Recently, I have been on a "start the New Year off right" saving spree. I've been successfully saying no to small purchases that we really don't need and taking those few extra moments to think about whether there might be a lower-cost solution to the challenge at hand.
At the same time, (I don't know what has gotten into me!) I have been cleaning out my closets, drawers, and freezer. And, much to my surprise, I am finding an absolute gold mine hiding in the forgotten nooks and crannies of my home.
I started actually using the food that I had carefully labeled and stored in my freezer. I had to get over my resistance to defrosting -- a pet peeve -- but, once I did, I found some wonderful turkey soup, lasagna, my daughter's favorite meatballs, and so much more. Over the past month, I've substituted a few of these frozen masterpieces for dinners that would have been pizza or some other kind of "take-out," and saved a couple of bucks.
Then I moved on to my closets. You won't believe what I found in there: Clothes! Shoes! Sweaters! Oh my! You know that old phrase, "So many clothes, nothing to wear?" Guess what? I actually do own clothes that I love and want to wear. The problem is, I forget what I have.
On to the drawers! Do you buy the same item over and over again because you can't remember if you have it already at home? I do this with cold medicines, Q-tips, tape, nail polish, and so much more. I also buy greeting cards that I think are funny and then forget to send them to anyone. At $3 per card, each time I use one I've already bought, I can "earn" enough for a good cup of coffee. Now that's a good trade-off!
Quick tips for cleaning up:
1.) Set aside 10 minutes per day this week to look in your drawers, closet, or freezer. What will you find? What can you use?
2.) The next time your child has a project due for school or needs a costume, take a minute to see if you have some of the supplies you need at home, before going to the store.
3.) Celebrate the small savings. Make it a game. This is not about sacrifice, it's about saving money that you can use for something that holds real value for you or someone you love.