Things have been getting worse and worse for my husband and I financially. I’m not earning much money these days from my websites (enough to pay some of the bills, but not ALL of them like I used to!) and we just found out that over the next few months my husbands hours at work are probably going to be cut down a bit. As if we can stand any more loss of income!
I’m going to go over all of our expenses and see where we can start making cuts. We can certainly cut down our cable bill as we have a special premium channel and HD package … but I don’t want to stop those if I can help it as it’s my only form of entertainment when I’m lying on the couch in pain from my Crohn’s. Things would be so much better for us if I weren’t sick and could go back to work!
We’ve also thought of switching over from regular Bell phone service to Rogers Home phone service as it sounds like we could save about $30 off our phone bill and have something like 500 hours of free North American long distance calls included in the price.
We’re careful with our electrical usage. We try not to have too many lights on at night, and since Toronto Hydro started their smart billing we try not to run appliances like the dryer during prime time hours (instead using them after 10:30 at night or on the weekends when it’s cheaper) … of course our washer broke in early August so I guess we’re saving electricity and water since we’re not using it. LOL We also use those compact florescent lights in all of the light fixtures in the house that can use them. We’ve been doing that for years now. I don’t know where else we can cut our electrical usage to bring the bill down.
We heat our house with oil and we’re on a payment plan. The only way we can bring that bill down more is to keep the house cooler in the winter than we already do. I don’t think we can cut it much as we already keep the house pretty cool … 68 F or less, and it’s an old house so it cools down fast!
Other than that we don’t have too many other regular bills … hmmm maybe we should check into auto insurance quotes to see if we can bring down our house and auto insurance bills. I think we’re already paying a fairly low price compared to other insurance companies, but maybe we can do better. I mean, Chris and I have both been driving since we were teenagers and neither of us have ever had a speeding ticket or a car accident – that’s gotta count for something with an insurance company right?
Lets see I’ve gone over the cable (internet, and cell phone included), telephone, heating and insurance bills … like I said that pretty much covers our utility and home related bills. The only other major expenses we have are our mortgage (we pay biweekly which helps cut the interest down) and grocery bills.
Speaking of groceries we’ve noticed that the price of food has really gone up over the last year. That sucks! We’ve switched grocery stores to one that has much lower prices than the two main grocery stores that we used to always use. I think we save about $30 off our regular grocery bill just from the grocery store switch.
Other things that we do to cut down our grocery bill is to try to buy things when they are on sale … and not just buying one or two items- we’ll buy several items when somethings on sale. We also buy things in bulk at stores like Costco or at the butchers (remember those bags of chicken breasts we buy – they last about three months and probably cost us half the price of grocery store chicken breasts!). We also try to buy cheaper brands (provided that they have similar ingredients to the brand names we like and don’t have more fat or sodium etc).
A news story this week talked about how Store Brands have become much better and how they can cut your grocery bill in half. They did taste tests comparing store brands with several name brand items ranging from pizza to salsa sauce and the testers usually picked the store brand … so that’s another way we can save some money – if we buy more store brand products.
Most of our food is home made (barring loaves of bread etc). By this I mean I make our dinners and other meals from scratch. We don’t buy many pre-made foods with the exception of the occasional frozen pizza. It takes a little more time to make home made meals, but they are usually quite a bit cheaper than store bought pre-made meals and healthier too! Also at this time of year we have some produce from the garden (tomatoes, beans, lettuce etc) so that cuts our grocery bill a bit too.
Over all I think we’re pretty good with our money and how we spend it. We’ve tried to lessen all of our bills as much as we can and the only places where we can cut more is the Cable bills and maybe by switching to our Cable companies Home Phone service. That might save us $100 a month … and we might be able to tighten up our grocery spending a bit more, maybe by $50 or so a month … but overall that’s only an extra $150 saved and we need to cut a lot more if my husband is going to lose hours at work.
I guess the main thing I need to do is to try to make more money from my sites. How I’ll do that I don’t know, but we’ve cut pretty much as much as we can so I guess we need to earn more.
The only other thing we can try is to maybe take in a border again – remember how we used to take in students from other countries who were coming here to learn English? Now that was an experience! LOL
Hopefully some of the things that we’ve done to cut our bills will help you find some ways to save on your expenses if you’re in a similar situation. If any of you have a suggestion as to how we can cut our expenses even more, by all means, speak up!