Monday, June 2, 2008

Will it ever end?

I paid $4.11/gal for gas today. It was $4.07 on Friday. Ouch. We typically get gas at Costco, which can be .10-.20 cents cheaper than local gas stations. I think it was $4.25 down the street. I was near Costco today and since I was at half a tank, I figured I would just fill up for the week.

It's scary to say, but I wouldn't be surprised to see $5.00/gal before summer is over. I remember around my Junior year in college when gas was $.99/gal. My VW beetle had a 10 gallon tank and so I filled up for under $10.

Food costs have risen too. None of this is news to any of you, I'm sure! It is frusterating because Bean and I are really working at being good stewards of our money and focus on our goals (like paying off debt). Yet, cost of living continues to increase. How do we beat it??? I aim to feed my family healthily--and that food gets pricey!

There's a few things I've been doing to try and save money. Maybe you can share some ideas too. (also check out Jaimie's Penny In My Pocket)


Shopping at Dollar Tree and discount stores (like GTM if you are in San Diego).

  • Today at Dollar Tree (all at $1) I found Puffs Kleenex, bleach, mozarella cheese, popsicles, pretzels, Rubbermaid reusable tupperware and a Fitness magazine.
  • GTM has Fruit Leather for $.25 each. A 50-75% savings from Henry's. Flavors are limited, but Miss Rose really likes them and there is no added sugar. Just fruit!! Also discounted graham crackers, hydrocortisone cream for $.99, lotions, beauty products and more.

Skip the paper products. We used to go through a ton of paper plates in a month. It was just easier. But I realized--although I would buy them inexpensively, it adds up and isn't too green either. It's been 2 or 3 months since I last bought paper plates. We just use the dishawasher more! And rags work just as well as paper towels.

Buying in bulk at places like Henry's. If you like to bake and cook, items such as rice, flour, sugar, beans are all usually cheaper in bulk. And you can buy exactly the amount you need. Bean is threatening to get me containers for my birthday for all the small plastic bags of stuff in the cupboard.

Shopping at children's resale stores and craigslist. If you are looking for baby/kid related gear---you can get them at great prices if you are patient!

  • craigslist: When I am looking for something in particular, I hound craigslist several times a day until I find it. My crib was just $60 (great condition, just a few knicks in the paint) and a coordinating changing table for $30. I saved about $200 on my double jogger. A $100 swing for $60 that was almost brand new.
  • Resale stores: these can be really hit and miss, so just make stopping by a part of your routine a few times a month. Usually great supplies of blankets, onsies and basics. If you are looking for a toy or particular item, they'll usually write your name down and call you if it comes in.

If you are on baby #1 and plan to have more, you will probably get your money's worth from new stuff. I remember the fun of all the new baby gear with my first. However--you can save SO MUCH buying gently used stuff.

Splitting food items at Costco. Unless you are large family, it can take a long time to use up food purchased at Costco and it's hard to pay out the intial cost. If you have a friend or family member who likes the same stuff, share the cost and the food.

Little Markets. We have a little mexican food shop/market less than a mile down the street. They sell a decent variety of fruits and veggies WAY cheaper than the grocery store. For instance today (can you tell it was errand day) I purchased apples for $.69/lb, oranges 3lbs/$1, cucumbers 2/$1 and they also had watermelon for $.29/lb. If you've bought produce at the grocery store recently--you know the prices are WAY higher. The only item we still get regularly at a grocery store is bananas. Even fruit at Henry's and Costco is usually cheaper than the supermarket chains.

So, how are you saving money and cutting costs these days?

3 comments:

  1. Lord only knows when it will end! I am thankful that we live where utilities and such are a bit less expensive. Groceries are impossible to keep up with though - I bought a set of 6 bananas today and by the time we got home (on foot) just two were left! I shared mine with Owen =)

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  2. Great blog, Corrina! I totally have to reference this on my blog (if you don't mind). I was just realizing today that I need new clothes for Micah since that hand-me-downs stopped when he was 2. I am going to go to Children's Orchard (consignment store) since I remembered that store from reading your blog.

    Oh- and gas here right now is $4.33 for regular - CRAZY!!!

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  3. Today's price on gas here - $4.34 for regular unleaded! I am going crazy!

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