I am trying to cut corners financially wherever i can so that i dont feel the financial strain so much in other places. My newest venture???
Dog grooming. Not my fanciest crafty work ever, but i think I'll definitely try it again.
Here's the dilemma, we have a St. Bernard that also has terrible allergies so she is much more comfortable with short hair in warmer weather. It helps tremendously, in addition to her medications. (Her meds cost a little oer $100/month). But, the bath and shave is $91, thats the best price i can find anywhere because of her size. And she needs to be groomed every 4-6 weeks. That adds up very quickly.
So, i think i can definatly save that $91 every other month by doing it myself. She doesn't look that awesome, granted, so i think getting her professionally done every other month with even out my mistakes without too much trauma.
Have you guys done anything kinda funny to save money?
I wouldn't say we do anything funny to save money just the basics. clip coupons, wait for sales on major purchases, don't go out to eat, I buy most of Lilly's clothing at the end of season for the following year, and we have a great second hand children's and maternity clothing store, i also find stuff a goodwill. the list goes on.
I love coffee, but making it at home is sooo much cheaper.
You all might think this is funny but learn to defensive drive, pay close attention to lights and when they are going to change, try to coast more often, start to break sooner and more evenly, take everything extra out of your car. I get such good gas millage its not even funny. much higher then the average of 23 city i get 28. seriously check out fuel economy for your make and model car. Also never Idle if you are waiting in a parked car for more than 5 min, just shut it off. Unless it is 90 out and you have to have the ac on. My car is an 07 and my friend has the same year and he has had to replace his breaks already like more than 6 months ago, I still have half my break life left, i always get my oil changes, and maintenance when its needed. I can't afford a new car right now even though I want one.
I have been selling on ebay for a while now, and you might be surprised at what people will buy. I just started selling stuff around the house that was taking up space. You can also use crags list but i am paranoid about that.
I won't skimp where it is important, ie brand new car seat, but i used a coupon and it was on sale. Shoes are also on my no skimp list, as well as dog food.
Cheap is not always better.
Oh and I am soo sorry you have to pays sooo much for grooming. I guess we really lucked out because our groomers are so wonderful, I seriously am afraid of moving with Bella, because she has been going to them since she was a puppy, they only charge me $40 cash. I know everywhere else around here wants $120 and up, plus the one time our groomers were remolding and i had to take her to petco, for $65 it was awful, they didn't even get her white white, or her forearms clean. I never thought they were charging me enough so i tip them well and always give a bonus at Christmas time.
I know you and your vet have probably already discussed this but what are you feeding her? Is she on a special diet as well as allergy meds? is it just a skin condition? or have you figured out what triggers are?
Maybe you can get a discount if you take her every 4 weeks, to the same place? oh also see if you can find a grooming school, or maybe someone just starting out.
My saint has what they call an innie vulva which can cause urin to pool and cause infection or chronic yeast infection, so I know what you mean with having to groom so often. I would have the corrective surgery done but she has already had a TPLO, and Knee Replaced, so we hope she won't need another major surgery as the anesthesia is hard on any human or animal. Kind of like a pick and chose your battles, it is well controlled with her brazillian, shave. We joke that she is our 20 thousand dollar bionic dog. I think we finally just paid off her knee surgery.
just google frugal living and see what you find. I love hearing about how other familys find ways to cut corners or make some extra.
We don't know all her allergy triggers, but we know that most are environmental since she gets relief in the winter months. We don't skimp on dog food either since it has such major implications with the allergies. She eats Salmon and sweet potato dry food which is also all wheat, grain, and poultry free. Luckily I can get is reasonably at Costco and she really doesn't eat that much for a large dog.
Sounds like we have similar no skimp lists! I was adamant about our Britax carseat and organic infant mattress, but most of her clothes come from walmart, kohls, and Costco.... always on sale.
Something to supplement our income, I write chapters and test questions for nursing text books and NCLEX review books. It certainly doesn't pay as much as the work I put into it, but its helpful. It also looks good on a resume, which I think is worth a lot, too.
We do mostly coupons and second hand shopping for cloths and toys we have Mom 2 MOM sales around here every weekend, they are like giant garage sales with nothing but baby stuff. They normally range between 40 and 100 tables of stuff not including the 'Large Item room'. I am a huge car seat '****' so we do not skip on those. We have Recaro car seats in both cars. They are currently ranked evenly with Britax but they are built but a company that has spend the last few decades building race car seats. I love LOVE their seats.
Amber ~ sorry your girl has so much problems, glad to hear she eats well, lol we feed blue, but people always assume Bella eats a ton, when in fact its our bully Joe Joe who does. when our boxer was still with us he could easily eat 8 cups a day, he was allergic mostly to clover so his poor paws suffered the most during the summer months. the more active/ high energy a dog is the more calories they need. where Bella maybe eats 4-6 cups. the heat is terrible for her and she seems to eat less in the summer.
