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How I was able to save money by...

November 6th, 2007 at 07:35 pm

learning to keep an open mind.

As DH and I took a walk while MIL watched the kids, I pondered out loud how much I had changed in the last year and even in the last 5 to 10 years.

When we were first married, I never cooked. I didn't really know how and I didn't know what to cook. Nothing seemed to turn out well. I believe this is the second biggest cause of our current debt.
The first cause is poor financial planning while attending graduate school.

Since the inception of our budget last November, we've changed drastically. I got tired of DH complaining about us not being on a budget, his implications that I was the cause of our money problems, and tired of the same old..."well, we'll just spend less money this month!" So I took a day off work, and put all our financial info. into Mvelopes. We stopped using Mvelopes after about 2 months because I still didn't feel in control of the money. Then I started handrecording our expenses.

Then I happened upon a book called "The Tightwad Gazette." Although this book could be thought of as radical in some ways, it opened my mind to possibilities. I began to wonder why I was using baggies for everything, why I never turned off lights when I left the room, and why I never learned to cook. I spent a lot of time researching and reading.

I forced myself to keep an open mind. Since then, I've learned a lot about cooking and we eat things that I NEVER would have considered even a year ago. My sister thinks I'm absolutely insane for eating beans! Once I read that some people hang out their laundry, I was dumbfounded. It never occurred to me to do this. Now I've used the dryer twice since August. I cook in bulk and really enjoy it! I love providing homemade items like waffles, breakfast burritos, and other dishes for my family and doing this provides a real sense of accomplishment. I stopped buying all the convenience foods and saved a ton of money. I'm taking sewing classes. Once I opened my mind, I found liking things wasn't as hard as I imagined. It's really just a mindset that I developed growing up.

I look back a year and say WOW..I've really changed. I look back 5 years ago and say "What in the &*^$ was I thinking?"

A powerful lesson is learned. Be willing to try things you never imagined.

7 Responses to “How I was able to save money by...”

  1. PauletteGoddard Says:

    I agree. I stopped buying convenience foods; started buying local fresh produce in season, trying new-to-me foods like chard, kale, and squash; have started sprouting beans and seeds for extra vitamin content. Food tastes better and contains ingredients I understand.

    I'd like to start cooking in bulk soon.

  2. boomeyers Says:

    The tightwad gazette changed my life. I love it!

  3. clubneary Says:

    If you have any tips on cooking in bulk or know of any good resources can you throw them out here? I usually try to cook on Sundays for the week but would love to be able to do more at once so I can have a few Sundays off Smile

  4. princessperky Says:

    You have made some amazing transitions!

    It is amazing how much money we spend on 'incidentals' like baggies or saran wrap.

  5. db1974 Says:

    clubneary - Check out the library. There are lots of good books with recipes. Once you get the gist of bulk cooking, you can apply what you learn to your favorite recipes. There are also lots of good websites. I think the easiest way to start is to cook an extra dish while you're preparing dinner. Throw it in the freezer and repeat. Before you know it, the freezer is full and cooking is a matter of defrosting. If you're looking for a more formal method, then the books are a great resource. My best advice is to start small or you'll get overwhelmed easily and give up.

  6. Caoineag Says:

    Yeah, cooking more things from scratch really helped our budget as well. Still trying to wean myself from eating out so much though. I love food and its my obsession whether I cook it or someone else does.

  7. marjorie Says:

    You might try searching for OAMC or once a month cooking. Many frugality websites will have information and recipies.

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