Money Saved July 2010

  • $29.09 at the grocery store by purchasing what is on sale with my bonus savings card
  • $15.22 in coupons from Coupon Clippers website.
  • $39.70 at the grocery store by purchasing what is on sale with my bonus savings card
  • $24.02 in coupons from Coupon Clippers website.
  • $43.99 rebate from my credit card, I guess just from usage. Was a nice surprise!
  • $50(ish) by using my “Better World Club” (eco-friendly version of AAA) to tow dads truck to a garage after it broke down. I already had the service since I’m on the road so much. I don’t know how much tow companies usually charge for towing, but its nice to know that I could use this service to tow for free anywhere up to 100 miles

Total Saved: $202.02

I’d like to note that for the last two months I’ve been using this site called Coupon Clippers to purchase coupons on products I already use. For about $5 for a decent chunk of coupons + shipping/handling, I’ve already saved almost $30 off my groceries. That doesn’t count the savings I already get by buying what is on sale. So the purchase of the coupons has already paid for itself 6 times. I find that insanely awesome, and am only disappointed that I did not discover the website sooner. Heck I even have some “buy one get one free” coupons off of there. Of stuff I already buy. That simply means FREE FOOD, people.

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I love saving money

I love saving money.

I didn’t used to worry about it so much, but being so hard on myself paying back debt, it’s become a necessity. Not one I was all that thrilled about originally, but once you start seeing the “amounts” of your savings, it starts to become a whole other addiction.

Just now I had to make a necessary purchase that would have cost me about $70. I decided to look up any coupons or promotional codes for this site (I usually use retailmenot.com), and low and behold a coupon that brought my total (with shipping) down to $51. Just a quick search saved me that much money.

I’ve also started paying attention to my grocery store weekly circulars too. My grocery lists are based off of what is on sale (I love taking advantage of 10 for $10 deals), and I try to stick to those sale items. I also started printing out coupons from coupons.com for things I know I can/would use. In addition to that, I have a bonus/discount card for the grocery store that most of them offer these days.

Because of all three of those things, on average I save about $60 a shopping trip, sometimes more.

In addition to that, for every $100 I spend at the grocery store every 2 months or so, I get 10 cents off per gallon of gas. Last month when I was at the grocery store on the last day for that period’s “promotional gas discount”, the woman in the checkout line in front of me asked if I wanted her points cause she wasn’t going to get gas. I said sure, so I let her use my bonus card. With her groceries and my groceries combined with what I had spent lately, I had 60 cents per gallon of gas off that day.

And it’s really not hard finding these discounts. Any time you want to buy something online, just google for a coupon for that website and see if there is anything you can use. Any places you shop regularly such as grocery stores or certain gas stations, see if they have a savings card you can use to save money. If you start tracking these savings, you’ll be amazed at how much you can really save. Yes I know there are some women who can get $200 worth of items for $10, but I don’t know that I have that amount of time to spare. What I do now is pretty good on its own, as well as quick and easy.

Maybe I should start doing monthly posts on savings. Course I don’t shop much so they’d be fairly few in-between, but a yearly total would be interesting to see, you think?

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I’m Very Proud

My best friend made me very proud of her last month. I admire her very much. She’s completed something that even I can’t do right now.

Her husband just lost his job a month ago, which I thought would be devastating to their finances. But apparently they live sooo much below their means, that they still have almost a grand extra every month on just her salary. Talk about willpower and awesomness.

It’s something I plan to achieve eventually, living the way I do now and staying that way even if the sweetheart and I move in together with his extra salary. My biggest goal was always to live off of one salary and save the rest. And my friend has already done so.

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Gaming During a Recession or Economical Gaming

Of course I’m going to bring up the topic of gaming during a recession, and not just to give props to my own game, I swear! :D

Granted, gaming is probably one of the cheapest hobbies out there, depending on the type of game. Spending thousands of dollars on Magic cards……not so much. But there are ways to game for absolutely free.

1. Existing Games. If you’re the RPG type like I used to be during my WW days, and you already have gaming books, it’d be a lot of fun to start up a game with friends and family and have a potluck meal.

If you’ve already sold all of your gaming books (like I’m planning to do), then there are supplements online with the basic rules for reference that you can access for free.

In addition to table-top gaming, emulate some old school games. I started playing some NES Dragon Warrior a while back on my computer just for old-school kicks. Free, accessible, and easy.

And don’t forget pulling out some old consoles and playing some of your old games. I’m tempted to break out my SNES any day now and play some Zelda.

2. Free Games. I knew a person once that blogged about how they were at risk of getting thrown out of their house and couldn’t afford food, but they had a WoW subscription. You’ve got to be kidding me. There are a lot of free games out there, or even games that have just a one time fee, rather than a subscription (Counter Strike: Source comes to mind, which I love).

