How I Saved Over $2400 This Week, and how we got here

handful of money

This week held a lot more money saving opportunities than I usually run across.  Total savings was between $2487.16 and $2548.16.  Please do not think this is a normal week for me – while looking for savings is a normal behavior for me, I usually do not get this many nor this big of opportunities.

Out of our norm opportunities:

Asked contractor for options on how to pay for work to be done.  Did they give a discount for paying cash/by check instead of credit card?  Turns out it saves us several thousand dollars if we pay with a check. – saved over $2,000

We were given the choice of how to move our gas line: 1. Keep the meter where it is and pay the flat rate plus the per foot rate to move the line, or 2. move the meter and have them wave the per foot rate for the actual gas line, but then pay to have it reconnected inside the house and the flat rate.  Beyond the flat rate, here were the costs involved: 1. $844 worth of work inside the house, or 2. $520 worth of new pipe to be laid down outside and no work done inside the house.  We chose option 2.  – saved $324

Tomatoes in scale

Opportunities more in my norm:

George out grew his shoes a few weeks ago, so I gave him the next size up from our shoe bin. (Brand new pair.)  While getting ready for school Tuesday morning, I found out he needed to go up another size.  Again I went to the shoe bin and got another brand new pair.  I had bought these on clearance for $5, rather than $20.  – saved $15

When I stopped by the discount grocer I inquired on boxes of bananas – they sell these cheaper than if you were to buy a bundle at a time.  He didn’t have any, but offered to make me one using the bananas that were starting to get spots.  I came away with 20.75 lbs of bananas for $3.  This worked out to 14.5 ¢/lb, instead of 49 ¢/lb.  – saved $7.16

Sunday we used a coupon for lunch, and split it between the kids and I (my husband was home sick).  – saved $1

Bought 125 lbs of tomatoes at the produce auction on Tuesday.  I have used 100 lbs of them, costing me $18.  This is harder to figure out savings, because they will be used to make pizza sauce.  The cost of lids was $2.62 (they were on sale) and the jars were free as I already owned them.  The total spent was $20.62

  • If they had been on sale at the store for 99¢/lb they would have cost $123.75. – saved $103.13
  • If I bought 21 jars of all organic pizza sauce, it would have cost $3 per jar, or $63 total. – saved $42.38
  • Saved $42 – $103

Kid in Library

In order to volunteer at our public school you have to have a background check, which costs $40.  As foster parents we also had to have a background check, though our original one was several years ago, too old for the school to accept.  I checked with my local agency, to see if they updated our background check when they re-licensed us last year.  They did.  AND they were willing to give us a copy to give to our school.  – saved $40

This weekend is going to be an opportunity to do yard work.  As I was reviewing what needs to be done, I remembered my peach tree was still in its pot.  If I wanted to get it planted this fall, it really needs to be in the ground now.  This poor tree did not make it in the ground when it arrived in the mail, as winter came early and stayed late.  It was placed in a pot and leaves began to grow, though from the base.  I wondered if the leaves growing were actually from the root stock (the graph) instead of the actual tree, but wanted to give it the summer to come back, if that was going to happen.  Before taking the time to dig a hole and plant it, I called the nursery it came from, told them what happened and asked if the leaves I was seeing were actually the tree itself or the graph.  They confirmed it was from the graph, then offered to send me a replacement tree.  I did not even ask, my call was intended to only save me time and so I would know whether I should order a new tree.  The new tree will arrive this Spring.  To say I am loving the customer service of this company would be an understatement They have always been helpful and prompt in their replies. – saved $30 (I’m not sure on the exact amount, as they are out of stock.  This price is from a comparable tree.)

Saturday morning we stayed home and made a nice breakfast, rather than go to Big Town and eat out.  – saved $28 ($8 in gas, plus price of breakfast $20.)

A penny saved is a penny earned.

While saving this amount every week is not a normal thing for us, saving is a habit we have fallen into.  A habit that is actually beneficial and good, one we like to continue.  At this point, many of these things we no longer think about.

Saving is also action that makes several of the above items possible.  When a raise comes along, we do not increase our standard of living.  When a little extra money is earned, it goes to the bank or is used to earn more money or goes into the retirement account.

In years past, this extra money was used to pay down our debts, after meeting our works’ match on our retirement accounts, till they all finally disappeared.  By attacking our debts first, we saved money on paying interest and freed up more funds in the future (now).    Early in our marriage, doing something like paying cash for a home remodel would have been unfathomable. We probably would not have even chosen to do the project. Saving a dollar at lunch or buying items on sale, that we could do. Mowing our own grass and staining our own fence were actions we did rather than hire the local teenager.  I changed my own oil, learned how to cook, we took vacations where gas was the only cost, and earned gift cards to use for holiday/special occasion gift giving.  It was those seemingly small actions back then that made it possible to be in the position we are at to be able to pay cash for the big things now.  It laid the foundation for the habits we are in now.