November 2, 2011

Ways to Stretch a Dollar 101

This blurb is me trying to make sense of how to stay in control of my finances - he he! 

(Though, really, not a!

Maybe I'll start with what I know, that's what good writers do, no? (So says Eric Walters, anyhow...)


And what do I Know, you ask? Well, I know how to SPEND a dollar! Or - many dollars!

*Here's one thing I've learned I should not do: I should not take e shopping with me. Because I am weak weak weak. No matter what, if she asks for it, for the most part, I am putty, and I'll buy it for her. There  is likely some psychology behind it. I say it's because I am no longer buying for me, so I can justify buying for her. Scratching the itch and all that.

*The second thing is to NOT go grocery shopping ever. Because, if you're a shopper, like myself, then if you're restraining yourself from all frivolous transactions, the grocers becomes that dangerous ONLY place one goes to buy ANYTHING - so everything seems like it should be bought...I am telling you, I've never felt so desperate to buy cleaning products and dog food and lemons and fish and and and...all the things I could rationalize I needed....just to gratify my NEED to shop.

Yes. Entering any place where a monetary transaction is necessary will inevitably be a pit-fall.

*Thirdly, do not let Mechanics or people of that general field into one's house EVER. Even if one's dryer is no longer working and one's washer smells moldier than an old abandoned cottage -- because inevitably, that Mechanic will prey on little old innocent you, and make you spend upwards of $400.00 on NOTHING - or at least on nothing you really needed. And you will feel like you were socked in the stomach - played - had ... it will knock you out, essentially. Especially if that $400.00 is the difference between Christmas gifts or not this year!!!

*Another thing I've learned is to never answer the door to a salesperson while sleep deprived and while trying desperately to keep the two babes who cause the lack of sleep asleep...Because no matter what, in order to shew whomever it is away from the door, one is likely to be coerced into buying ANYTHING. Or maybe just people like myself. 

*Mostly, if you're like me, and you're trying hard to hold on to one or two pennies, it is key not to put oneself into vulnerable situations. I thought staying at home would be okay. Nope. I thought getting necessities would be safe. Nope. 

Some days I resign myself to the thought that maybe in this day-in-age, it is infeasible to save one's money. I mean everything costs something. And I love to shop....

What's the answer?

Well here are ways I've retrained my brain and managed to stretch some of my money:
1. Diluting the apple juice. E is not too happy about this one. However, she drinks so much of it that if I don't we can go through a liter in three days. Easily.
2. Going cash only has helped a lot, but it's also a work in progress. I am still trying to master how to put things in varying categories and build these funds so that all our presents don't cost the measly $5.00 bi-weekly that category is budgeted:). (Sorry to any recipient of said cheap gifts. Please understand:)).
3. Pasta is my friend. My very close friend.
4. I break all dr. b`s finger foods in half so they stretch longer.
5. PC formula is the way to go!
6. I never thought I would say this, but buying in bulk does help: when it`s needs, not wants. And I mean legitimate needs - like diapers....
7. Keeping track of bills so that companies like Rogers who like to start upping bills every so often don`t get away with it! Those crooks!
8. Hanging more clothes than I dry - hydro is $$$$.
9. Being aware of what is going out and coming in - and only using what I have...Well..... Usually. ha ha.
10. Shopping the flyers and creating meals, etc. around what`s on sale.
11. Finding free activities to do - like Mal-O-Ween, or concerts in parks, etc. They can be fun activities! Or using the memberships one already has: Storybook, the Y. And enjoying these social outings, because they are great entertainment!
12. Only buying things like batteries and vitamins when they are on sale.
13. Recognizing and being thankful for what I have. And I have a lot: of clothes, of makeup, of shoes, of outer-ware... and, um. I have a good family, too:)
14. Bulk Barn: sugars and spices and even vitamins can be cheaper here!
15. Getting my hair chopped a little less often. Boo. Hence the ridiculously long locks, my friends!
16. We have junk food Fridays: pizza is usually on the menu, but we also have done eggs and bacon or tortillas and guacamole, etc. Anything junk - even if it's store bought. We can afford this option - rather than wishing we could go out for dinners every friday. It's all psychology. So long as I don't have to put any effort into Friday dinner, I am happy!
17. Reuse ALL bags (including sandwich and bread bags) - that saves hugely on buying needless bags:)
18. I don`t know. I take pride in being a bit more frugal these days. I used to be the girl who`d go out for a night and spend upward of $100.00 just on myself. I`ve come to the realization that, within reason, those days are no longer. I am enjoying trying to create savings and to play the commercial system in my favour to the best of my abilities. I make it a monthly game.

And I enjoy it.

OCD much - he he....!

Anyone else have some pertinent tips???


  1. Anonymous3.11.11

    You've amassed some good tips, sb. I've just started gong cash only for groceries so that I don't overspend. When it comes to grocery shopping, I never go when I'm hungry otherwise I'm bound to spend more than I need on treats that I don't need. The only problem with $-only is that I don't accumulate any points with my credit card. And I love to redeeem my points for free gas, gift certificates to Shoppers and Starbucks, etc... Oh well, I'm giving it a shot.

    It's 5:17am. Gotta get to work :)


  2. Yay!!! Wow Lara! You are dedicated;) I'm so proud of u! & thx for the comments!


Thanks for your thoughts!


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