Monday, March 2, 2009

Today's Oprah

I am watching Oprah today and getting some great ideas. Today's show is all about simplifying, cutting back and saving money. I have always been one to get deals but lately I have been looking for more ways to do so, more nontraditional ways.

One of the biggest things we do is unplugging everything that is easily accessible. I don't think most people realize how much money you spend everyday for the little added convenience of turning on an appliance that is already plugged in. Most people think that I am crazy the first time that I talk about this but when I ask them what they would do with an extra $600 a year they are shocked. A few months ago we weren't as good at unplugging, the next month we saved $45 just by being a little more aware when we turned something off to unplug it. We have also started unplugging our washer and dryer. It is so simple to do, think of how little you are actually using them verses how long they are plugged in. My husband thought I was crazy when I first told him what we would be doing but he was on board when he saw we cut our electric bill in half.
One of the other things that has helped us save money is by splitting our spending money into two. I put half of the money away for the second half of the month. We have to make sure to buy enough groceries to last us 15 days because when the money is gone we are out of money until the 1st or the 15th roll around. This makes sure that we don't spend more money than we have. We use to just buy what every groceries we needed on credit cards and then make a huge payment every month , if you are not tracking though it is so easy to go way over board and slowly add debt.
Do any of you have great ways to save money?


23 comments:

amanda said...

I'm a new follower, so I'm not sure if I've commented before or not...

A couple of months ago, I changed jobs and took a huge paycut. Since we were going to have to cut back, we just cut out my income all together. We started putting my check right into savings. ONce in a while, we have to pull it out, but at least we're putting more in than we would have otherwise.

We've started doing our shopping every other week too. It's helped us to be better about planning ahead and not eating out as much.

Miss. Pretty said...

I do the unplugging of appliances! I got the idea from Oprah a while back..I think over Summer and my electricity bill was pushing $200..mind you I live alone in practically a small box, ha.

The shopping idea is a good one, I should try that. Thanks for posting this, glad I'm not the only one who does this :)

MG said...

I wish that I could have watched Oprah today! I find that by packing my lunch for work, and not eating out saves tons of money. It's amazing how quickly even something like fast food can add up!

b is for brown said...

love the new look! we find a meal and double it and cook it on Sunday night and eat off of it M-F.

Randall @ Happy For This Moment said...

I love shows with all of those great tips. For me, I just watch the daily, small stuff spending. I can't cut back on our major expenses but not eating lunch out, buying tea or coffee at a cafe, bringing a magazine from home to read while waiting for a doctor instead of buying another while I'm out, etc.

*~! megs !~* said...

I downright STINK at saving money!! Looks like I should've watched today's Oprah. boo. Oh well! Thanks for the tips!

Elizabeth said...

I recorded Oprah. Can't wait to watch it. I didn't realize how much you could save just by unplugging everything! Wow!

Suzette said...

I love this post. I actually watched Oprah today too (being a stay at home wife allows that a lot, haha). I am planning on doing a post about it tomorrow and sharing money saving tips. I actually tried the unplugging method last month with just obvious appliances or lamps and our bill went down $100.. I used to tease about dustin's parent's because I thought it was so ridiculous. I guess I was the ridiculous one wasting the money!

Sarah said...

I'm loving this idea... totally going to start unplugging stuff!

Jen said...

Tivo'd Oprah and now can't wait to watch the show. Have you heard of Mint.com? I read about it in Real Simple a while ago. You can load all of your accounts, credit cards, etc. and make a budget. You can get REALLY detailed and watch where your money goes. Husband and I did this about 6 months ago and it has really helped us see where we can save.

SJN said...

you'll save the most if you don't eat out and stay out of the mall.

Angela Darling said...

I love ideas like that. My honey and I used to eat out WAY too much. We stay in all the time now, and it's making me a much better cook.

As for tips, I've been getting really good at figuring out if I really love something enough to buy it. Everything I think about buying, I walk away from. If I'm still thinking about it an hour later, then I know I really love it. If I forgot about it, then it wasn't really worth it. Doing this has saved me at least $100-200 bucks a month. It definitely takes some discipline, though.

Lucky in Love said...

Wow...I had no idea you could save that much money by doing that. I always thought it would be too much of a pain...but I don't care!

My husband recently had to take a pay cut so we are always looking for ways to cut back now. He's is bringing his lunch instead of going out everyday (which is saving a lot!) and we have eliminated going out to eat. We weren't huge spenders in the first place...so these are areas that help us the most.

Thanks for the tips!

SLJ said...

Wow I had no idea about the unplugging of things! We try and do simple things, such as when I am meal planning I plan two meals with very different spices but same main ingredients which has cut our grocery bill a lot. I also then take leftover for lunch all week. Myrecipes.com helps to plan this and I search for only recipes from cooking light so I can stay on my healthy eating plan!

PinkSass said...

These are both great ideas. Thank you for sharing!

StylishSuburban said...

I've been in the dark on this topic. Never did I think unplugging things would save so much money. The shopping tip you talked about is a great idea. Personally I hate going to the grocery store so if I had a set amt and I knew I had to get everything maybe this would help keep me on track.
Thanks for sharing.
Also love your new heading!! Did you design it?

Milltini said...

I've started bringing my lunch to work, so that helps!

Mrs. Cup said...

I've read the unplugging thing works, but we haven't tried it yet. Do you unplug everything when you aren't using it? Even lamps?

The Lavender Lily said...

Wow! $600? I've heard about unplugging appliances, especially phone chargers, and I did it for a while, but have gotten really lazy about it lately. I had no idea it ACTUALLY saved money, I just thought I was helping the environment (albeit, just a little bit). Thanks for posting this!

Caitlin said...

Thank you for sharing those great tips. We definitely unplug a lot of things in our apartment, but always forget to unplug the phone chargers!! Did you know how much energy they use? I have actually read that its more energy efficient to charge your phone in the car than in your house!

Sweet Simplicity said...

LOVE the new blog design! So cute!

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

I've heard that unplugging makes a difference and I've been doing that with lamps and so forth...hadn't thought about the washer and dryer. I'm doing a Frugal Friday series...check it out if you get a chance.

ShoeGal said...

I thought I was one of the few people who unplugs everything! When I moved into my current place, I used a ton of surge protectors, so I can just unplug those instead of pulling dozens different plugs out of the wall.

Also, when I lived in the big city, I prepared my lunch for the week on Sunday and brown-bagged it for the rest of the week. It was great portion control and saved me a good bit of money.