Monday, August 9, 2010

Cycling & Saving- a New Approach to Spending

With three kids in college this year,  MidChix still in start-up mode, and the need for a new car looming as our fourth kid takes the wheel, our budget is busted, big time!  We are not frivolous spenders, but we do spend a lot.  Some on needs, some on wants.  As we work on instilling more money sense in our kids, I decided that it's high time we walk the talk.  

So after discovering the joys of the local ARC thrift shop this summer, and the fun of Five Below, along with reading so many accounts of writers' year-long experiments (The Happiness ProjectEat, Pray, Love,  Animal, Vegetable, Miracle), I think its time I embark on my own project: Penny-Pinching without the Sting.

I'm going to shoot for four months rather than a year; am not sure if that's because I'm chicken, or because most of the above books got a little tired as I began rounding the half-year mark!  But mostly since it frees me up a few weeks before Christmas on the off-chance that someone in the family has their heart set on something Apple, which, as we all know, never goes on sale.  

Now, having been in recovery for years after being raised by the consummate Scotsman, I have a real fear of appearing cheap.  This you need to know about me. So I won't skimp when it comes to tipping and treating...but I will try for some self-examination every time I try to be first to reach for the check...
Anyway, today is the first day in my four month commitment to not paying retail price (except on organic or gluten-free food as we are also embarking on a healthy eating regimen & hopefully there will be a substantial pay off for that down the road). One of my first visits will be to fellow blogger's site Just Trying to Save Money.

Hope you'll join me as I  see how much I can save by shopping sales, thrift stores, consignment, ebay, wholesalers, etc.  I welcome any advice from veteran penny-pinchers!


  1. Gretchen, you are so funny . . . with you on it, penny-pinching CAN be fun! I'll be part of your support team.
    I was born a penny-pincher . . . always searching for the ever-so-slightly damaged goods - of course, at a substantially lower price.
    Did you see the Oprah show the other day on people that spend next to nothing- a young couple, have plenty of money . . . and they go dumpsters jumping (like outside Whole foods) and get their groceries. The items are dated but still good and will go to landfill if not for these people! Amazing . . .

  2. Good Luck! We also will have 3 in college this year. Since the Hubby is rarely home for dinner, I'm thinking I'm going to save right off the bat there. Ha.
    I'll be following for tips!

  3. 'Encore' on Broadway just south of Hampden is a great used/antique furniture store. They have great prices and quality merchandise - traditional, antique and mid-century modern.

  4. I am a coupon clipper! I love to see if I can beat the last weeks grocery savings! You would be amazed at how much you can save with coupons!
    They are literally everywhere! Coupon Mom is my favorite!

  5. Go get 'em, Gretch! Tell Phil I just bought 48 RAW golf balls on the internet for $36, shipping included. Now that's cheap!