then negates the purpose of making money…but if I can actually get stuff out of my house it helps with most of my problems).

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