Monday, November 9, 2009

Saving, Saving. Saving. er, sort of.

The Hubs has been laid off for over a month now. Severance runs out right around Thanksgiving so we're doing all we can to try to save a little cash. Fortunately we have a great family that has helped out a LOT with Evelynn even before the lay off. I have never bought even 1 package of baby wipes and probably only 2 or 3 packs of diapers in the nearly 6 months we've had this beautiful baby.

Here are a few things we've done to try and save where we can. 

1.  Entertainment.  Our entertainment budget consists of the cable bill right now.  We've stopped eating out and seeing movies. It really wasn't that hard since with no family near by and thus no babysitters we hadn't been going out all that much anyway.  But we are holding on to the cable for now.  It also includes phone and internet. With both of us at home we pretty much consider that a need.

2.  Groceries.  Meal  planning has really helped us get the grocery budget under control.  We now spend $100 or less a week on food.  That's HUGE for us.  Before Evelynn was born we were probably spending double that at least with all the eating out we did.  The only problem is that food that is better for you costs more and goes bad faster.  We used to go to the store several times a week and just pick up a few things here and there.  Now we go once a week and have the whole week's menu planned ahead of time.  We've also quit going to the nice grocery store 1 mile from the house and instead trek clear across town to buy groceries at the dreaded Walmart.  Yes,  I hate shopping at Walmart but when their price is half of what the closer store charges it more than makes up for the added gas. However,  it really has been a challenge to   create healthy meals on cheap ingredients.  I've been trying to make meals that will be sure to provide leftovers and things that I can use twice, like the rosemary grilled chicken we had yesterday.  I'll use the leftovers to make our own pizza tonight.  The fact is though,  canned veggies, pasta and rice are cheap.  I can see why there is such a great obecity problem, esspecially among lower income families.

3.  Gas.  I mentioned that a moment ago. With neither of us working,  there are days we just don't go anywhere.  Considering Hubs used to have a 30 mile commute each way,  just being laid off has slashed our gas expense.

4. Misc.  We stopped spending everywhere we could.  I switched from salon shampoo to Panteen, Bath and Body to Dove.  Neither of us have bought clothes or music or dvds.  I made Evelynn's winter hats instead of buying them.

We still have the mortgage of course and the car payment, gas, electricity, water, trash,  insurance and student  loan.  But we are fortunate not to have a dime of credit card debit. So you'd think we'd be saving tons with all this right?  Not so much.  We had to go on COBRA coverage when the health insurance termed.  Even with the government subsidy,  one month of coverage is more than the rent on my first 3 apartments! 

I am so SO glad the house passed the reform bill (no thanks to the Kansas representatives with the exception of Dennis Moore).  I only hope the Senate can pass their version quickly so we can start to see some change.  If you'd like to see how your representative voted,  along with how much money s/he received from the health insurance companies and what percentage of their constituents are uninsured,  click here.

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