October 21, 2008

Beans, beans, they're good for your heart...

The more you eat them, the less meat you have to buy and the more money you save! I figured that one out a couple weeks ago. We had lentil and leek soup one night, lentil chili another night, and leftover lentil chili over rice the next night. After that, Joe begged me not to include lentils in any dinners for awhile.

We've been trying to save money wherever we can, just like everyone else is right now. Changing the way I grocery shop and cook has certainly helped with our bills. It's amazing how much a few coupons and a little planning can save you. Joe is going hunting for deer next month, so we're also hoping that he gets one that can supply us with meat for awhile.

Joe was working for a small plumbing company, with too few employees for his boss to offer health insurance. We were paying out around $215/month for both of us to have insurance (the kids are on a separate plan). We got a letter saying our premium was going up by about $50 the following month. I got online, looked around, and found an insurance plan that will not only be health insurance but dental as well, and it is going to save us around $100/month.

Joe started a new job yesterday, at a different plumbing company. He had to switch to somewhere he felt he could stay until he retired. This place offers benefits including 401K, retirement, etc. He had a great first day, so hopefully today goes just as well. We'll be able to drop our new insurance in January and get on the company's plan, hopefully it's even cheaper.

We've been pretty strict about our energy usage. I get cold really easily, but I'm trying my hardest not to turn the heat on. We have energy saving bulbs in almost all of our lights. They last forever!

It's my dream to have a huge garden someday where I can grow tons of vegetables and have enough to use all year-round. I'm not sure how well that will work out, because I've already gotten sick of watering my flowers from this spring/summer. Maybe if the flowers were edible, I would still be motivated to take care of them.

I'd love to hear some other money saving tips/frugal recipes. Please leave a comment and share any that you may have. I need to go separate Harley and Jack, they're terrorizing each other in the kitchen.


Bridgett said...

I try and be frugal, but I'm finding I'm just not very good at it.

Lentils are yummy though.
I think I'm going to try and start using our crock pot more often. That way I can buy in bulk, toss stuff in, and make something out of it..whether it's a soup, a stew, a casserole of some sort...or whatever.

We haven't turned the heat on yet either. But if the nights keep dipping into the 20's and 30's, I suspect we'll have to soon.

Good luck!


EmilytheCreative said...

We try not to use the heat/AC when it's not needed. If we are going to town we try to do all our errands on that day as well to save on gas. I meal plan.. which is just me deciding what we will eat for two weeks and then buying just what we need. I've gotten down to spending $125 for two weeks worth of food.. minus having to go back several times for milk... lol.

Tiffany said...

I wish I had good ways of saving money. Sadly I don't like many veggies and I don't like any beans. LOL. Couldn't save money on food that's for sure. We're meat and potato people. ;) We also try not to run our heat/air when we don't have to. I've been trying to buy cheaper diapers, but they all are horrible on Keely. All the cheapie diapers leak badly with her...like every diaper leaks no matter how full it is. Our biggest way to cut down on spending is to take the car as much as possible when we go out. Brandon hates that b/c he's 6'4" and doesn't like squeezing into my car. Sadly I don't think my car is gonna last much longer, due to running out of space...it's crammed with two carseats right now.

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