Wednesday, August 6, 2008

A few dollars here, a few dollars there...

Money continues to trickle in from Amazon, eBay and Half. All of the money I have earned this month, except for $15, is from bank interest and sales through Amazon. I have several items up on eBay right now with watchers, so we'll see how they do as the auctions close. I have also been selling Catie's DVDs - the money from them isn't a lot, and we'll be splitting it 50/50, but hey - every penny helps!

Unfortunately with this month comes three major gifts to buy... ah well, these things happen! Two of them I am going to be able to save money on by using ebates. Here's an example: I have a Barnes and Noble membership card which gets me 10% off purchases. In addition, I can get 4% rebate with eBates, and combining those together will really help!

The other spot of good news was that $15 was a refund check from a doctor appointment I had awhile back. I am not entirely sure how that worked out, but something must have changed since I changed insurance companies. In any case, any extra checks are always welcome!

So, one of the things I have been thinking about lately is an article I read over at The Simple Dollar. Here's a quote from it:

In Your Money or Your Life, Joe Dominguez hits upon the idea perfectly on page 27 with his description of a “gazingus pin”: “A gazingus pin is any item that you just can’t pass by without buying. Everybody has them. They run the gamut from pocket calculators and tiny screwdrivers to pens and chocolate kisses.”
His gazingus pin is books - so is mine. Apparently it is a lot of other people's as well - Wow did he stir up some controversy when he decided to give up buying them for a year!

I thought about his challenge, but you know, since I have started this blog and started watching my pennies - I don't have as much of an urge to shop. There once was a time when I'd walk into a bookstore and regularly spend $150. Now that just isn't likely to happen - especially since seeing how inexpensive books are on Half.com and Amazon. I tell you, I am not likely to ever pay full price for a book again! Some people who know me well would say that my other gazingus pin was shoes - but there was a difference. I could easily walk into a shoe store and not buy shoes, not so much with bookstores.

I don't think I have a gazingus pin anymore. That isn't to say once things settle down, that couldn't change, but I don't see it in my life right now. I rarely even go places where I can spend money. So, I was trying to think of a challenge for myself, one that would effect my bottom line, be a challenge, and could help my spending habits - and I found it - groceries. Now is the best time to shop the farmer's market, and the market is the one place I don't mind spending extra money. I love buying locally raised, fresh produce - plus it tastes better and is healthy for me. This time of year the market is bursting with great food, and I love taking advantage of it.

However, I realize that my pantries are pretty well stocked. I really don't need much right now, and yet still, I go to the market every Saturday morning. My goal is to see how long I can go without buying groceries for myself. I want to try to eat down the cupboards as far as I can this month. I already went shopping on the 1st, so I think I am stocked on staples - so let's see how I can do.

I will make two exceptions - 1) if people are coming over and I buy something for them and 2) if I need to bring something somewhere and don't have ingredients on hand.

Once the cupboards are bare, I will go back to shopping again!

What challenges are you undertaking right now? What kind of goals are you working on?

1 comment:

passivefamilyincome said...

I am working to drive down our monthly grocery budget. We have $650 budgeted per month on grocery & entertainment for 4 people. The past few months we have gone way over so I am clipping every coupon and playing the CVS game. I hit CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens a couple times per week and usually come home with all sorts of free stuff. I am working to get this free stuff to trickle down to the monthly budget!