Small Economies

coinsI received many responses to last week’s post about whether we should try to kick up our savings, and the consensus seemed to be that we are in a good place and that we should enjoy it.

I agree – I am enjoying not having to worry about paying bills or going without or pinching pennies these days in order to enjoy our simple, but comfortable life. Other than dropping cable (because we really don’t need it), we don’t want to cut back on anything else, although there’s not much of anything to cut back on. We’ve pared things down about as far as we can for now.

However, I’ve still been thinking a bit about saving for the past few days and realized that without giving up or going without anything, we can still increase our savings a bit by making small changes in some of the things we already are buying. For example, we’ve been getting our toilet paper at Costco at a good price, but we recently discovered that ordering it by the case through Amazon Prime’s subscription service will cut what we currently spend in half. It’s not a huge amount of savings every month, but as we’ve learned, the little things can add up pretty quickly.

I typically eat a bowl of shredded wheat every morning, but after I finish up what I have on hand I’m going to switch to oatmeal. I like oatmeal, and it’s w-a-y cheaper than cold cereal. Brett already eats oatmeal almost every morning, so it’s something we already buy, and we won’t be compromising on quality. Again, we’re not talking major savings here, probably just a few dollars every month. But, that little bit, combined with other savings, will add up.

I’m sure there are plenty of other small economies that we can and will discover along the way. They won’t be anything earth-shattering on their own, but when combined with other savings will add up to a bit more than we can tuck away each month.



7 thoughts on “Small Economies

  1. Spend on what you like and save where it doesn’t matter – saving 50% on your toilet paper won’t mean any downgrade in your lifestyle. I think that is a great idea! We have started to order more online, if you can save you might as well go ahead and do it. This year I had a bumper crop of tomatoes (first time ever) off of two little plants. It makes me wonder how much I could save off the grocery bill if I actually planted more food! Are you on the most basic cable yet? Downgrading it to the lowest level might be a stepping stone to seeing if you can live without it. There are so many streaming services now. Just make sure you have good internet before you take that plunge.

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    1. We do have the most basic cable offered, but other than a couple of shows on PBS don’t use it. Almost everything we watch is streamed through Netflix or Amazon Prime. We have a smart TV too so can access shows on YouTube and through other sources. So it makes sense to drop the cable (although I do want to see the last season of Downton Abbey on “the big screen.”).

      Being able to buy inexpensive, local produce at our farmers’ market has made a huge difference in our food budget. We really don’t have room for a garden (and have neighbors that would help themselves and do none of the work, but that’s a whole post on its own), so we’re sticking with the market for now.


  2. We dropped cable last FALL after College Boy left for school and it saves us $70.80 a month which has been just shy of $850a year so far.
    Not having to pay for private music lessons for him also has saved us $1720 over the last 12 calendar months.(He still gets lessons but it’s included in his tuition at school and his college $ isn’t part of our money.) These examples of changes in our lifestyle and spending are a bit more extreme but there are few limits to finding ways to reserve your financial resources but still life a great life.

    Everything you can save on does indeed add up, even switching up what you eat at breakfast as you illustrated. Just make a habit of examining what/how you do things. Thinking outside the box as the saying goes and looking at your lifestyle from a new angle can yield ways to fine-tune your personal economy.


    1. I think our cable is just $36/month, so not a huge savings, but combined with a couple of other things will make a difference.

      Our middle daughter heads off to school next fall. No lessons, but we will see another drop in our food bill. It dropped big time when our eldest headed back to the mainland, and we are expected another big drop as both girls are BIG eaters.

      Not everything, but plenty of things we are doing now will be going under the microscope in the future. I don’t plan to give anything up, but will see if small changes can be made that could save us more.


  3. One thing I learned in college while living in my first apartment was never buy cheap meat or cheap toilet paper. Both of those will hurt you in the end.


  4. Good points. I will have to look into those small amounts I could be saving, like you are with t.p. Sometimes I forget how those little costs add up big.


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