But for those that like the MMORPG feel, you should check out MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons). Think of them as a text-based WoW, where you interact with players from around the world to build up your character in strength or level. You can involve yourself in all kinds of fun like taking over cities and towns, interacting with DemiGods, warring with other countries or races.

You have all of the perks of games like WoW and EverQuest and Star Wars Galaxies, but just without the graphics, and best of all FREE. There are some MUDs that will charge to play, but 90% of the MUD’s out there are completely free to play.

MUDs are a pretty old-school method of gaming from the late 70′s and early 80′s, but it’s stuck around for it’s versatility and being so economical. You can download free MUD clients to access any MUD, so there’s literally no fee to play and immerse yourself. And a bonus to playing a MUD is it will help improve your typing skills, as well as your spelling and grammar :)

My particular MUD that I run, Advent of the Mists is one of those MUDs. It’s based in a medieval fantasy world I created myself, but there are sci-fi, cyberpunk, and even White Wolf themed MUDs out there as well. You can browse through a hefty database of MUDs over at The MUD Connector.

If you’re interested in trying out a MUD, but don’t know where to start, feel free to leave me a comment :)

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Money Saved and Junk Sold in 2008

My friend Melissa mentioned in my post about ways I saved money in the last 2 years, that it’d be nice to have some totals. I had been keeping track of how much extra money I saved or found around the house in 2008 for the last several months, so that I could make this post. Essentially any extra money I earned, found, or was given, as well as anything I haggled a discounted price for only in 2008 is listed below.

Dads Prescription Eyeglasses: Normally $250, My cost $84, savings of $166

Hosting for my journal: was $48/quarter, my new Cost is $118 every 2 years, saving $33 a quarter giving me a savings of $132 a year for two years (so technically $264?)

Hosting for my MUD: was $48/quarter, my new Cost is $118 every 2 years, saving $33 a quarter giving me a savings of $132 a year for two years (so technically $264?)

Hosting for the Grove Website: was $48/quarter, my new Cost is $118 every 2 years, saving $33 a quarter giving me a savings of $132 a year for two years (so technically $264?)

Car Loan: was $323.96/month, my cost after refinancing is $246/month, savings of $77/month (or $924/year)
Also 11.95% to 10.79% interest rate

Bronco Tag Renewal: $180/bi-yearly, switched to Historic tags so it’s now $79/bi-yearly, Savings of $101
I also did this for my dads F-150, so his total is $101 as well.
No more emissions fee ($14 per test) adds another savings of $28 to the pile.

$176 in change around the house

$600 stimulus check, which I guess doesn’t really count, but it was extra money in 2008.

$1900 back in taxes, which I put most towards the principle of the mustang

Switched from chemical hair dye ($100 every quarter) to all natural hair dye ($40 every quarter) for a total of $240/year saved.

Donated $86 to CLG of my unused unwanted items to auction off to support my church

Donated $260 worth of books to CLG to auction off and support my church

Phone Bill (Verizon): was $65/month, My Cost (Comcast Triple Play VOIP) is $36/month,
$350-400/year savings
.

I called up Comcast and asked for a reduction in prize on a whim, I went from $114/month to $79/month for a total savings of $420/year.

Since February I’ve saved up a little money each month into a new Savings account I had created just for my Car Insurance. By paying the 6 month premium in advance twice a year, I’ll be saving $391/year.

Cut the holiday budget in half by $300.

Went to an old farm for a Christmas Tree, saving at least $30.

Made $14.02 in Zazzle sales for the MUD.

My players donated $270 in 2008 towards MUD hosting costs which obviously saved me $270 worth of mud hosting costs. They must really love to play the game, because I never ask for donations :)

Got $40 worth of ING referrals.

We were gifted all of the materials for our new chimney, saving us at least $200.

Got a discount from my grandfather for a storage trailer for a savings of $80

My bank accounts have earned $186.87 in interest.

Items sold online:
Malachite Earrings on Etsy: $5
Peridot and Silver Ring on Etsy: $20
Rose Quartz Pendant on Etsy: $20
Complete Xena Seasons on Ebay: $110
Frontline for 11-22lb Dogs on Ebay: $20
Rainbow Opal Ring on Etsy: $20
Suede Journal: $23
Scarab Earrings and Pendant: $21
Native American Choker: $20
Total: $259

Grand Total of Items I had laying around the house (of which I have plenty more to sell!):
79 Ford F-150: $500
Jewelry: $259
Grove Donations: $346
Loose Change: $176
Total: $1281

Grand total of money saved and items sold: $8590.89 saved in 2008

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