October 30, 2008

$1,737 net savings so far this year through frugal efforts

I looked back through the money saving related posts that I've made so far this year. I added up the total savings realized for this year and its about $915 total.

There were a variety of ways I saved money by cutting costs and simply being frugal:

Driving a fuel efficient car. SAVES = $117. My 4 cylinder engine in my Camry uses about $117 less in gas at $3 a gallon compared to the 6 cylinder option.

Dropping to a cheaper plan on Netflix SAVES = $12. I evaluated my Netflix usage and decided the 2 at a time plan would meet my needs. So I dropped from the 3 at a time plan and saved $3 a month.

Free magazine SAVES = $12. I got a free subscription of Wired magazine.

McCormic Rewards program SAVES = $100 I use the McCormick and Schmick rewards program and I got a $100 dinner certificate.

Using discount restaurant gift cards SAVES = $80 Like I mentioned in my tips on saving at restaurants, I used Restaurant.com gift certifications and discount McCormicks gift cards from Costco.

Save on classic car insurance SAVES = $470 I switched to a specialty insurer that handles classic car insurance specifically.

Using electric mower SAVES = $8. My electric mower saves money since I don't have to buy gasoline every summer

I use Compact Fluorescent Lights SAVES = $61. My home is using almost all CFLs and I've been doing so for years.

Cut cable costs by asking for a reduction SAVES = $115. I called Comcast and got them to cut my rate. You can play competing service providers against each other to get bargain rates. For this year my savings are going to be $115.

Thats a total of $975 in savings

We also made some money by having a garage sale EARNINGS = $500.

Using credit card rewards EARNINGS = $300 I got back about $240 from my Citibank Dividend World Mastercard which gives 1% on all purchases and 2% on gas, grocery, drug stores, convenience stores, cable and utility bills. I have also already tallied over $60 on my American Express Tru Earnings Costco card.

So I earned another $800

A couple frugal efforts haven't yet paid paid off, so they have dropped my savings some. But in future years these items will net me savings:

Using reusable grocery bags. COST = $0, from $2 cost and $2 savings I bought some reusable grocery bags. They've already paid for themselves.

A smart strip COST = $28 from $46 cost less $18 in savings I used a smart power strip to automatically turn off my computer peripherals. I also bought a kill-a-watt meter.

Using a auto-shutoff shower head COST = $10 from $30 purchase with $20 savings I have a shower head fitting that cuts off the water once its heated up.

Between these 3 items we've spent $38 more than we've saved this year. But next year we'll save $43 on them and start to come out ahead.

Overall for my frugal efforts this year, the total savings is:

Frugal efforts = $975
Garage sale = $800
Expenses = - $38

Total $1,737

Of course everyones expenses are different so its not realistic to think everyone can cut over $1700 in spending by being frugal. But a lot of these items anyone can do if you aren't already. Using compact fluorescent lighting is an easy money saver. Negotiating on insurance or cable bill should be able to save most people some money. Looking for and using rewards programs with a credit card or discount gift certificates can cut your spending too.

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