I've groomed our St. Bernard a couple times...it's not a quick job that's for sure. We usually just clip him down in the summer, for his benefit and ours (less fur balls) but I'm also very fortunate to be best friends with a pet groomer who owns her own business, so sometimes she just does it for free for us. I would advise you to invest in a good set of clippers! :)
We too are, well, not so much trying to save money- but just simply trying to dig ourselves out of debt. It's been a tough road, but we are plugging away. I'm a huge Dave Ramsey fan, so we have been following his plan (for the most part).
I clip coupons for products we use. I do a lot of research online before buying items to make sure I'm getting a good price and a well made product. A lot of my money saving techniques originally started as things I was doing to be more environmentally friendly and we just ended up saving money as well so it was kind of win-win. I buy a lot of stuff like dry goods (beans, noodles, flour, etc) and liquid soaps, shampoos, and conditioners from bulk bins, our food co-op has a pretty huge selection for this. I try to make things from scratch when possible instead of depending a lot on processed packaged foods (though I know there are times when frozen pizza is all I can eek out :)). I make a lot of my household cleaners using ingredients like white vinegar, baking soda, borax, and essential oils. We use cloth napkins and washable rags to minimize paper towel usage in our house. I even use Gladrags and Mooncup for my period though I know not everyone can get into that kind of thing. We used cloth diapers most of the time for DS before he started to outgrow his one-size diapers and my nausea made it more difficult to stomach laundering a bag soiled ones. I try to clean and reuse foil and ziploc bags when I can. I buy the majority of my own and DS's clothes at second hand stores - I get a lot of good quality, practically new clothes that way at a fraction of the cost especially on their 50% off member sale days (I do draw the line at buying underwear and bras second hand - that I always buy new). Both DH and I have hybrid cars so even though the cost up front was initially higher, we are saving a ton of money on gas and maintenance since they need less frequent oil changes, brake replacements, etc. We tend to keep our cars for many years (I think I had my last car about 9 years) so we figured it was a good investment. In general I save a lot of money for my personal use because I don't get expensive haircuts, when I do color my hair I do it myself at home, I don't get manicures or pedicures, I don't wear makeup unless I'm doing something special and I don't use hair styling products. I do admit my one area of weakness is skincare products because I have dealt with years of problematic skin since my teens that comes and goes so I do go a little crazy when it comes to cleansers, toners, masks, etc but I'm trying to be better about using the products I already have in my bathroom drawers rather than buying some new stuff that catches my eye. Oh, and I don't have a coffee stand habit. When I could still stomach coffee, I usually made my own at home and took it took work in insulated cup. I'm not the greatest coffee maker, but those couple of bucks a day really adds up over a year, hence what I think is called the "Starbucks Syndrome".
ETA: I second what someone said earlier about selling stuff you have around the house (or garage, or shed, or in storage) that you don't use on eBay if it is something that will be easy to ship or on Craigslist if it is a larger or heavier item. If you are worried about having people come to your house to pick up stuff, you could arrange to meet up with the buyer in a neutral place like a store or restaurant parking lot. We've been able to sell an item or two on eBay every couple months. We get to declutter our house and get some money to put aside for things we actually need.
A lot of people don't know that Target stacks coupons (Target coupon + Man. coupon). BJ's does this, too. I was bummed when the one near me closed because they also had the cheapest gas around me. Now, I have a Costco membership and buy a lot of things in bulk. The milk there is almost a dollar cheaper than the regular grocery stores. Sam's, Costco, and BJs all refund your membership if you are unhappy with it.
If you coupon, know the stores policies. Sometimes they will take a competitors coupon for X amount off Y amount. Think $10 off $50.
I have an outlet mall near me and there is a Children's Place. I have had more luck at their "Monster Sale" than any consignment place. It's usually not much more expensive, plus it's new. I like to buy new only because I have 3 girls. The clothes are pretty worn by the time they get to the 3rd girl. If number 4 is a boy, I'm sure we'll do more consignment.
When cutting coupons and shopping sales, take time and distance of the stores in consideration. I have 3 grocery stores all within a couple of miles from my house. I don't mind going to all 3 but I also have 3 kids. Going to 1 store with 3 kids is time consuming. It's even more time consuming when I want to go to all 3. You have to figure what your time is worth. Also, how much gas are you using to get to those stores.
We don't have cable. We have a Roku player and stream Hulu +, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. I also get coupon codes for Redbox for when we want to watch a movie and it's not in the free section on any of the other 3.
I take my girls out to eat once a week for "girls night" as my DH works full time and goes to night school. I do a lot of the kids eat free/for cheap. I like the IHOP near us because on tuesday nights I get 2 free kids meals to my 1 adult meal. My youngest is still young enough to eat off my plate. I end up paying $10-11, including the tip, to feed 4 people.
I use Amazon Mom for diapers. When I had 2 in diapers it was to hard to have 3 kids and 2 boxes of diapers. It's much easier to have it mailed to my house.